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Concerns still linger over first Indian GP

A month before the inaugural race date, uncertainty still persists about the readiness of India’s new Buddh circuit.

The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council said in Singapore that the organisers and Bernie Ecclestone are giving “positive” briefings about the Delhi venue.

“We’re very happy, they’re doing a good job,” the F1 chief executive told the AP news agency on Saturday.

But some recent photos in the media told a different story, even though Team Lotus reserve driver Karun Chandhok is the most recent visitor to the circuit.

He said on Twitter: “FIA happy, FOM happy and the track will be ready in time”.

Now, French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet has entered the fray with some information.

“Regarding India, there are two versions,” he wrote in his Auto Plus column.  “There are members of some big teams who were sent out there who say that nothing is really ready.”

Indeed, during his visit to Bangalore this week, Lewis Hamilton was asked if he has driven the Buddh layout in the McLaren simulator.

“We haven’t put it on the simulator as there has been some trouble in getting into the venue,” local reports quote the Briton as saying.

Moncet continues: “On the other hand, the specialists of (F1 barrier company) Tecpro assure me that the track itself is ready but as they haven’t visited any buildings or seen the infrastructure they could not comment.”

Another potential problem is the recently reported tax issue, despite race organisers Jaypee promising to pay the customs duties on the F1 freight.

Moncet explained: “The Indian government does not want to hear about a tax exemption and still intends to levy a tax on the wages of the drivers and the money that will be shared between the teams.

“As of now, the discussions have failed,” he claimed.