JUNE 4, 2004
The future of the Indian Grand Prix
The future of the plan to host an Indian Grand Prix on a site near Hyderabad remains in the balance as the new state government begins to find its feet although last week there was a bad sign when the state sports authority called off the Asian Grand Prix athletics event which had been planned for Hyderabad, saying that it cost too much. The previous government spent lavishly to improve the sporting infrastructure in the city, planning to build the track on a 1500-acre site at Cyberabad which would include not only the race track but also hotels, a hospital, an amusement park and other necessary infrastructure. The new government says it will look at the costs for the project but has no fundamental objection to hosting a race. The previous government had several drafts of an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone and the basis of a deal was in place but we must now wait to see if the new government considers F1 an appropriate way to develop the region.
It is worth noting however that the Indian international test cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has attended the last two Grands Prix in his role as an ambassador for the Indian race and between Monaco and the European GP paid a visit to the McLaren-Mercedes headquarters at Woking, having been invited to look around by Kimi Raikkonen.
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