Bahrain GP organisers cancel F1 race

Bahrain GP organisers cancelled the first race of the F1 season due to unrest in the country.

Updated: Feb 21, 2011, 23:43 PM IST

London: Bahrain Grand Prix organisers cancelled the March 13 opening race of the Formula One season on Monday due to unrest in the country.

The race could still be rescheduled but organisers said in a statement issued on their behalf that no decision had been taken yet.
"The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) today announced that the Kingdom of Bahrain would withdraw from hosting this year`s F1 Grand Prix race so that the country can focus on its process of national dialogue," they said.

Seven people have been killed and hundreds injured in a crackdown against protesters demanding more say in the Gulf Arab kingdom.

King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has asked his son, the crown prince, to conduct a dialogue with all parties.

"At the present time the country`s entire attention is focused on building a new national dialogue for Bahrain," Prince Salman said.

"Although (F1 supremo) Bernie Ecclestone had graciously made clear that a decision on the race was entirely Bahrain`s to make and was not yet required, we felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of Bahrain`s Formula One race to a later date," he added.

Ecclestone added in the statement that Formula One looked forward to returning soon.

"It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country," he said.

Bureau Report