Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that he has struck a deal with the Indian company JP Associates, who has won a ten-year contract to bring Formula 1 to India from 2010. The race will be held at a purpose-built facility near Greater Noida airport, 50km outside New Delhi, from 2010.
“India has always been known for its love of cricket, but F1 has been growing hugely in popularity in recent years as the viewing figures would suggest," Ecclestone said in a statement on F1’s official website. "Now with Vijay Mallya’s team, Force India, and the news that Karun Chandhok could soon be driving in F1, the announcement of the future Grand Prix in India will spark an explosion of further interest to rival that of the traditional sport.”
Local authorities have already granted planning permission for work to begin at the site while famed F1 track designer Hermann Tilke recently visited Delhi to consider possible lay-outs. The decision to base the track in Greater Noida was taken after a detailed study of Delhi’s infrastructure, given the city will also host the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
Billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya became the first Indian F1 team owner in the autumn when he bought out Spyker and renamed in Force India, with a vision to promote the sport and national racing talent in his home country.