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India not on F1 radar yet for testing

762   //    10 Dec 2012, 19:01 IST

New Delhi - Costs and logistical constraints may come in the way of India’s Buddh International Circuit (BIC) becoming a testing venue for the Formula One teams ahead of the new season in March.

Buoyed by the back-to-back Indian Grand Prix, BIC promoters Jaypee Group were keen on hosting one of the three testing events, but the F1 management has apparently decided to have all the testing in Spain.

Andy Stobart, press officer of the Lotus F1 team, told IANS what went against India on hosting its maiden testing event.

“Given the time and logistics constraints involved in testing new cars pre-season, it’s unlikely we’d look for venues outside of Europe. The BIC is a fantastic facility, but not one we’ve considered for pre-season testing,” Stobart said, adding the fact that most teams on the gird are Europe-based.

The decision to have all the tests in Spain has apparently been taken at the FIA’s annual general assembly in Istanbul last week and with no mid-season testing next year, BIC cannot hope to be a testing venue.

A Force India official told IANS that testing in India would have meant a substantial increase in cost that teams are not ready to bear at the moment.

“As most of the teams are based in Europe, it is convenient to do the testing here. No doubt the weather in India is a lot better than the snowy conditions here, but the cost involved is something most teams are not ready for. Also, the cumbersome customs clearance is a dampener,” said the official of the Silverstone-based outfit.

Teams use road for transporting equipment during the European races while they send most of the stuff by air during the Asian and American rounds.

Asia-Pacific has a dominant share on the F1 calendar, but it will take some time for it to get testing events on a regular basis. Bahrain organised a testing event in 2010.

The 2013 season starts in Melbourne on March 17 with Indian Grand Prix being the 17th of the 20-round calendar, like it had been in the last two years.

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