Bahrain Grand Prix cancelled

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix will not take place because of anti-government protests in the Gulf state.

The race, due to be staged on 13 March, would have opened the new season but had been in doubt for more than a week because of the civil unrest.

Instead, the news season will begin in Australia on 27 March.
“We must focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting to a later date,” said crown prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifah.
“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 race could still be rescheduled as the FIA, F1’s world governing body, confirmed the postponement in a statement.

“The FIA is responsible for the international calendar as well as all matters of safety relating to the stakeholders involved in Grand Prix racing. We support the decision.”
said in a statement that no decision had been taken yet.

The Bahrain GP has been on the Formula 1 calendar every year since 2004.
“It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country,” F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.
“The hospitality and warmth of the people of Bahrain is a hallmark of the race there, as anyone who has been at a Bahrain Grand Prix will testify. We look forward to being back in Bahrain soon.”

Red Bull driver Mark Webber, has supported the decision to call off the race.
“They [the authorities] know what’s going on, so the right decision is made,” said the Australian, who finished third in last year’s championship.
“I made my decision yesterday which was pretty clear – read the papers. They know what’s going on out there and they’ve made their call so let’s go to Melbourne.
“It would have been nice to go to Bahrain but we have to wait a bit longer to have our first race and that just happens to be my home race. Back to the good old days.”


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