F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has reiterated again that the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead next week.
Speculation remains that it might be cancelled due to civil unrest in the Gulf State, although organisers are adamant that it is just 'scaremongering tactics' that have led to questions being raised about whether the race should or should not take place on April 22 [see separate story - HERE
“The race is on the calendar, it's scheduled. The only people that can do anything about it is the national sporting authority in the country that can ask for it to be withdrawn from the calendar,” Ecclestone told reporters ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, the third round in the 2012 F1 calendar.
“Unless it gets withdrawn by the national sporting authority in the country, then we will be there.”
Asked about the meeting that is due to take place today, between him and the teams, Ecclestone added that Bahrain is not on the agenda: “No, I'm meeting the teams on unrelated matters. I'm not meeting them about Bahrain or Barcelona or Monaco or anywhere,” he insisted.
He also added that it is not the sports place to get involved in the politics of any of the countries it visits.
“We enter a country in the normal way, we don't deal with the religion or the politics," he replied when quizzed on questions of human rights abuses. “I shall be there for sure.
"I hope everybody is there. We shouldn't be getting involved with other people's politics.”
As for concerns over safety, Ecclestone doesn't see there being a problem: “I don't think the people in Bahrain have got anything against F1 team people or journalists,” he continued.
“Apparently people are there carrying out their business as normal, I'm told. There's a guy from Lotus who went over to check things and he said it was business as usual. But I don't know, I haven't been there.”