Williams F1 chairman Adam Parr has backed the decision to cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix, insisting it would have been inappropriate to allow the race to go ahead as planned.
Confirmation that the event would be cancelled finally came on Monday afternoon as a result of the ongoing political unrest in the Gulf state, with the planned pre-season test at the Sakhir circuit being moved to Barcelona next month.
The F1 season will now start in Australia instead at the end of March, and Parr said the decision taken was the correct one both for Bahrain and for F1.
“It is obviously disappointing for everyone involved in the organisation of the event, but it is clear that to race in Bahrain at this time would be inappropriate given the current circumstances,” he said. “It is always Williams' intention to contribute positively to the countries we compete in and so we fully support the Crown Prince's decision to cancel the test and forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix. We now look forward to a season debut in Melbourne and returning to Bahrain when it is right to do so.”
Team boss Eric Boullier insisted that Lotus Renault GP was also fully behind the move to cancel the season-opener.
“The recent situation in Bahrain has been very difficult for the country,” he said. “We feel the decision taken by the Crown Prince is wise and we fully support it. The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been welcomed with enthusiasm from the Bahraini people, and we're looking forward to going back there when they have healed their country.
“We will now amend our logistics accordingly and will get ready for Australia."