Bahrain paid for cancelled race, says Ecclestone

London: Bahrain has paid the hosting fee for this year`s Formula One grand prix even though the race was cancelled, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying on Monday.

"I don`t think turnover will be down this year," the 80-year-old Briton told the Independent newspaper when asked about the sport`s 2011 balance sheet.

"I think it will be flat because we were paid for Bahrain. I said we will give them the money back and they said `Don`t bother`."

The hosting fee for this year had been estimated by various sources at around $40 million (25 million pounds).

Ecclestone had said in February that he had waived the rights fees after the season-opening race was called off due to violent civil unrest.

Bureau Report

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