In a U—turn, Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone today virtually ruled out the possibility of Bahrain hosting a race on October 30 as the teams and drivers are reluctant to travel to the troubled nation, leaving the prospect of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix taking place in its scheduled time.
Ecclestone had been in favour of moving the Bahrain race to October 30 after the season opener had originally been postponed because of unrest in the country.
Formula One governing body FIA, at a meeting last Friday in Barcelona, had brought back Bahrain GP in the 2011 calendar by allotting a date on October 30 and moved the Indian GP, originally scheduled for that date, back until December.
That move was condemned by teams and drivers and also by human rights organisations, who were unhappy with claims by the sport’s governing body, FIA, that normalcy has returned in Bahrain.
Ecclestone agreed that the Bahrain race cannot be held after 11 of the 12 Formula One teams voiced objections because the civil unrest was continuing in the Gulf country.
“Hopefully there’ll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course it’s not on,” Ecclestone told BBC Sport.
“The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants — they’re the facts.”
Former FIA president Max Mosley had led the chorus of objections to the controversial Bahrain GP taking place this year.
Mosley was supported by the F1 teams and drivers, many stating that they do not wish the race to happen while human rights are still being flouted in the Gulf kingdom.
Keywords: Bernie Ecclestone