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Bernie rules out 2nd GP in India

Greater Noida: Bernie Ecclestone, on Saturday, ruled out any possibility of India hosting a second Grand Prix in near future saying the existing one at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) should first settle down.

Asked whether he was planning to give another Indian city a chance to stage the Formula One race, Ecclestone said: “Not at the moment… India doesn’t require another GP at the moment. Let’s get this established, let’s get this one working properly.”

Earlier, there were talks of India being allowed to host another GP in near future. However, next year’s calendar will have 19 races, a reduction from 20 this season, with New Jersey’s debut postponed to 2014 and Valencia now alternating with Barcelona.

Russia is due to make a first appearance in 2014, with a race following on from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and Mexico and Thailand are among those countries also pushing their cases.

Ecclestone, however, was heaped praise on the Indian GP and described the circuit as one of the best in the world. “Here, they (BIC) are doing a superb job. It is one of the best circuits,” said the Formula One boss adding he was not perturbed by reduced number of ticket sale in the second edition of the Indian GP.

“Such things happen everywhere... In the first year, you get a lot people and there is always a dip in the second year and it picks up again,” he said.

Ecclestone did not agree with the suggestion that the presence of Force India boss Vijay Mallya could be an embarrassment for the sport and said the Force India boss had done a great job. “I think what Mallya had done for India is superb; everyone should support him… His company has run into some difficulties as has many other companies because we are going through a recession,” he said.

Bernie, however, felt it would be a good idea to have an Indian driver for Force India. “I think Narain should be driving for Force India. I will talk to Vijay (Mallya) and see what he says,” said Ecclestone.

Ecclestone, who does not generally stay back at the venues to watch the races, said he would the Sunday action at the BIC. “I am going to stay till Sunday because I like India… It suits me here. Last year, too, I stayed here till the end.”