Postponing The Indian GP Could Be A Win-Win For All

Cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix meant a lot of headaches for the teams, organizers and of course Bernie Ecclestone. Headaches weren’t only in terms of logistics, but also finances.

Most teams would have faced contractual pay cuts from sponsors due to one less GP in the season. Hosts would’ve lost the revenue they would make from advertising, hospitality and ticket sales. Ecclestone, lost hosting fees towards his company, one of their main sources of revenue. Leave aside the loss of TV revenues, travel companies, hotels and restaurants, etc.

The absolute numbers will never be known, so I would prefer to leave them aside. However, I do get a feeling that the inaugural Indian Grand Prix will be postponed. Bahrain organizers do have till 3rd June to confirm the possibility of hosting Formula1 later this year. (Also read: Airtel to sponsor Indian F1 Grand Prix)

So if Bahrain does plan to go ahead and host the F1 race, they need an empty weekend slot to do so. This is where the connection of the Indian GP comes in. Smart move in three ways:

  1. You restore the Bahrain GP on the weekend of the Indian GP. Ecclestone gets his hosting fees; FOM’s loss will be reduced. The organizers (Royal family of Bahrain) will be able to keep their global image intact and of course make money by hosting the GP.
  2. F1 teams will appear in 20 races this season and hopefully there will be no deduction in their sponsorship amounts.
  3. The Indian GP organizers might just see this as a blessing in disguise. While the organizers have reported on-time schedules in terms of infrastructure development, adding 5 weeks will only give them more comfort to deliver the world-class infrastructure that they intend to.

Fans would love to have Bahrain back (more action!?) and have the 2011 F1 season extend till the middle of December. This would mean that the winter break would barely be for 45 days before the teams and drivers would resume action for the 2012 season.

The most disgruntled would be the team members and drivers who would have to travel from Abu Dhabi to Brazil and then back to India for the last round of the 2011 season. Whoever thought that reinstating a GP was an easy task!

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

20 comments On Postponing The Indian GP Could Be A Win-Win For All

  • Now wouldn’t it be awesome to have the F1 2011 Season Finale in India.. Good news & a nice blog.. Keep on writing the good stuff mate.. I love to read your blogs 🙂

  • nice article, now its nt hidden that mostly money has greater impact in F1..
    Bt happy that JPSI is getting extra time to get ready, and the fear by inter’al fans of mess like CWG will have an end, shortened

  • The organizers will get xtra time to develop infrastructure, create parking bays at the airport, erect temporary stands/sponsors marquee/team pit garage, make cosmetic changes on streets lining the circuit and make Greater Noida a tourist destination for 3 days.. adding 5 weeks will give the organizer more comfort to deliver world-class infrastructure that they intend to. but i’m sure, workers will be busy giving the finishing coat and getting the backdrop in place when it’s time to uncork the champagne! That’s India for u! we have five more weeks man! hojaayega!! 😉

  • Yup.even i have a feeling that it will be postponed..they havent even started the ticket sales!!

  • Thats great news for India, adding 5 weeks will give the organizer more comfort to deliver world-class infrastructure.India should not mess up with this sort of opportunity provided by #F1.
    Nice article Kunal.

  • December can get foggy and visibility can drop to 0 in Greater Noida! will it be a factor in finalizing the dates?

  • I have no doubt that the Bahrain Grand Prix will not go ahead this year (I live in Bahrain). In fact I doubt it will ever come back. As to your reference to the King making money, I think it is more for prestige. I imagine it would take decades to recoup the infrastructure developments that are on the whole used for one weekend a year

  • And it may give more coins to my hip pockets and yeah! A more pocket money collection. ;-D

  • Agree with saurav arora.. We will get more time to complete all construction works.. 🙂

  • hi kunal
    good write up as usual.however considering the amount of stress bernie needs to step up and make a tough call. uncertainity is always their in current economy thus giving second chance to bahrain is recommended but not SBI website brawn too stated concern if indian gp is in december the engrs and designers will be too stresses when it should be relaxation time at the end of peak tiring season. also logistcally moving feight from brazil to india wont be easy.( i know that part since have sailed on merchant ships to and fro brazil to china. as per me IGP should happen at its approved date.

  • True!! More time would mean less headache for them 🙂
    Good article!!! Sums up all the points perfectly 🙂

  • Thank you for finally saying something positive about the Bahrain GP! I’m Bahraini and our country is safe contrary to the biased media reports. The GP will help our country reunite and rebuild the billions we have lost because of the current crisis. We need the Bahrain GP because it will help our country and also help the businesses recover from their massive loss because of the past few months.
    To read more on why the Bahrain GP must go on see all the action on twitter supporting the Bahrain GP by searching for #BahrainWantsF1 🙂
    It seems that reinstating the Bahrain GP in place of India will benefit both India and Bahrain, as it will give people more time, and as you said a final race in your first season is quit a success formula! 🙂
    Hope the best happens for both of our GPs! All the best!

  • Congratulation to all. Bahrain will host F1.
    Great .. Bahrain is recovering after the fake revolution.

  • Whatever the case there are going to be a political edge to this saga. FIA has to keep away from politics. It has no business in either trying to restore the kings pride or prove to the world that the country is safe again.
    The decision also shouldn’t be a FIA decision, the FOTA should be involved. The Red Bull team reaction clearly states there are some team’s un happy with this. McLaren have also stated their reservations on racing in Bahrain.
    Amongst all this I really hope money has nothing to do with this what so ever. I think the FIA is better than FIFA but there is more than one thing that point otherwise.
    About the Indian perspective. I think here is where Jaypee where doing very well. Things were on schedule and the race was set for the October weekend. I think it is a chance lost by India after the common wealth games mess up, to prove to the world we can get things done on time. This is however the least important issue.
    Having said this, I really hope for the Formula One fans of Bahrain that the race happens in the future.
    Also one more question why can’t the Bahrain GP be the last race?

    • Congratulations on the Bahrain GP indeed.
      Mahek, well there are mixed reactions to the return and the teams certainly aren’t a happy lot. As for Bahrain GP not being the last race, I think logistically it ‘could’ make sense to have it as the last race, but well, those reasons will never be known to us. Could well be because the Indian GP might be needing bit more time to deliver a world-class event.

  • Well now that it is postponed Metallica just might not come to India and if you are a Metalhead as well you would know that postponing it was bad at least in this aspect.!!!

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