India to host first Formula One race in 2010

India to host first Formula One race in 2010


New Delhi: India will hold its first Formula One race in 2010, the head of the Indian Olympic Association said Monday.

“Formula One’s architects visited New Delhi and saw several sites in the National Capital Region. They did an aerial survey and selected two sites - in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Sohna in Haryana," IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi told reporters.

Both areas are suburbs of New Delhi and it’s been left to India to choose between the two shortlisted venues, he said.

Kalmadi said he met with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone in London last week to discuss the matter in detail. “We are happy to say that the first race has been finalized for 2010 and the final contract to hold it would be for at least 10 years or more," he said. It would be held in the early part of 2010 and would be in March or after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“It would be a minimum of 10 years contract and could also be for longer duration," he said.

Formula One handed India two contracts - one for a race promotion and the other a circuits rights agreement.

New Delhi area does not currently have a motor racing track, but Kalmadi said the IOA, together with the government, would build one. In the past he ruled out a street race.

He confirmed that Vijay Mallya was interested in Formula One and that the Association would like to have good relations with him, involve him as well as the different bodies who are connected with motorsports.

While F1 is not an Olympic event, the IOA is involved as part of its attempt to bring as many major sporting events as possible to New Delhi ahead of the city’s staging of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

With additional inputs from PTI