Bahrain could be rescheduled UPDATE #3 (GMM) All signs point to 'yes' on Friday after the FIA sat in Barcelona to deliberate a new date for the 2011 Bahrain grand prix.
Amid logistical and political concerns up and down the pitlane, a Bahraini government official 'Tweeted' that the World Motor Sport Council is in the process of rubber-stamping a new date for a race this year in the troubled island Kingdom.
"FIA finalizing date now," said Sheikh Fawaz al-Khalifa, head of the information affairs authority.
The news is not yet official but Bernie Ecclestone denied as he arrived in Spain in the morning that the decision will be about the $40 million race fee.
"Nothing to do with money at all. Nothing, in any shape or form," the 80-year-old told Reuters.
06/03/11 ESPN reports this morning that a Bahrain government official has claimed that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been given the go ahead by the World Motor Sports Council. Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohamed Al-khalifa, the President of Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority, said on Twitter "Mabrook, Bahrain will host f1...FIA finalizing date now".
04/13/11 (GMM) Bahrain officials are "stepping up" efforts to see the island Kingdom's formula one race rescheduled in 2011.
Although international media reports say protesters are still at loggerheads with the government, F1 track chief Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said the time is right to begin thinking about a new date for an event this season.
The political situation caused the 2011 season opener at Sakhir to be postponed, and the FIA subsequently imposed a May 1 deadline for a possible rescheduling.
"Now that security has prevailed and normal life has returned to Bahrain, thanks to the wise leadership, we are stepping up contacts to host the race anew," the Sheikh told the Bahrain News Agency. zzzz
03/01/11 Bernie Ecclestone says that the World Motor Sport Council will decide soon on the fate of the 2011 Bahrain GP – and even says that it could even be run in the August summer break.
|Bernie Ecclestone (L) is pulling dissenting team owners chains again|
A race in the break – when F1 factories are closed and mechanics get their only chance for some family time off – is unlikely to go down well with the teams.
It remains to be seen whether he is attempting to wind up the teams, and perhaps his true intention is to find an end-of-season slot. zzzz
Speaking about the rescheduling to the Formula One website, Ecclestone said: “To do that the FIA has to change the calendar, and Bahrain has to apply for a new slot. The FIA World Council will meet at the beginning of March and could look into the situation. I have already spoken with FIA President Jean Todt about the possibility of finding a new date and we both agreed that a decision has to be made before the season starts.
“We don’t need an alternative race anywhere in Europe or any other place. We need a race in Bahrain. If the Crown Prince is of the opinion that his country is able to host a race we will return to Bahrain. I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country.”
Regarding the delay over the decision to cancel (he used that word rather than postponed), Ecclestone said it was in the hands of the Crown Prince.
“Shortly before the crisis I had lunch with the Crown Prince and there was absolutely no indication of what would come just days after. He was full of ideas for the future then shortly after the chain of events set in. There was almost no time to react. Of course we needed a decision by February 21, and that is what I told him.
“He asked what I would do if I were him, and I answered, ‘You are there. We in Europe are hardly in the situation to make a serious judgment of the conditions. Decide what is best for your country’. He then cancelled the race and I think it was the right decision. It was not an easy one, as it was Formula One that put Bahrain on the map. Before 2004 – when Formula One raced there for the first time – not many people knew Bahrain.”
Despite saying that the race must go ahead to “support the country,” Bernie insisted that the sport should stay out of politics.
“Formula One must never be political – full stop. My job is it to do the best deals possible for Formula One – to secure jobs. Five thousand people have jobs which are directly or indirectly connected to Formula One, and I want to secure these jobs. It is not my business to make politics. We have politicians for that.” Adam Cooper