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F-1 back on AP track
January 31, 2004 20:45 IST
The Indian leg of the Formula One race intensified further on Saturday with the Andhra Pradesh Government claiming it was closer to clinching a final deal with F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.
"We are in the forefront and ahead of others," a source in the negotiating team said as the Government upped the ante in the battle for the right to host an F-1 race.
In what was akin to waving itself the chequered flag, the Government disclosed a letter from Ecclestone who wrote he had not contacted any other party in India with regard to hosting a F-1 race.
"This is to confirm that we have not entertained any meetings with any other parties. I will inform you as you know we have kept our side of the agreement," Ecclestone said in a letter faxed to negotiation panel at Hyderabad.
As per the agreement mentioned by Ecclestone, F-1 was bound by a 'lock-in period' clause which prevented it from holding discussions with any party in the country other than the Andhra Government till the completion of the said period, the source said.
This effectively throws out of the window the recent claims of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that his State was negotiating with Ecclestone to host an F-1 race.
"I cannot speak of other governments, but negotiations are on and we are closing in on a final deal," the panel member said.
The negotiating team from the state government had held three rounds of discussions in London with F-1 organisers and would have one more round in February, the source said.
"This round of negotiations will centre around the legal and commercial aspects of the project and we are studying the documents sent by F-1," he said.