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F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone calm over Delhi race

Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone is confident next year's race will go ahead

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he has "no worries" regarding next year's Indian Grand Prix in Delhi.

Delhi's troubled hosting of the Commonwealth Games has been in the spotlight in the past few days.

The first Indian GP is due to take place in Greater Noida on the outskirts of Delhi on 30 October 2011, and there are fears the venue will not be ready.

When asked if he was concerned about progress at the site, Ecclestone replied: "I have no worries at all."

Earlier this week, 23 people were injured after a footbridge to the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Delhi collapsed, while part of a ceiling at a weightlifting sports venue also fell in.

I must confess I was surprised by how much there is still to do

Jake Humphrey
BBC F1 presenter after visiting Delhi track this week

Concerns over safety and security have also been aired, notably after two Taiwanese tourists were injured when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a coach in Delhi.

The condition of the facilities in the athletes' village has also been heavily criticised ahead of the event which begins on 3 October.

But Ecclestone says the problems facing the Commonwealth Games organisers are completely unrelated to F1.

"It's a different organisation altogether," Ecclestone added at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore.

When it was put to Ecclestone the Games organisers were making a shambles of their event, he replied: "The people who, as you say, are making a shambles, are not the people who are dealing with us for the race."

Vicky Chandhok - the father of F1 racer Karun - is heavily involved in the organisation of the Delhi F1 race.

606: DEBATE

He told BBC Sport at the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago that the building work at the track was on schedule and he had no doubts it would be ready in time for the inaugural race, which is scheduled to take place on 30 October 2011.

BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey visited the track with Karun Chandhok this week on his way to the Singapore Grand Prix.

He said: "I must confess I was surprised by how much there is still to do.

"At the moment, Turn One leads into a lake as the track drops away. I'm sure that will be gone by the time 2011 arrives though!

"We were in a heavy-duty vehicle with an F1 driver at the wheel but still got stuck in the mud as there has been so much rain in Delhi recently.

"The pit buildings are starting to appear out of the ground; the first two garages are already built but far from finished.

"As things stand the track is wet, sloppy gravel in the general shape of an F1 circuit.

"The developers certainly seem confident that it will be ready on time and they have the luxury of seeing where Bahrain, Korea and Abu Dhabi were at the same stage in their development.

"Perhaps the problems for the Commonwealth Games will make the circuit organisers even more determined to be ready well in advance, but it won't be easy."



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see also
Photographs expose Delhi concerns
23 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
India agree deal on Grand Prix
14 Jun 07 |  Formula 1
Commonwealth Games: Indian reaction
28 Sep 10 |  South Asia


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