London/New Delhi: The inaugural Indian Grand Prix is likely to be restored to its original Oct 28-30 dates with 11 of the 12 Formula One teams reportedly opposing the reinstatement of the Bahrain Grand Prix this season.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said they have to keep in mind the wishes of the teams.
“Hopefully we can return (to Bahrain) in the future, but of course it’s not on (this year),” BBC quoted Ecclestone as saying.
“The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants (teams) — they are the facts.”
It was only last Friday that FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) met in Barcelona and gave a green signal to the Bahrain race in October which was earlier cancelled in March due to anti-government protests.
But the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) wrote a letter to the FIA on Tuesday stating their opposition to the Bahrain race in the current season.
“FOTA — which represents all the F1 teams bar back-of-the-grid Hispania — expressed its objections to Bahrain being rescheduled on logistical grounds, its letter saying that the idea of adding a 20th race in December would be “unbearable to our staff”,” said the BBC report.
The teams have said they do not want to be racing in December, since that would put an intolerable burden on their staff, and are in a strong position to prevent that from happening.
The decision to move India to a December date was also opposed because teams have already booked flights while sponsors have arranged high-profile events around the October race in New Delhi.
Others described the letter as ‘polite but firm’ and made clear the teams did not want to go to Bahrain.
“They say it is not practical to add the race at the end of a long season and asked for the Indian Grand Prix to be moved back to its original date,” it added.
Sources in Jaypee Sports International, the organisers of the Indian Grand Prix, however told IANS that they have not received an official confirmation from the FIA on the race moving to its original date (Oct 28-30).
The source added that FIA did not keep them in the loop even when the Bahrain GP was reinstated Friday, pushing the India race to an unspecified time in December.
The teams are currently gearing up for the Canadian Grand Prix, the seventh race of the season scheduled for this weekend. (Agencies)