FIA Formula E Championship’s founder Alejandro Agag says the complex tax system is the prime reason for the all-electric series not venturing in India.
The only Indian team in Formula E, Mahindra Racing, were trying hard to get an Indian race on the calendar which prompted them to have a showrun for the media and eminent personalities when they brought its car to the Buddh International Circuit few years back.
The talk then was to host a race in Delhi – not at the Formula 1 circuit – but the usual street course for the all-electric series. Apart from the capital city, there were other cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad also in the reckoning.
In fact, Mahindra ran a contest for the fans to design a circuit in Delhi. However, the talks died down since then with Agag now blaming the complex tax structure for the no-show of Formula E in the country.
The tax issue is well known after F1 went away from the country with still two years left on its contract. “Our main worry for India is the tax,” Agag told to Press Trust of India. “We have been doing a lot of research on the race in India.
“We have seen that Formula 1 faced so many tax issues in India. It is very risky to race in India because of the tax authorities. They [tax authorities] are very aggressive at the moment. They want to tax everything. So you don’t know where you stand.
“I think that is the reason Formula 1 did not continue in India. We would like to have complete tax safety and then look at going to India. We did explore venues. We would really love to race in India and we have three possibilities – Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
“We have seen areas that will be ideal for the street race. We have a great Indian partner in Mahindra and we have a broadcaster [in Sony Pictures Networks]. The only thing we need is an assurance from the tax people.”