Ecclestone says Bahrain race is on

Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:18am EDT
 

By Alan Baldwin

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Next week's Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead unless local officials decide otherwise, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Thursday.

"The race is on the calendar, it's scheduled. The only people that can do anything about it is the national sporting authority in the country that can ask for it to be withdrawn from the calendar," he told Reuters at the Chinese Grand Prix.

"Unless it gets withdrawn by the national sporting authority in the country, then we'll be there."

Local organizers, who had to cancel last year's race at Sakhir due to civil unrest, have been adamant that this year's event is safe to go ahead despite continuing sectarian divisions and street violence in the kingdom as well as threats targeting the grand prix.

They have denounced "scaremongering" and "huge misconceptions" about the situation.

John Yates, the former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police who has been hired to oversee reform of Bahrain's police has also said he felt safer in the Gulf kingdom than he often did in London.

NO CHANGE

Ecclestone, 81, played down reports that he would be discussing the situation with teams and governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) in Shanghai amid pressure on the sport to cancel from rights activists.   Continued...