The Formula One World Championship looks set to welcome a number of new Grands Prix onto its calendar, as the sport attempts to expand into new markets.
Plans for the first Grand Prix in India are taking shape, with construction of the circuit, on the outskirts of Dehli, well underway. Renowned circuit designer Herman Tilke has designed the 5.5 kilometre track, which is set to have the second fastest average speed of all the tracks on the current calendar.
Although plans for the race had experienced initial problems over exchange control issues and has faced an unsupportive sports ministry, organisers, the Jaypee Group, have stated that everything has now been resolved.
“We fully expect the race to go ahead next October,” Mark Hughes, vice president of JPSK Sports, a subsidiary of the Jaypee group, told Reuters.
“The circuit is part of a sports city being constructed 35 kilometres outside the Indian capital on a 2,800 acre site with areas set aside for the Formula One track and a 100,000-seater international cricket stadium,
“We expect to complete construction by July 2011 and once (Formula One governing body) FIA has given its approval we can finalise training for marshals, track officials and medical staff in time for an October race.”
Meanwhile Bloomberg has reported that plans are well underway for Russia to stage its first Grand Prix in 2012, with a New York City race scheduled for the following year.
Any possibility of a race taking place in Russia has been enhanced with Vitaly Petrov becoming the first Russian driver in Formula One – resulting in a surge in popularity for Formula One in his home country.
The article states that Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympic games, looks the most viable location for a race, but that Moscow has also not been ruled out.
Although Ecclestone would not be drawn to comment on the Russian race, he reiterated that the calendar would have to increase to twenty races and that this would place some the sport’s traditional races under threat.
“We’re going to lose some races for sure, there are some races we can afford to lose without too much problem,â€ Ecclestone told Bloomberg. “I’ve spoken to the countries to see what we can come up with.â€
Last weekend in Sepang, the Englishman revealed that plans for a Grand Prix in New York would be announced in a couple of months, with the circuit located in full view of the city’s skyline.