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Ecclestone 'happy' to keep Bahrain, Turkey

Bernie Ecclestone has said that he'd welcome both Turkey and Bahrain on future F1 schedules, if current issues with both events could be worked out.
Bernie Ecclestone has said that he would be happy to include both Bahrain and Turkey on future F1 calendars - provided that the problems surrounding each event can be sorted out.

The two venues have wildly differing issues to contend with, with Bahrain needing to quell a public uprising that threatens to escalate into violence at every turn and Turkey needing the sort of money that the Gulf kingdom possesses just to ensure that its race remains on the calendar.

Bahrain was due to have kicked off the 2011 campaign but, with protests taking place even as the preceding GP2 Asia Series attempted to resume, the decision was taken on both safety and humanitarian grounds to abandon the F1 weekend. Since then, there have been calls supporting both sides of the argument for reinstatement, and Bahrain has said that it would like to rejoin the schedule this year, but Ecclestone remains intent of seeing how the situation pans out, even to the extent of giving race organisers an extended deadline to confirm a return.

"If they are happy to have the race, I am sure we are happy to be there, but we would need a guarantee that there won't be problems," he told the official F1 website, "Right now, I don't know how anybody could guarantee that because it might be peaceful now, but who knows in the future?"

The ongoing saga of whether there will be a 20th round this year - and Bahrain could only conceivably be slipped in around the time of the Abu Dhabi race in November - will naturally have an effect on the teams and drivers as they not only try to plot their way to a title or two, but also on the more costly business of logistics, as Charles Braithwaite of leading law firm Collyer Bristow confirms.

“While many teams, drivers and F1 journalists have commented that the country should be allowed to focus on its people and politics, there is a Twitter campaign to 'bring back the Bahrain GP'," he revealed, "There are obviously commercial reasons as to why the FIA and Bahrain – as well as the various sponsors – would wish to bring the event back into the F1 calendar. What will be interesting is the impact on the other races in the calendar – for example, if the closing race in Brazil is postponed by a week to slot Bahrain into the season, then what is the effect this will have on all those sponsors, teams, drivers and fans who had planned for the race to go ahead on the scheduled date?

“There is obviously a lot for everyone involved in the sport to consider, but a decision will need to be taken quickly. It is clearly unsatisfactory for teams and drivers to have uncertainty as to the number of races in the championship, and therefore the number of potential points available.”

Turkey, meanwhile, is facing the prospect that Sunday's race at Istanbul Park could be the last time F1 visits the shores of the Bosporus, with the government unwilling to meet the cost of hosting the F1 circus as the fee escalator kicks on.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Ecclestone insists that the sport did not want to give up on a fledgling venue - and one with a circuit among the best on the calendar - but insisted that he was unwilling to make concessions just to ensure its survival.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.05.2011- Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
08.05.2011- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 race winner, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 2nd position and Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia 3rd position
08.05.2011- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
07.05.2011- Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
09.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Niki Lauda (AUT) Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman
09.07.2017- Mark Webber (Aut) and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
09.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Fabiana Flosi (BRA) his wife
07.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
07.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
07.07.2017- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and his wife Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
25.06.2017 - Fabiana Flosi (BRA), Wife of Bernie Ecclestone
25.06.2017 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR)

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