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OCTOBER 25, 2013

Axe unlikely to fall on 2013 India GP

High-ranking Indian motor racing official Vicky Chandhok has played down the likelihood this weekend's grand prix will be called off.

A supreme court judge will on Friday hear a petition filed by a campaigner to cancel the formula one race because of unpaid entertainment taxes.

"We will wait for the court's directive," a spokesman for race promoter Jaypee said.

"Whatever the court says, we are ready to follow."

But Chandhok, the father of former F1 driver Karun, said petitions like this are customary in the Indian democracy.

"Personally, I don't think it will affect the event at all," he is quoted by the Mirror newspaper.

In the Guardian, he added: "I don't think it endangers the race in any way whatsoever.

"People who live in this country learn to deal with these things. It is not something that is worrying.

"Generally, judges will not grant an injunction for a sporting event to be stopped. Sport has to continue and the rest of it can be dealt with later on," he insisted.

However, in the unlikely event that the race is scrapped, Sebastian Vettel will be crowned world champion, because there would not be enough races left in 2013 for Fernando Alonso to chase down his points deficit.

The bigger question is whether F1 will return to India in 2015, as the unpopular grand prix destination has been left off next year's bustling calendar.

"You know," Force India team owner Vijay Mallya told CNN, "Bernie (Ecclestone) is a good friend of mine and I have tried to persuade him that India has a market that should not be ignored.

"I would be very, very disappointed if India fell into the category of being in the F1 calendar and then being permanently out of the calendar," he said.