F1 in discussions with YEIDA on potential return of the Indian GP

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The Indian Grand Prix could return to the Formula One calendar in the coming years. With a record 24-race schedule locked in for next year already, 2025 would be the earliest opportunity for the race to return. However, that seems unlikely at present.

2026 is likely to be the first opportunity for something to happen if an agreement can be reached.

According to The Times Of India, Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority CEO Arun Vir Singh has confirmed that they are in discussions with F1 as they attempt to strike a deal.

F1 first raced in India in 2011 but only held three races at the Buddh International Circuit before it dropped off the calendar.

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel won all three races, including sealing his fourth and final Drivers’ World Championship at the venue in 2013. It led to an iconic celebration on the main straight, and the tyre marks are still visible today.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Former F1 supremo Ecclestone initially stated in July 2013 they wouldn’t return in 2014 because of issues that needed solving.

“There are issues that need to be sorted out in your country. I hope the organisers are able to deal with it at the earliest.”

However, in March of 2014, he confirmed they wouldn’t go back the following year either.

“At the moment, India won’t be on for next year for sure. Probably 2016, they’re gradually getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance.”

It turned out to be a tax dispute with the Uttar Pradesh government. That led to the demise of the race.

There is momentum gathering for the Buddh International Circuit as they held MotoGP/2/3 last weekend. Spain’s Jorge Martin won the MotoGP sprint, with the main race honours going to Italian Marco Bezzecchi.

The venue had barely seen any running on it since it fell off the F1 calendar. With the MotoGP riders enjoying the technical challenge of the circuit on their inaugural visit, you can be sure it has given energy to the owners of the venue to try and get F1 back.

With a population of over a billion people, India is a market F1 should be looking to get into on a consistent basis, as current FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem stated himself.

“There’s more that can be done in India, including a return of F1. India is important not because I am here, not because I am the president, India and China both have the manufacturers, both have the numbers. We have not scratched the surface yet. We are talking about 2.8 billion people in these two countries and we have less than 8000 competitive licenses.”

With a great track available and one that should make the Grade 1 criteria, time will tell if F1 heads back to the Buddh International Circuit after a long hiatus.