Formula E wary of racing in India due to aggressive tax laws says Alejandro Agag
Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag has ruled out the possibility of the all-electric single seater series racing in India, with the country's aggressive tax regulations preventing a race from taking place.
Since Formula E's inception in 2014, the championship has had a consistent Indian presence on the grid in the form of front-running team Mahindra Racing, however, despite this, holding a race in the country has been ruled out although three potential host cities for an event have been identified.
The concerns that forced Formula E to rule out an Indian-leg of the championship were similar to Formula 1's reasoning being its withdrawal from racing in India, with local tax regulations and rising event costs meaning that the series only raced at the Buddh International Circuit for three seasons.
“Our main worry for India is the tax," Agag told the Press Trust of India news agency.
"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 [the 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 One did not continue in India. We would like to have complete tax safety and then look at going to India.”
Aiming to race in India before Formula E's 2014 launch, Agag admitted that talks where held:
“We did explore venues. We would really love to race in India and we have three possibilities – Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai,2 he said.
“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."
Formula E's fifth season of competition will commence on December 15 with the Ad Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia.