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'India's F1 GP circuit will be ready in time'

September 09, 2010 17:26 IST

The circuit for next year's Indian Grand Prix will be ready in time and tickets for the first Formula One race in the country will go on sale by the end of this year, an official said on Thursday.

The negative publicity surrounding the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games in Delhi will not prove to be a hindrance either, Mark Hughes, vice-president (operations) of Jaypee Sports International, which is building the track near New Delhi, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"People are a bit sceptical of India's ability to host international events. I genuinely hope that the Commonwealth Games, once it's running, shows that India is able to host international events," Hughes said.

The Games, intended to showcase India's growing financial might, threatens to be a national embarrassment with the organisers fighting corruption charges and struggling to get venues ready with less than a month to go.

"We will not block the media from coming to the venue. We will work closely with them to make sure that the world is aware that we will be ready," Hughes said of the circuit.

The Indian round is due to be the 18th of next year's Formula One championship and will be held on Oct. 30 subject to the facility passing a final inspection by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

Hughes, who was the operations head of the circuit at Sakhir, Bahrain, said the FIA would make an initial inspection in May next year to see how the construction of the track was going.

"What will probably happen is that we will have to do some finishing touches after that and they will come back and that process has to finish by the end of July. We may be a little delayed but we will still get through that process," Hughes said.

The 5.14-km track is being built about 35 km from Delhi with the complex having a seating capacity of between 100,000 to 120,000 people.

"We will have a range of ticket prices as we want to make them affordable. We haven't set the prices yet, but they will go on sale at the end of this year."

Force India chairman Vijay Mallya also said the track would be ready in time.

"From the regular reports I have received, construction is in full progress and the track with considerable supporting infrastructure will be ready well in time for the 2011 event," Mallya said in a statement.

"... this is a dream come true. As an Indian, I feel proud and walk tall amongst the world's motor sports community."

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