Greater Noida, Oct 24: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has further raised doubts about the future of the Indian Grand Prix, saying the "bureaucratic and logistical hassles" are hampering the progress of Formula 1 in what otherwise is a "very hospitable country".
Jaypee Group yearly pays million as licensing fee to Formula One Management
"The people are nice, the circuit is praised by all but it is really tough to get to India. The paper work (for visa, customs etc.) is a lot more than any other country. It is too much of a hassle for teams," Horner told IANS in the paddock of the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) Thursday.
The Grand Prix, in its third year, has already been dropped from the 2014 calendar and its return in 2015 looks doubtful.
India along with China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. China has been a regular feature on the F1 calendar since the inaugural race in 2004.
"China also faced similar issues but they were sorted out well in time. India needs to do the same before time runs out," said Horner, adding that money could be another issue coming in the way of F1 in India.
The promoters Jaypee Group pay $40 million as licensing fee to Formula One Management every year. The five-year-deal was signed when the exchange rate of a dollar was in 40 rupees bracket, which is now a little more over Rs.60 in comparison to the American currency.
The conversation with Horner soon moved towards Sebastian Vettel, who is set to seal his fourth straight world title Sunday. He needs just a fifth place finish to do so.
"It is never over until its over. There is still work to be done," signed off the Red Bull chief.