F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that a decision will be made next week with regard to whether or not to cancel the F1 2011 season opener in Bahrain, scheduled for March 13.
The viability of the event has come into question in light of civil unrest, with four people having been killed and several hundred injured in clashes between protesters and government security forces. The GP2 Asia Series event at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend was scratched from the calendar in the interests of safety on Thursday [see separate story – click here
Speaking to Reuters
, Ecclestone conceded that currently he is not especially optimistic.
“We'll make a decision by Tuesday or Wednesday,” he stated. “If things stay as they are today, the answer is no. If it's not quietened down by Wednesday, I think we will have to cancel probably. If you are making travel arrangements, I'd say don't.”
Earlier this week Ecclestone said that with the grand prix now less than four weeks away and a prior four-day group test planned at Sakhir for the beginning of March, 'the danger is obvious' [see separate story – click here
Following that the organisers put out a statement to try quell fears that attendees will be putting themselves at any risk, although despite those assurances, the GP2 Asia Series event was still canned.
The BIC reiterated last night though, that they haven't given up hope of holding the event: "Our focus at the present time remains on delivering another successful event," said circuit CEO Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"We continue to monitor the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities. Our priority at this time is ensuring the well-being of everyone associated with this event, and we will respond appropriately to any further developments."