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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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FIA monitoring Bahrain situation as pressure mounts to cancel GP

It’s looking more and more likely that the fourth race of the season will be axed for the second year in a row.

Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

FORMULA ONE CHIEFS have said they are keeping abreast of the situation in Bahrain as pressure mounts to cancel the nation’s F1 Grand Prix.

The Bahrain GP is the fourth race of the season and is scheduled for April 22. However, due to the Middle Eastern kingdom’s response to recent political protests, the FIA is being lobbied to cancel the race for the second year in a row.

No decision has been made yet but the international motor racing federation is keeping an eye on proceedings.

“The FIA is constantly monitoring and evaluating the situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” the FIA said in a statement.

“We are in daily touch with the highest authorities, the main European embassies and of course the local promoters at BIC (Bahrain International Circuit) as well as the international promoter.

“The FIA is the guarantor of the safety at the race event and relies, as it does in every other country, on the local authorities to guarantee security.

“In this respect we have been repeatedly assured by the highest authorities in Bahrain that all security matters are under control.”

Former world champion Damon Hill, who previously supported the return of the Bahrain GP after visiting the country to investigate the situation for the FIA, has begun to rethink his position.

“What we must put above all else is what will be the penalty in terms of human cost if the race goes ahead?” Hill told The Guardian.

“It would be a bad state of affairs, and bad for Formula One, to be seen to be enforcing martial law in order to hold the race.

“That is not what this sport should be about. Looking at it today you’d have to say that the race could be creating more problems than its solving.”

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