F1 »

Ecclestone expects F1 back in Bahrain

Bernie Ecclestone and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa have both said they expect to see the F1 circus return to Bahrain next season.
Despite casting unexpected doubts over the potential of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin making it onto the final 2012 F1 world championship schedule [see story here, Bernie Ecclestone expects to see Bahrain retake its place after missing out in 2011.

The sport's ringmaster is admittedly a part of small group that believes Bahrain will be a suitable place to visit in just a matter of months - the race is scheduled for 22 April - but insists that the public uprising and civil unrest that caused the postponement and eventual cancellation of the 2011 event is less of a factor, even though the unpopular governing royal family remains in control.

"We believe there's no problem, it's on the calendar and we are going to be there," Ecclestone told reporters from the paddock in Abu Dhabi, echoing similar sentiments expressed by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, who is visiting the Yas Marina facility with the Briton.

With 30 confirmed deaths as security forces cracked down on the public at the height of the unrest, and scores of unconfirmed disappearances and imprisonments of those thought to have been involved, there remains a significant human rights issue regarding F1's potential return to Bahrain. While the sport's arrival in India a fortnight ago raised eyebrows through the juxtaposition of wealth and poverty, renewing its association with Bahrain could meet with stronger opposition entirely, especially if the teams and their sponsors feel uneasy about performing against such a backdrop.

"There are certainly things that happened in our country that nobody is proud of, but we have an important report coming out on 23 November, and that will really give us a narrative on the truth that we can accept and move on," the Crown Prince commented, "As a force for moderation, sport is a great unifier [and] the race is seen as the prime symbol of moderation in the country.

"Anyone with a moderate agenda, a global agenda, knows that race is what ties Bahrain to the world. Extremists on either side might disagree, but the majority of people, especially those that love their country and want it to be part of the world, support it and they will have my support for that."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.11.2011- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Bahrain International Circuit has added art to its run-off areas for 2009
Sakhir Circuit, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, 13-15th, April, 2007
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)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)
24.06.2017 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) and Flavio Briatore (ITA)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Caroline - Unregistered

November 13, 2011 4:37 PM

Well people don't seem to have a problem with McLaren being owned by the Bahrain government, as the Bahrain government are the largest single owner of McLaren shares with 42% of McLaren Group via its sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, and also 50% of McLaren Automotive, the McLaren road car division.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.