London: In an U-turn, Formula One chief
Bernie Ecclestone today virtually ruled out the possibility of
Bahrain hosting a race on October 30 as the teams and drivers
are reluctant to travel to the troubled nation, leaving the
prospect of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix taking place in
its scheduled time.
Ecclestone had been in favour of moving the Bahrain race
to October 30 after the season opener had originally been
postponed because of unrest in the country.
Formula One governing body FIA, at a meeting last Friday
in Barcelona, had brought back Bahrain GP in the 2011 calendar
by allotting a date on October 30 and moved the Indian GP,
originally scheduled for that date, back until December.
That move was condemned by teams and drivers and also by
human rights organisations, who were unhappy with claims by
the sport's governing body, FIA, that normalcy has returned in
Ecclestone agreed that the Bahrain race cannot be held
after 11 of the 12 Formula One teams voiced objections because
the civil unrest was continuing in the Gulf country.
"Hopefully there'll be peace and quiet and we can return
in the future, but of course it's not on," Ecclestone told BBC
"The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement
of the participants - they're the facts."
Former FIA president Max Mosley had led the chorus of
objections to the controversial Bahrain GP taking place this
Mosley was supported by the F1 teams and drivers, many
stating that they do not wish the race to happen while human
rights are still being flouted in the Gulf kingdom.
First Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2011, 21:16