Bahrain pushing to reclaim F1 race in 2011
(GMM) Bahrain is ready to host formula one, the chairman of the island Kingdom's grand prix circuit declared on Tuesday.
It is the eve of the end of martial law in the troubled state, and two days before the FIA meets to discuss the possible rescheduling of its 2011 season opener that was cancelled in March due to political violence.
Zayed Rashid Alzayani, chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, told the Associated press the Sakhir track is ready to "host the race today".
"We feel we are in position to have that event back," he said.
The decision will be taken on Friday by the World Motor Sport Council, when the FIA body meets in Barcelona.
Within F1, there are several arguments against the Bahrain rescheduling, including the proposed mid December date, human rights, and the fact that many Bahrain circuit officials are currently detained.
"They weren't detained because they were Shiite but because they had cases against them," confirmed Alzayani. "Some have been released. Some are still under dentition."
Some of the teams are not happy that team members' end-of-season holidays may be shortened, but F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is thought very keen to accommodate Bahrain, who otherwise would not have to pay their 2011 race fee.
"If there's peace there and they're happy, we're happy to compromise and make things happen for them," the 80-year-old Briton told CNN in an interview this week.
He denied the teams are unhappy, despite Mercedes chief Ross Brawn saying on Tuesday the new December date for the end of the season is "totally unacceptable".
"I think the teams are happy," said Ecclestone.