The FIA has backed the decision taken by authorities in Bahrain to cancel the opening event of the 2011 season.

After days of speculation and rumours, it was finally confirmed on Monday afternoon that the Bahrain International Circuit was withdrawing the event from its place as the season-opener due to the ongoing political situation in the Gulf state.

As a result, the 2011 season will start in Australia on 27 March, with the planned Bahrain test having been rescheduled for 8-11 March in Barcelona.

The FIA insisted it backed the decision not to run the Bahrain race and hinted further that the event could occur at a later day when it referred to the decision to postpone the Grand Prix.

It remains to be seen however if an alternative date can be found later in the year to slot Bahrain in, assuming that the situation improves enough to ensure the race could go ahead then.

"The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile supports the decision of the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit to postpone the scheduled first Grand Prix of the 2011 season due to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on March 11-13," a statement from the governing body read. "This decision is the outcome of the close co-operation between the FIA, Formula One Management, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit.

"The FIA is Formula One's governing body and is responsible for the international calendar as well as all matters of safety relating to the stakeholders involved in Grand Prix racing."

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