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Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Oct 2013   |  6:25 pm GMT  |  42 comments

India’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition on Friday which seeks the cancellation of this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix over a tax dispute.

Campaigner Amit Kumar has accused the race’s promoters Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) of not paying all their taxes for the 2012 race.

Should the race get cancelled, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel would automatically become world champion for the fourth successive year as he currently holds a lead of 90 points over nearest rival Fernando Alonso and there would only be 75 available in the three remaining races.

However, Indian motorsports chief Vicky Chandhok said he was confident the race would take place at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday.

“The race will go on,” said Chandhok, who heads the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). “There’s absolutely no doubt about that.

“This has happened many times before. You’ve had people trying to stop cricket matches…our justice system is pretty strong that no sporting event should be stopped. It’s a civil matter, let it be heard in court as long as it takes and that’s it. No worries.”

Kumar had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2011 arguing Formula 1 was not sport but entertainment and should not be exempted from entertainment taxes.

JPSI spokesman Askari Zaidi: “A PIL was filed earlier also and whatever the court had asked to do, we did.

“The court had asked us to deposit a certain amount (of money), that was deposited. Now if somebody goes to court again, we’d do whatever the court tells us.”

The future of the Indian race, located just outside New Delhi, is uncertain. It has already been removed from the calendar for next season and there is scepticism that it will return in 2015 when it is scheduled for an earlier slot in the calendar.

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42 Comments
  1. Fan says:

    James, assuming the race goes on and that RBR wrap up the WDC and WCC in India what is left in the season for them to do? Can they start testing parts for the 2014 car and stay within regulations? I would like to see Daniel move up and take Webber’s seat in the RBR for the last few races to get some practice and also see what he can do in race conditions. Or maybe VET can swich seat with him. That would be fun to watch…

    1. Rayz says:

      Genius… haha, swap Vettel and Ricciardo for a couple of races. That ought to mix it up.

      Two chances of that happening though… slim and none.

      1. Luke says:

        What a great idea (Vettel back to TR that is)!

        Send Webber there too and give Vergne a shot in his car!

        This is the best idea I’ve heard all year!

      2. Rayz says:

        Ah now lets not get carried away… Webber cant even get a win in the most dominant car of the decade.

      3. forestial says:

        Maybe we could have a lucky draw where all drivers get randomly allocated to a different car.

      4. Random 79 says:

        @Rayz

        What have you been watching the last few years, because it’s obviously not F1.

      5. Tealeaf says:

        Now imagine if Seb did go back to STR and got a podium or 2 in he last few races especially in the chaos of Interlagos when it rains, remember it was in 2008 where he mixed it with the big boys at that race and nearly cost Hamilton the title with that 4th place, also what about China 2007? I wouldn’t bet against a podium, also chuck Webber in with Vergne that would prove if this mouthy Vergne was right when he said he could do a better job than Mark and also he could match Seb, I seriously doubt his claims, Mark would eat him alive.

  2. Sebee says:

    India really wants to send F1 a message not to come back ever again.

    It would be so hillarious if it did get cancelled and Vettel would win the WDC because of the cancellation. Right up there with Schumi’s win in the pitlane in Silverstone.

    1. Richard says:

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, but that would be perfect, would save us quite a bit from some pitradio shouting.

      On topic: I wasn’t going to watch anyway, coz the MotoGP championship isn’t done, whereas F1 has been decided since the “new” Pirelli’s came

    2. Simmo says:

      Arguably more spectacular than most of Vettel’s other wins ;)

      If it does not happen then I reckon 2012 would be India’s last race for a while (not just 2.5 years – a lot longer), which would be a shame.

    3. Sid says:

      Not true AT all. Being Indian, I can honestly tell you F1 is of huge interest here. The problem is, being a poorer country, corruption is rampant. People want to make money from every corner. It truly is shameful that those idiots classified F1 as entertainment.

  3. Dai Dactic says:

    ‘Sport’ vs. ‘Entertainment’?

    Depends whether you’re participating or observing.

    However, considering F1’s contrived nature I guess it’s primary classification could be the latter.

    1. forestial says:

      Arguably it is neither under current circumstances.

      “M’lud, I submit that the DRS is clear evidence that this is not a proper sport…”

      1. Matt W says:

        For me it is the lack of efficient, transparent stewarding. The way the sport is currently run resembles WWE (wrestling) rather than a sport!

        WWE coined the phrase, “Sports Entertainment”. For me F1 treads dangerously close to that catagory!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Much like that silly America’s Cup thing where people are actually allowed to move whole sails around in order to go faster.

    2. Spyros says:

      Frank Williams said back in the 90s that F1 is simply a business.

      He drew quite a bit of flak for saying that back then, didn’t he? Now it’s two decades later and we all agree.

      I hear rallycross is great fun, by the way.

  4. Mr_Peabody says:

    Yet another example of why India will never rule the world. Always like crabs in a boiling pot pulling each other back in.

    Also, I think it would be rather ironic if this uneventful season was decided by a non-event.

  5. Phil Too says:

    RBR is behind this to screw Mark Webber out of another win!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yes I can see it now:

      Midnight at the secret underground Red Bull base…

      Marko: So Christian, my boy Vettel is about to win his fourth WDC.

      Horner: I dunno Marko, I think Webber might still have a thing or two to say about it.

      Marko: Yes, but we have operation Shaft in effect. There’s no chance he can do anything now…is there?

      Horner: No, operation Shaft is proceeding as planned. His wheels have “fallen off” twice, his engine has caught fire twice, we’re switching his strategies to keep him away from Vettel, and best of all no-one suspects a thing.

      Marko: Excellent, but still…just between you and me we know he’s a fantastic driver and he might still take a win. There has to be more than we can do!

      Horner: Chillax Marko, we have it under control! I’ve already arranged for his on-board drink supply to be replaced with extra hot chili sauce next race and…

      Marko: I’ve got it! Let’s call India, stir up some trouble, get the race cancelled, and then not only will we sabotage the Webber again we will also guarantee that Vettel wins his fourth WDC!

      Horner: You’re crazy!

      Marko: Mwahaha!!! Victory will be mine!

      1. Phil Too says:

        Bravo!

      2. Jock Ulah says:

        Are you the script writer for Codemasters F1 2014?

        I believe they will be dispensing with the actual racing simulation and using their aptly named EGO engine to focus entirely on the clash of personalities instead.

        Thus accurately mirroring the current state of affairs in the sport itself with regard to its entertainment value.

      3. Random 79 says:

        Give them some credit; I’m not sure that anyone has done an accurate personality physics engine before ;)

  6. Lee says:

    I might launch a petition to cancel any race I consider to be boring. Next years calendar will consist of 3 races.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Those three being?

      1. Lee says:

        The 3 good ones

      2. Random 79 says:

        Your elaboration knows no bounds lol :)

    2. Cos says:

      A big thank you to Lee and Random79 for what is quite possibly the funniest discussion I have read all week!!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Cheers :)

  7. Andrew M says:

    I’m going to assume this is just grandstanding.

    1. Random 79 says:

      This is India. From everything I’ve read it’s clear they never grandstand when it comes to tax.

      1. Andrew M says:

        Well, the race is going ahead, so take that as you will.

  8. Grant H says:

    is the current business model F1 follows actually working – India / korea / turkey / USA to date appear to have all failed to attract significant investment / new sponsors

    1. Jim:) says:

      The model is flawed, it works only by huge debts and borrowing, or wealthy country’s direct government loans or despots like Bahrain

    2. I know says:

      The business model is working for Formula 1. It is not working for a lot of track owners, but that’s their own fault – they should hire proper consultants and follow their advice, instead of indulging in wishful thinking. Building a race track to F1 standards, and use it for only one weekend per year is just not going to work out.

  9. Aneesh says:

    Hearing about this comes as no surprise since its India we’re talking about. Governments change and with corruption rampant, each want their share of the F1 money pie.

    To offer some perspective, Mayawati – the ex Chief Minister who gave the exemption and Akhilesh – the incument CM are bitter rivals. Hence any decisions taken by the former are by default overruled by the latter ( irregardless of whether its good for the country or not ).

    In India, when dealing with the bureaucracy, if you pay up, then questions are seldom asked. If not, you will be called to answer for a thousand questions/laws :)

    This is not to say there are honest men around. However, the ones who make the most noise are usually the ones looking for a quick check.

    On the F1 front, even if the race does take off, the results are fairly clear. Vettel will romp off to his 4th consecutive title and we will be left to wonder if his domination will ever come to an end :) Cheers!

  10. Harshad says:

    Relax everyone, Nothing will happen, race will go on, that person its just looking to stir up some attention for his own personal interest…
    i.e, if he is questioning anything related to 2012, was he in slumbers till this point?
    How does he chose the race weekend, when he could have done this anytime he wanted too!

  11. Koala King says:

    Who cares about India after Sunday. Good riddance – glad motorsport isn’t going the same way as cricket. You know will Force India stop on lap 23 or 25 and retire on lap 42?
    WTF

    1. Sujith says:

      Don’t be so early to count India out. Chances are high it is going to return in 2015.

      Vijay Mallya has wowed to get the government in for support for the event in the future.

      Not sure how he is going to do that. (He’ll probably bribe the politicians)

  12. BRad says:

    Tax? Nobody pays tax in India. You pay bribes not tax!….hell no wonder Bernie did business there.

  13. iceman says:

    Hilarious that this guy wants F1 to pay more tax because it’s too entertaining :)

    I guess that explains why the Indian MotoGP round got cancelled. A typical Moto2 or Moto3 race would have to pay off the national debt.

  14. Sujith says:

    This is India for you…

    “The hearing for the cancellation of the 2013 Indian Grand Prix will be held after the race” :P

    Bureaucracy saved the Indian GP this time around :P

  15. Sujith says:

    3 years, 3 GPs all private events without support from the government in anyway possible. Not to mention grabbing the best race organizer award from the FIA 2 years in a row if I am not mistaken. (Yeah beat Austin to it last year) Not many countries can achieve this…

    They plan is to return in 2015 with government support.

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