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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Mallya bemoans "irrational" Indian taxman for jeopardizing future of Indian F1

Billionaire Indian Formula One team owner Vijay Mallya has slammed his country's "irrational" tax authorities for jeopardising the future of the Indian F1 Grand Prix.

The Force India team principle said that F1 teams have been struggling to cope with the taxes and customs duties demanded by the Indian government of teams and drivers since the first Indian Grand Prix in Delhi in 2011.

“The taxman's logic is that there are 19 races and one race is India, therefore 1/19th of all revenue generated in Formula One is subject to Indian tax.  From a narrow-minded, Indian taxman’s point of thinking maybe that is justifiable, but we need to sit down with them and engage with them and say, ‘Listen, this is not the only country that’s hosting an F1 race. There are other countries that have been hosting F1 races for decades and they don’t make the same demands,” Mallya told ESPN on Tuesday.

His comments come a day after Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi will be axed for 2014 and may return in the first half of 2015.

Mallya said that whilst the Indian taxman's demands were "nothing unusual", the government should engage better with Formula One which would only be beneficial for India in the future.

“The Indian government on one side say they want India to be a modern, vibrant country and wants the global society and global industry and global sport to take notice of India and its potential. 

But the irrational behaviour by the taxman doesn’t support such a mission. So it’s a question of sitting around the table and hammering it out with them.”

“It (the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida) is a fantastic track, the drivers love it, the teams love it.  India is a country with huge potential.

One point three billion people and 50 percent of them are youngsters. There can’t be a better environment for Formula One’s future,” he added.

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