Formula One Teams End Boycott Speculation for Indian Grand Prix

September 15, 2011

Formula One Teams potential boycott of the Indian Grand Prix have been put on hold after race organisers offered to pay the bill for any customs duties and taxes arising from local legislation.

Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren team principal who chairs the Formula One Teams’ Association, expressed concerns over the situation at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend. He told the BBC: “The teams are concerned about the implications of withholding tax in India and being taxed locally. You don’t go somewhere if you’re going to be penalised.”

Jaypee Sports International, the organisers of the race, have offered to cover costs which it estimates will reach around £1 million if customs duty is demanded on the temporary import of Formula One equipment – a possibility, given that the Indian government does not class Formula One as a sport.

Sameer Gaur, the company’s chief executive, in a statement: “JPSI has full support from the government, the sports ministry and the customs department for the F1 event scheduled for October this year. We have an in-principle approval from the customs department for creating a customs bonded area for F1 equipment that will be temporarily imported to India. If required, as per the law of the land, JPSI will pay customs duties and taxes etc. for the temporary import of equipment.”