Bahrain gives up on 2011 race

Bahrain Grand Prix organisers have now given up on their hopes of holding a Formula 1 race this year, leaving the way open for India to have its October 30 date reinstated

Bahrain gives up on 2011 race

After a dramatic six days since last Friday's decision by the FIA to slot the Bahrain GP back in the calendar and push India to December 11, chiefs at the Sakhir circuit acknowledged on Thursday night that the race was now definitely off.

Earlier in the day FIA president Jean Todt said he had asked Bernie Ecclestone to resubmit a calendar in the wake of complaints from teams about the logistical problems of racing in Bahrain and extending the season into December.

With that decision leaving the way open for Ecclestone to remove Bahrain from the calendar, chiefs from the Gulf island state acknowledged that there was no chance of the race taking place this year.

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani said that, with teams unhappy about the calendar reshuffle, there was little point in pushing for an event that would lead to problems for F1's competitors.

"Whilst Bahrain would have been delighted to see the grand prix progress on October 30th in-line with the World Motor Sport Council's decision, it has been made clear that this fixture cannot progress and we fully respect that decision," he said in a statement.

"Bahrain has always sought to play a positive role in the continued development of Formula 1, from pioneering F1 racing in the Middle East, to helping other countries in facilitating their own races in new territories, as well as providing our own unique experience and universal welcome to grand prix supporters."

He added: "Bahrain has absolutely no desire to see a race which would further extend the calendar season [and] detract from the enjoyment of F1 for either drivers, teams or supporters. We want our role in Formula 1 to continue to be as positive and constructive as it has always been, therefore, in the best interest of the sport, we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season.

"We look forward to welcoming teams, their drivers and supporters back to Bahrain next year and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our supporters, including staff, volunteers, sponsors, private businesses and the general public, for whom I know this year's decision will be a disappointment.

"We would also especially like to thank the FIA, FOM, the Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) and the teams for all support and understanding they have extended to us at this time."

It is not clear when the official revisions to the calendar will now be made, but with India set to be return to its October 30 date, the 2011 season will now finish in Brazil on November 27.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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