NEW DELHI, Oct 25 (Reuters): This weekend's Formula One Indian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled after the Supreme Court deferred hearing a case seeking its cancellation over tax issues until next Friday.
The Supreme Court decided to hear the case after campaigner Amit Kumar accused race promoters Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) of not paying entertainment taxes in full for the 2012 event and demanded the cancellation of Sunday's race.
“The case will come up for hearing on Friday,” Kumar's lawyer Sanjiv Sen told Reuters.
Kumar had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2011 arguing Formula One was not a sport but entertainment and should not be exempted from entertainment taxes.
JPSI spokesman Askari Zaidi dismissed Kumar's claims, saying the promoters had deposited the money they were asked to pay.
The Indian Grand Prix has been dropped from next year's calendar but the promoters are optimistic of a return in 2015.
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus was on Friday fined 400 euros for speeding in the pit lane during the first practice session of the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) at Greater Noida near Delhi.
According to an FIA statement, the Finn breached Article 30.12 of the FIA F1 sporting regulations by exceeding the pit lane speed limit by 3.4kmph. The limit is 80 kmph.
”The competitor (Lotus F1 team) is fined 400 euros,” the statement read.
Defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull set the pace by registering a new lap record in the first practice session.
Vettel made a perfect start to his preparations by pipping his teammate Mark Webber by 0.188 seconds.
Vettel, who won the 2011 and 2012 Indian GPs, recorded his best timing of 1:26.683s in just his second lap of the day.
The German, who has a chance to clinch his fourth world title this weekend, edged past team-mate Webber (1:26.871s), Mercedes' Nico Rosberg (1:26.899s) and Lotus's Romain Grosjean (1:26.990s) to emerge as the quickest on a hazy morning.