F1 to decide next week on prix
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he will decide next
week whether the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead, amid reports Friday
that teams were set to debate whether to boycott the race over the
violent unrest in the country.
F1 teams were expected to meet in the next 24 hours with the
ongoing trouble in the Bahraini capital Manama casting doubt over
the viability of the season-opening race.
At least three people were reportedly killed and hundreds
injured when police stormed a camp of demonstrators Wednesday
The new wave of violence, which followed two deaths earlier in
the week, led to the cancellation of this weekend’s GP2 Asia Series
event at the circuit in Sakhir, situated less than 12.5 miles
southwest of Manama.
F1 preseason testing is set to take place at the circuit from
March 3 to 6 ahead of the season-opening race from March 11 to 13,
but those dates now also have question marks over them.
“It’s not good, is it? We’ll have to keep our eye on things and
make a decision quickly,” said Ecclestone, who confirmed he made
contact with Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa al Khalifa on
“He doesn’t know any more than you or I, but they’re monitoring
exactly what is going on. Next week we will make a decision on what
we are going to do,” he said.
The decision on whether the race can go ahead rests with
Ecclestone, the president of motor racing’s governing body the FIA,
Jean Todt, race organizers in Bahrain and the prince.
Todt earlier called for cool heads, but the new developments,
including the calling off of the GP2 Asia race, complicated the
“As you can imagine we are monitoring events extremely closely
— every five minutes,” an FIA spokesman said. “The president
is looking at the matter closely, and when there is something to
announce we will let everybody know.”