Team boss hopes Bahrain called off

UPDATE Bernie Ecclestone: “It is business as usual. There are some clashes with police, isolated in villages. Some of these clashes are very small — 10 or 15 people — but it gets blown out of proportion and made to sound as if the whole nation is rising up. Seriously, the press should just be quiet and deal with the facts rather than make up stories."

Here are some facts.

Zayed Al-Zayani: “Whatever story we have tried to put out has always been overshadowed by conflict or political issues in the country, with people getting arrested, killed or injured, or whatever. But the worst is behind us now. There’s a genuine move towards progress, getting the country back on track."

A genuine move towards progress.

Anonymous team principal: “I feel very uncomfortable about going to Bahrain. If I’m brutally frank, the only way they can pull this race off without incident is to have a complete military lock-down there. And I think that would be unacceptable, both for Formula One and for Bahrain. But I don’t see any other way they can do it."

Uncomfortable about going to Bahrain.

The February 14th Youth Coalition, an online organizing body for anti-regime protests, said it would not be able to ensure the safety of Formula 1 participants amid popular anger that would be triggered by the race going ahead. Joe Saward

04/09/12 (GMM) A formula one team boss has admitted he hopes the forthcoming Bahrain grand prix is called off.

The Times newspaper is reporting that every team is devising contingency plans for the possibility that this month's race in the troubled island Kingdom might not go ahead.

"I feel very uncomfortable about going to Bahrain," one team boss, described as a "leading" member of the F1 paddock and with representative views, told the Guardian.

"We're all hoping the FIA calls it off," he admitted.

"It seems to me that while there has been some political progress in Bahrain they're not quite ready. The best thing would be for the race to be postponed until later in the year, or even cancelled."

Ultimately, the decision will be made by the FIA, and a spokesman for the governing body has now admitted it is "constantly monitoring and evaluating the situation" in Bahrain.

Interestingly, the Guardian said FIA president Jean Todt will be in China this weekend. The teams are currently scheduled to travel directly from China to Bahrain for the second leg of a back-to-back double header.

Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, the chief executive of Bahrain's circuit, sounds confident.

"The FIA and Bernie (Ecclestone) have never shown any doubts about our race," he told The National.

"I do see there is fear, but I just wish such people would listen to those who have the information — maybe not us, because we as a circuit are perhaps not perceived as an objective voice, but there are other people who know the region and know the situation and they are saying that this race should go ahead."

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