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Ecclestone to let Bahrain judge safety

Bernie EcclestoneBernie Ecclestone says he will let the crown prince of Bahrain decide whether it is safe to the season-opening grand prix to go ahead.

The British Foreign Office has advised against any non-essential travel to the country, and Renault team boss Eric Boullier said yesterday that he was concerned about sending his team to the event.

But Ecclestone today says Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa is in the best position to judge whether Formula 1 can hold a race in safety.

""He will know whether it's safe for us to be there," Ecclestone told the BBC. "I've no idea. I'm not there, so I don't know. Let's hope it'll be all right. We won't advise people to go unless it's safe."

He also ruled out a replacement event taking place at another circuit, stating that there isn't time for a race to be organised elsewhere. But Ecclestone believes the Bahrain race could run later in the year if required.

Ecclestone expects a final decision about the race to be made on Tuesday.

As AUTOSPORT revealed yesterday, moves are afoot to organise an additional test in place of the Bahrain GP if the race is called off, and to find an alternative venue for the scheduled Sakhir test, if that is cancelled as well.

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