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FIA insists Bahrain decision is still due on Sunday

Despite Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion of a deadline extension for Bahrain Grand Prix organisers, the FIA has revealed that it still expects a decision about the potential rescheduling of this year's race by Sunday
F1 governing body the FIA has positioned itself at-odds – and not for the first time – with the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, by insisting that contrary to the latter's hint at an extended deadline, a decision on the possibility of re-staging the cancelled 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix is still expected by Sunday.

After the season curtain-raiser was unable to go ahead on 13 March as planned in the wake of a violent civil uprising in the desert kingdom, the FIA gave race organisers until 1 May to determine whether or not they felt the Bahrain Grand Prix could be safely rescheduled later this year should a suitable slot be found on the calendar to accommodate it – most likely in-between the closing rounds in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

However, with an official state-of-emergency still in-force in Bahrain, all-bar essential travel there widely discouraged, no end to the unrest in sight – and 1 May now a mere two days away – Ecclestone yesterday said that 'we need to wait a little bit to see exactly how progress is made', suggesting a new deadline of 'early June or something like that' [see separate story – click here].

There are several schools of thought as to the rationale behind the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive's unanticipated clemency, but the two most viable are that either it is just the latest salvo in his war with FIA President Jean Todt in the guise of an attempt to undermine the Frenchman's authority – or that having vowed to waive Bahrain its $40 million race-hosting fee should the grand prix not be able to take place, he is eager not to lose the money. The governing body certainly seems to have been taken somewhat unawares by Ecclestone's remarks.

“As far as we are concerned, a decision is still due on Sunday,” a spokesman told The Daily Telegraph. “Because it's a weekend, it may be Monday morning that we announce the decision, but we haven't spoken to Mr. Ecclestone about any delay. The decision will be a joint one between the FIA, Formula One Management and the Bahrain authorities.”

Yesterday, tensions were heightened when – following a trial conducted behind closed doors – a military court in Bahrain sentenced four men to death over the killing of two military policemen during the anti-government riots, with three more sentenced to life imprisonment. Thirty people have died since the turmoil began on 14 February.

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08.04.2011- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
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Bahrain F1 fan - Unregistered

April 30, 2011 1:27 PM

California kid + fireball. Bahrain is safe right now. It has been always like that where people keep their house doors unlocked, leave the car running (for the ac to keep the car cool) when they go for a quick purchase. If you want to talk about safety and crimes, its no where close to the UK or USA in the number of crimes and rape commited. Take DC for example, the police cant enter south west for example as its know for its armed gangsters there. Yet in Bahrain guns and ammo is illgal to have :) Look up and get me an article when the last time someone got killed or raped in Bahrain. But in the US and UK its common if not daily, its weekly or even monthly. What happened in Bahrain was a masterplan by Iran to ride the revolution wave moving accross the M.E. and hope the shia over throw the ruling family inorder for iran to spread its influence in the whole region after successfully doing it in Iraq. Their plan after Bahrain cis Kuwait then the eastern Saudi provence.

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