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Ecclestone: Bahrain decision down to teams

10 April 2012

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that F1 teams will have the final say over whether or not the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead.

Further unrest in the Gulf State has led to more questions about whether or not the race should take place this season, with seven policeman being injured in a bomb attack that an interior ministry spokesman said was treated as an 'act of terrorism'.

Speaking to the Press Association following the weekend's incident, Ecclestone insisted that there were commercial reasons why the teams should head to Bahrain for the fourth round of the season but said he wouldn't force people to travel if they didn't want to.

"We've no way we can force people to go there," he said. "We can't say 'you've got to go' - although they would be in breach of their agreement with us if they didn't go - but it doesn't help. Commercially they have to go, but whether they decide to or not is up to them.

"I've had no-one say anything other than 'we're going to be racing in Bahrain'."

Despite those comments however, Ecclestone, who was unaware of the details of the bomb attack, said the race was – as far as he was concerned – still taking place on 22 April.

"Yes. If the people in Bahrain are happy that they can run the event," he said. “We're not involved in any of the politics in Bahrain, over who is right or wrong. When you go to somebody's country you have to respect exactly how they run their country and the laws of that country.

"The National Sporting Authority in that country are the people who can say 'well, we think we'd prefer not to run the event'. The promoter can also say we don't want it because there is too much risk.

"We've an agreement with the FIA that Bahrain is a round of the world championship, and we've a contract with the promoters, but I want to make clear it's nothing to do with finance."

Ecclestone will be present in China this weekend where he is due to speak with FIA president Jean Todt about the situation.


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