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Indian GP F1 track on course: Bernie

October 20, 2010 21:53 IST

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Wedneday said that the Indian Grand Prix track at Noida was well on course for completion for the next year October 30 race and it would not be a cause of concern like the controversy-marred build-up to the Commonwealth Games.

Ecclestone, who paid a visit to the race track today, said the progress of the construction at the track was even more than what he had thought.

Bernie Ecclestone"I don't want to praise what I have seen today. If the race is going to be held next month I am happy to say that it will be there. So the conditions are very very happy (about the track). I have no fears about the circuit. We can do justice to the Indians," he told journalists at a city hotel.

"Much better than I thought. After the (negative) reports of the build-up to the Commonwealth Games people said be careful but I am so happy about the progress of work. It is going to be much better than many tracks. It is very good and I am very happy.

"It is a very creative track. It will give India a chance to showcase its people. They can use the event in the best way they want," he added. He hoped Formula One will be successful in India but said he would want a regular Indian driver in Force India or a "good team" so that people come out in large numbers to watch the race.

"I think F1 is accepted in India and if an Indian driver in an Indian team or a good team it will be superb. India is one of the most growing countries in the world and a fantastic country. F1 should have been here earlier," he said.

"I don't see why the airport should not be able to tackle the flow of equipment, cars etc. I don't see much problem in traffic also. Only thing left is more hotels coming up in surrounding areas, that will be good," he added.

The Englishman, who turns 80 on October 28, praised Force India owner Vijay Mallya, saying, "It is nice Vijay is supporting Formula One and an Indian team. I want an Indian driver in Vijay's team or in a good team."

"F1 has a strong image worldwide, so we don't need much promotion. But it will be nice to have a regular Indian driver because the Indian public will support an Indian driver. It is the same in every country. People turned up to cheer their own countrymen. We have seen Karun Chandhok in one of the F1 teams. He needs to concentrate on F1," he added.

Asked about the controversy-marred build-up to the Commonwealth Games, he said the media made things worse than it was in reality.

"It was not good as lots of people talk about silly messages. The reports were stupid. People said F1 organisers should be concerned. The opening ceremony I think was much better than Olympics," he said. 

Jaiprakash Gaur, founder of Jaypee Group who are building the track at a cost of USD 400 million, said the Indian Grand Prix on October 30, 2011 will be the 18th leg of the 20-race F1 Championships. 

"The Indian GP will be the 18th leg of the Championships. It was decided by Bernie. The 200km long expressway which is going to be built for the Grand Prix will change the city just like the track at Malaysia had done," he said.

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