GP2 race cancelled amid Bahrain violence UPDATE (GMM) The prospect of F1's 2011 season opener being cancelled took a big step towards reality on Thursday.
As Bahrain descends into worsening Egypt-inspired violence with anti-government protesters locked in deadly street fights with police, the GP2 Asia race at the Sakhir circuit was called off.
F1's feeder series confirmed in a statement that the event was cancelled "at the request of the Bahrain Motorsport Federation".
With the governing FIA and commercial promoter Bernie Ecclestone admitting concern prior to Thursday's news, the world of formula one is currently scheduled to fly into the Gulf island for pre-race testing in just two weeks.
It is reported that journalists are being stopped from entering the Kingdom on Thursday whilst internet access is limited, but eyewitnesses report worrying accounts of widespread violence, injuries and deaths.
02/17/11 (GMM) The situation in Bahrain has continued to worsen.
With F1 testing and the season opener now looming in the near future, practice for the GP Asia series at the Sakhir circuit near Manama was postponed on Thursday.
The official reason is that medical staff scheduled to be at the track were called to the hospitals as anti-government protesters clash violently with police.
A statement issued by GP2 confirmed that the reason for the 24 hour postponement is "due to the current local events". zzzz
FIA president Jean Todt has been quoted as playing down the situation.
"I always try not to overreact on breaking stories," he told the Irish Independent.
"Of course the essence of the FIA is safety; safety on the racing car, safety on the road, safety in our organization. So that's what we are claiming, but at the moment there is no reason to have unnecessary concern," he said.
CNN reports that it was a particularly violent night in Bahrain, involving clashes with rubber bullets and tear gas and at least three more people killed.