Indian GP finds spot in 2011 F1 calendar

first_imgFormula One will stretch to a record 20 races next year with India making its Grand Prix debut in late October, although no new teams will be coming in, the sport’s governing body said on Wednesday.The Formula One circus will travel to India for the first time next year.The Indian round, at a circuit being built in Greater Noida, is due to be the 18th of the season on October 30, 2011, subject to the facility passing an inspection by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).The purpose-built Jaypee Group Circuit is under construction about 50 kilometres from New Delhi. In October 2007, the FIA had signed a Rs 1,600 crore contract with JPSK Sports Private Limited to organise the race in India.The estimated cost to develop the 5.15 km circuit is about $ 215 million, with a seating capacity of 150,000. The construction work is expected to be complete by June.The governing body said in a statement after a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) that the 2011 season will start in Bahrain on March 13 and end in Brazil on November 27, with Abu Dhabi becoming the penultimate race on November 13.The current season has a record equalling 19 races, with South Korea the newcomer in 2010.A 20-race calendar has long been a desire of the sport’s commercial supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, but has met resistance from teams in the past due to the extra burden imposed on mechanics and travelling employees.Cost-cutting measures have further reduced the number of staff attending races, while some test teams have been disbanded due to the ban on in-season testing. However, the slim hopes of the starting grid being expanded to a full capacity of 13 teams, assuming all of the existing ones remain, were snuffed out.advertisementThe FIA said a number of parties had expressed an interest but it was considered that none of the candidates met the requirements to be granted an entry into the championship.Consequently, the allocation of the 13th team will not be granted.Many of the expected main contenders had already withdrawn for financial reasons but Spanish- based Epsilon Euzkadi and a joint effort involving Italy’s Durango and Canada’s former world champion Jacques Villeneuve had remained in the running.The WMSC also announced steps to enable the governing body to punish Formula One drivers and other competitors in FIA series who commit motoring offences on public roads.McLaren’s 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton was fined 500 Australian dollars after being stopped by police for reckless driving in a Melbourne street at this year’s Australian Grand Prix.”Competitors at FIA events must act as ambassadors for the sport, be aware their conduct on the road must be exemplary and respect road safety rules,” declared the FIA statement.It said the international sporting code would be amended to enable the FIA to withdraw a driver’s international super-licence in the most serious cases.last_img