Motor racing-Ecclestone to let Bahrain decide fate of F1 race
"He will decide whether it's safe for us to be there," Ecclestone tells the BBC
February 20, 2011 3:10 by Reuters
Bahrain’s Crown Prince will decide whether the country’s season-opening Formula One Grand Prix can take place next month, the sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Sunday.
Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, who is also deputy supreme commander of Bahrain’s armed forces, is leading a national dialogue after days of unrest in the Gulf kingdom left six dead.
“He will decide whether it’s safe for us to be there,” Ecclestone told the BBC. “I’ve no idea. I’m not there, so I don’t know.
“We won’t advise people to go unless it’s safe,” added the 80-year-old Briton.
Ecclestone said a decision on the March 13 race was likely to be made on Tuesday. The grand prix could also be moved to a later date rather than being cancelled outright.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose team are the world champions, said on Friday the teams trusted Ecclestone to make the right call.
“It would be a great shame to lose the race but it’s not the teams’ decision — it’s down to the promoter. Bernie and the FIA (International Automobile Federation) will have much more information than us and we will trust their decisions,” said Horner.
The 12 teams are due to take part in four days of testing in Bahrain from March 3, which makes an early decision essential.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email [email protected])