Bahrain given extension until June
|By Matt Beer||Monday, May 2nd 2011, 19:29 GMT|
The FIA has given the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers a further month to decide whether it will be possible to hold the race on a new date in 2011.
The event was originally postponed from its planned slot as the season-opener due to the political unrest in the state, but organisers was always hoped that the situation would improve sufficiently for the race to take place later in the year.
The FIA had initially given the Bahrain authorities until yesterday (1 May) to indicate whether the race could be run this year.
But last week Bernie Ecclestone called for Bahrain to be given more time, telling Reuters that "we need to wait a little bit to see exactly how progress is made."
It now seems that the governing body agrees with Eccletone's stance as it has announced a new deadline of 3 June for Bahrain to report back.
"The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, has granted the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit an extension until June 3rd, date of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Barcelona," said an FIA statement.
"This decision was taken after consultation with the relevant Bahraini authorities and Formula One Management, the international promoter."
The Bahrain organisers issued a statement at the weekend saying that they were keen to hold the race as soon as possible, but without committing to whether a 2011 rescheduling would be possible.
Circuit chairman said Zayed Rashid Alzayani: "Clearly our national priority is to find a resolution to the difficulties that the kingdom of Bahrain has experienced. The national situation has moved on in a positive manner, the situation is evolving all the time; our day-to-day life is gradually improving under the current State of National Safety.
"Bahrain's grand prix is a time of celebration and hosting the race is a source of great pride for Bahrain and Bahrainis. It is a showcase to the world and we look forward to welcoming the teams and drivers and everyone involved in Formula 1 back to Bahrain in the very near future."