Formula 1 racing, a sport which has a niche-based audience, is on the rise again. Domination of Mercedes and Lewis Hamiton that lasted for 6 years played a major part in subduing its craze, in recent times.
Also not to forget, Netflix’s hit documentary series, Formula 1: Drive To Survive has a number of people talking about the possible drama about the last race of the year. F1 and its fandom are touching new heights this year.
There was a time when India too was on the map of F1 races. Not very long ago, The Buddh International Circuit, located in Greater Noida, known as the satellite town of Delhi NCR, played host to 3 sessions of the Indian Grand Prix. Due to political differences and financial troubles Formula 1 was forced to drop India from the host venue.
Before opening the International Circuit, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, and Bangalore were the prime contenders to host the Indian Grand Prix.
A great amount of discussion took place after it reached the advanced stage in 2007. Gurgoan was selected to be a host of the first edition of the Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2010.
Last-minute changes were made to the plan and the whole event had to be shifted to Greater Noida. The Grand Prix was then held in 2011, and the event turned out to be a massive commercial success.
However, after the first race, a tax dispute arose, this was between the Indian organizers, Jaypee Group, and the State Government.
The UP Government believed that F1 did not fall under the category of sports and it was rather an entertainment event. And according to laws, entertainment events like these were taxed a higher slab of 60%.
The Jaypee Group and the Government’s failed negotiation resulted in the organizers paying 60% in taxes for the next 3 years.
The timing also coincided with a slump in the real estate market of Noida and Greater Noida. Jaypee Group had a great influence in the real estate field, their massive presence led them to a cash crunch due to all the falling prices.
This forced the company to postpone the 4th edition of the Indian Grand Prix to 2015. Things were just going from bad to worse, as the tax dispute remained unsolved in 2015 as well. F1 International decided to call off the agreement with Jaypee Group and bid farewell to India.
The subsequent years saw many business ventures of the Jaypee Group turn south; they even went through bankruptcy proceedings. Their natural instincts kicked in and they changed focus from F1 to survival.
As Indian laws are yet to be amended in such a way that F1 can be considered as a sport and subjected to a lower tax slab, it’s highly unlikely for India to host a Grand Prix in the near future.
Image Sources: Google Images
This post is tagged under: formula 1, racing, India, sport, niche-based, audience, Mercedes, Lewis Hamiton, Netflix, Formula 1: Drive To Survive, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, satellite town, Delhi NCR, host, Indian Grand Prix, political differences, financial troubles, Gurgoan, Jaypee Group, State Government, Indian organizers, State Government, UP Government, entertainment event, real estate, tax, bankruptcy proceedings, Indian laws