F1 boss won't force teams to race Bahrain
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he cannot "force" teams to race in Bahrain at the end of the month, following political unrest in the kingdom state.
Teams were understood to have drawn up plans to abandon the 2012 grand prix amid fears that security in Bahrain will deteriorate further.
Last year's race, which was scheduled to open the 2011 season, was abandoned after lives were lost in the anti-government demonstrations that swept across the Gulf state.
Teams fearing a return of bloody violence this month reportedly issued return tickets back to Europe to engineers, mechanics and catering staff working at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, along with a ticket to Bahrain should the race go ahead.
Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One, warned teams against such a boycott but accepted that he was effectively powerless to prevent it.
"We've no way we can force people to go there," Ecclestone said. "We can't say 'you've got to go' -- although they would be in breach of their agreement with us if they didn't go -- but it doesn't help."
He added, "Commercially, they have to go, but whether they decide to or not is up to them."