Ecclestone predicts long life for Indian GP

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The Indian Grand Prix will survive competition and hold its place in the ever-changing Formula 1 calendar, its chief Bernie Ecclestone has asserted.

The race at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida is slated for Oct 25-27, on a calendar comprising 19 races after reports that Nurburgring will host the German GP in July.

For 2014, the new venues are Sochi, Russia and New Jersey, United States while Thailand (Bangkok) and Mexico (Mexico City) are also linked to staging a round.

Amid all these dynamics, Ecclestone feels India's future is secure at the back of two successful editions.

"We see F1 prospering in India. That is exactly why we came here in the first place," Ecclestone told IANS.

The Formula One Management (FOM) has a five-year contract with BIC promoters Jaypee Group and the effervescent 82-year-old sees the event going on beyond 2015.

"I cannot see why it should not, and another five years after that."

On the performance of the organisers so far, Ecclestone said: "Considering the difficult conditions under which they have staged the event, they have done well."

The three-day affair went smoothly in the last two years even though the teams had a tough time getting their equipment cleared from the Indian customs.

The inaugural round saw 90,000 fans turn up at BIC while 65,000 watched the race last year.

"The first time the excitement is always high, second time it goes down. Third year is what is important as there is something to worry if the interest keeps falling. And we have stiff competition from cricket," Ecclestone had said earlier.

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