Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, the boss of the Bahrain International Circuit, has welcomed the announcement by the FIA that it will give the Gulf State until the start of May to decide if it can run an F1 event this season.

The planned season opener was cancelled due to the ongoing political unrest in Bahrain while a planned test at the Sakhir circuit was moved back to Europe and is currently taking place at Catalunya instead.

Bernie Ecclestone has been keen to stress that the Bahrain race could still be run at a later date this year if one can be found, with the FIA's World Motor Sport Council saying that it needed a decision by 1 May on whether hosting the event would be possible [See separate story HERE].

Shaikh Salman has now revealed that the Bahrain circuit will do all it can to secure its slot on the calendar and welcomed the move to give the nation more time to ensure the race can take place.

"We at BIC work so hard throughout the year to put on one of the greatest F1 weekends of the world championship; and while it is important for us to have our race, our complete concentration right now must be on a national dialogue," he told the Gulf Daily News.

"I am very happy that we have been given more time by the FIA to accomplish our national goals, so that we may hopefully stage our Grand Prix later this year. When things get better, we will do what we can to be back on the race calendar."