FMSCI will do its best to get F1 back in India: Raj

FMSCI will do its best to get F1 back in India: Raj

FMSCI will do its best to get F1 back in India: Raj

 Bharat Raj, the president of the Federation of Motorsports Clubs in India (FMSCI) has assured that the federation would do its best to ensure India’s return to the Formula One calender.

“We will meet the Gaur family — they are very enterprising. As you know, the F1 promoter (Bernie Ecclestone) is very keen to bring F1 back to India. He wants to have a dialogue with the Gaur family. It may take some time, but soon there will be good news,” said Bharat Raj in an interview on the sidelines of an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries earlier this month.

Having recognised as a sports federation by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Bharat believed that the federation was now in a better position to make the push. “We are the governing body for the sport in the country. And now even the government has recognised us,” he said.

“We have heard both the parties (Jaypee Group and Ecclestone) and their willingness to bring F1 back to India. JPSIL (Jaypee Sports International Limited) wants F1 back and so does Ecclestone, who recently gave a statement regarding this. Our job is to mediate these proceedings and take up the issue up with the governmental agencies. We need to sit and sort out things like the import policy, tax exemptions and more important — the licence fee for F1, which is usually paid by the government across the world. This will take time. It won’t happen overnight. The government also needs time to think and resolve these issues, but we are definitely taking up this issue,” added the FMSCI chief.

With the Indian GP being out of the scene from 2013, serious questions have been raised about the future of the Buddh International Circuit. But Bharat said that track would be maintained and regular races would ensure that it keep up the quality.

“Efforts are on (to ensure that the track is maintained). Recently, truck racing took place there. Two-wheeler and car racing events by companies like JK Tyre and MRF are held there. These keep the track occupied,” he said.

“One should note that it’s (the track) very expensive to maintain. People think ‘ok, it’s an F1 track,’ but there are billions of finer things to look into. I hope and pray JPSIL will soon find a solution. They have done a fantastic job of building a world standard track in our country and we are very proud of them. We will have a meeting with them to take things forward and ensure events come to the track,” he added.

Recognition by the government could also ensure monetary support from the centre. But the FMSCI chief said the federation didn’t want to hurry and would list its basic requirements to the centre. “We will be giving them a proposal. We need to list out what we need. We can’t walk up to them and say, ‘You are giving something to kho-kho, something to kabaddi,’ We don’t think that’s the way.

“We need to identify our requirements and then approach the government,” said Bharat who assured that the federation would put forward a proposal ahead of the national budget in February 2016.

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