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Ecclestone: Bahrain decision will come down to the teams

The F1 supremo says he can’t force anyone to travel to Bahrain, while pressing home the fact that ‘commercially they have to go.’

Image: Press Association images

BERNIE ECCLESTONE SAYS it will ultimately be down to the teams in the Formula One world championship whether or not they will race in Bahrain on Sunday, 22 April.

Unrest has gripped the Gulf state once again in recent weeks.

The 2011 race was cancelled after anti-government protests resulted in several deaths, and the sport’s supremo Ecclestone admitted he could not force individuals to participate, despite commercial commitments.

“We’ve no way we can force people to go there,” he said.

“We can’t say ‘you’ve got to go’ – although they would be in breach of their agreement with us if they didn’t go – but it doesn’t help. Commercially they have to go, but whether they decide to or not is up to them.

“I’ve had no-one say anything other than ‘we’re going to be racing in Bahrain’.”

Ecclestone said that financial concerns will not come into the reckoning if it is felt that the race is too much of a risk. However, he says that it remains on for the moment.

“Yes. If the people in Bahrain are happy that they can run the event,” he said.

“We’re not involved in any of the politics in Bahrain, over who is right or wrong. When you go to somebody’s country you have to respect exactly how they run their country and the laws of that country.

“The National Sporting Authority in that country are the people who can say ‘well, we think we’d prefer not to run the event’.

“The promoter can also say we don’t want it because there is too much risk.

“We’ve an agreement with the FIA that Bahrain is a round of the world championship, and we’ve a contract with the promoters, but I want to make clear it’s nothing to do with finance.”

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