Todt happy to give Bahrain more time
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, May 8th 2011, 10:54 GMT|
The FIA has done the right thing in giving Bahrain officials another month to indicate if they are in a position to hold the race, says its president Jean Todt.
Following the postponement of the season opener this year because of political turmoil in the Gulf State, the FIA had originally given Bahrain chiefs until May 1 to state if they were in a position for the race to be rescheduled this year.
The FIA was informed that Bahrain needed another month to give a definitive answer, and Todt says it was only right that a deadline extension was granted.
"We completely sympathise with the problems that are happening, and we all understand that it would not have been possible to keep the grand prix as the first race of the championship," explained Todt in Turkey on Sunday.
"So, talking with Bernie and talking with the government and the organisers of the Bahrain GP, we agreed at the World Council to give the limit until the May 1.
"Fortunately things have improved, but they were not in a position to commit definitely - and I had a discussion with Bernie, with the government, with the ASN, and they asked us if we would accept one more month, which means until the next World Council on June 3, which I accepted.
"I think if you are in a difficult situation, you need support. That is our responsibility. We need to give some support and it will penalise nobody to have a final answer by June 3."
When asked if he felt it right that F1 could return to a country that is still generating newspaper headlines because of the political troubles, Todt said: "Have you been to Bahrain in the last week? I have not been either, so I don't have the information.
"I have information that in Bahrain fortunately it is peaceful. But I think we need to have a report by early June of the situation in Bahrain, and then from there we will be able to monitor the situation.
"I don't think we could get involved in what is normal, what is not normal. Let's hope there is more peace in our world and we can enjoy the sport."
Bahrain Grand Prix chiefs told AUTOSPORT in Turkey that they were 'ready' for F1 to return this year.