Vijay Mallya will represent India at FIA despite being in dock over debts, money laundering
'We nominate representatives to FIA for a three-year term. We can only nominate new names once the current cycle gets over in 2018. If we replace Mallya now, we lose our seat on the World Motor Sport Council,' said FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim.
Vijay Mallya remains India's top representative in world motorsport body Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) at a time when he is facing extradition to India over unpaid debts and money laundering.
While Indian motorsport body Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI) removed Mallya as its honorary chairman as a result of the mounting troubles of the Indian businessman, it says it will continue with the status quo as far as its representation at the FIA is concerned.
However, ever since Mallya's passport has been revoked, deputy titular head Vicky Chandhok travels to FIA's conferences including the important Wold Motor Sport Council meeting.
The FIA is the world governing body for four-wheel racing and FIM for two-wheel racing.
"We nominate representatives to FIA for a three-year term. We can only nominate new names once the current cycle gets over in 2018. If we replace Mallya or even Vicky for that matter now, we lose our seat on the World Motor Sport Council, which is not good for Indian motorsport," FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim told PTI.
"To add to that, having both Vijay and Vicky in FIA benefits. They both are well connected in the FIA," he added.
While Mallya, who is residing in the United Kingdom since March 2016, is having a tough time personally, his Formula One team Force India continue to punch above its weight.
It finished an unprecedented fourth in 2016 and has enjoyed a productive start to 2017 with 53 points from five races.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Australian race, the traditional season curtain-raiser, was called off last year just hours before the first practice session after a McLaren team member tested positive, with drivers scrambling to leave the country.
The campaign had initially been due to start in Chile on 16-17 January but those races have had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Laurent Rossi, director of strategy and business development for Renault, will take over the motor sports unit which will be rebranded Alpine.