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Ecclestone hopes race to go ahead in 'quiet' Bahrain UPDATE #2 In the last few days and this morning several governments, including UK, Germany etc and at least in Europe, issued a negative travel-advice to Bahrain. This means, amongst others, your travel-insurance is invalid and if anything happens to you, you are on your own ... We can't imagine Bernie wants to risk this for all of his F1 people, i.e. all the teams and their personnel in F1, GP2 Asia and Porsche Super Cup, journalists, sponsors, track marshals, PR and marketing people and in particular spectators and fans etc, etc. ...

Instead of the Bahraini government getting the situation under control, it actually escalates ...

British Foreign Office - We advise against all but essential travel to Bahrain until further notice.

02/18/11 Quiet Bernie?  Bahraini riot police have attacked pro-reform protesters with gunfire and tear gas at a major square and hospital compound in the capital Manama, injuring at least 50 people and sending many more fleeing for safety.

The clashes came as tens of thousands of protesters continued to defy a government ban on demonstrations Friday by flocking to Pearl Square, the symbolic centre of the uprising against the Middle East nation's leaders.

Dozens of injured men, women and children rushed into the hospital, many drenched in blood and with head, chest and abdominal injuries, according to Dr. Ali Ebrahim, the deputy chief of staff at Salmaniya Hospital.

"The hospital resuscitation room was in chaos," Ebrahim told CBC News.

Ebrahim said at least one patient had been injured by a bullet.

The hospital was already being used as a triage centre for victims of an attack by riot police on Thursday of a protest camp in Pearl Square that left five dead and at least 230 injured. In that case, the riot police were believed to have used birdshot rather than bullets.

"Tear gas and some rounds have been fired into that hospital," Martin Chulov of the British newspaper the Guardian told CBC News.

"There has also been very heavy gunfire around the site of the tent cities where protesters were evicted," Chulov said.

"Everybody is trying to assess the fallout from this situation now, but we do believe there are wounded."

02/18/11 (GMM)  Amid widespread sentiment in F1 circles that the 2011 season opener in Bahrain should be cancelled, Bernie Ecclestone on Friday sounded more likely to push ahead with the race.

Only 24 hours ago, the sport's chief executive advised travelers against organizing trips to the troubled island Kingdom for next month's testing and race.

But he told BBC radio on Friday: "Our people there say it's quiet, no problems.

"I'm more hopeful today.  I hope we don't have to do anything.  Let's hope this all blows away," added Ecclestone.

The 80-year-old Britonalso said that if the decision-makers had been armed with Friday's information 24 hours ago, the GP2 Asia race at the Sakhir circuit probably would not have been called off.

However, other figures in F1 were less keen to associate the sport with the violence and turmoil currently going on in Bahrain.

"It's not just about the safety of those involved," Williams' chairman Adam Parr told Reuters, "but being sensitive to what is going on in the country."

And an unnamed senior figure added: "A lot of people would slag us off if we went for supporting a regime that kills its own people."

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