Bahrain Grand Prix called off

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Bahrain Grand Prix called off

Post by GD on Mon 21 Feb 2011, 5:17 pm

Bahrain Grand Prix organisers have called off the opening race of the Formula One season due to political unrest in the country.
"The Bahrain International Circuit 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," race organisers said in a statement.
With civil unrest ongoing in the Gulf state, the season-opener at the Sakhir circuit had been in doubt for some time with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone revealing at the weekend that he would leave the final call over whether to run the race to Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"We must focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting to a later date," said the Crown Prince on Monday, after informing Ecclestone of the BIC's decision to withdraw from hosting the event.
“At the present time the country’s entire attention is focused on building a new national dialogue for Bahrain.
"Although Bernie Ecclestone had graciously made clear 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.
“After the events of the past week, our nation’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together; reminding the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united."
The Bahrain Grand Prix had been scheduled for March 13, and the curtain raiser for the 2011 season will now take place at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, on March 27.
Bahrain has featured on the Formula One calendar for the last seven seasons. It is not yet known whether the race will be rescheduled until later in the season, or cancelled entirely.
The final pre-season tests ahead of the 2011 Formula One season will now be held in Barcelona from March 8-11.Reuters / Eurosport


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