India to get a second F1 track? Gujarat Government invites proposals
The Government of Gujarat has invited proposals for a feasibility study and master plan for an F1 circuit in GIFT City, Gandhinagar. Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) is a central business district currently under construction on the banks of the Sabarmati river. The city is intended to bolster India’s international economic relations by attracting foreign investment into the country. The tender for an F1 track comes at an opportune moment with both governments and international franchises looking to capitalise on India’s growing motorsport fanbase.
India has a handful of race circuits including the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore and the Madras Motor Race Track, but none of them are equipped to host an event as demanding as an F1 Grand Prix. Currently, the Buddh International Circuit in Uttar Pradesh is the only venue in the country capable of hosting cutting edge motorsport events. The first Indian F1 Grand Prix was held at the BIC in 2011, after which F1 returned to India for two more years. Unfortunately, the Indian Grand Prix was laid to rest in 2014 over a tax dispute with the erstwhile government of Uttar Pradesh. The last international motorsport franchise to come to India was MotoGP Bharat in 2023, also held at Buddh International Circuit.
A second track of equivalent standards would go a long way in making India a staple of the global motorsport calendar. However, construction has not been confirmed and the project is still under the feasibility stage with no budget or prospective date of completion announced yet. Furthermore, the recent complications between Formula E and the Telangana Government under new post-election leadership may threaten India’s motorsport ambitions. The disagreement prevented the Hyderabad E-Prix from going ahead and cost both Formula E and the city of Hyderabad significant potential revenue. Here’s hoping that Western India gets its own F1 track to cater to enthusiasts in this part of the country.