Ecclestone insists Bahrain Grand Prix is on unless local authorities withdraw it

Bernie Ecclestone will meet with Formula 1 teams tomorrow to discuss the Bahrain Grand Prix, as the F1 supremo insists the race is on unless it is withdrawn by local authorities

Ecclestone insists Bahrain Grand Prix is on unless local authorities withdraw it

Although Ecclestone insists that the meeting is not related to whether Bahrain should go ahead, it is understood that the question of whether it can will be discussed at length.

"I'm meeting the teams on unrelated matters," Ecclestone told reporters in China today. "There's nothing about Bahrain, or Barcelona or Monaco or anywhere.

"The race is on the calendar. Unless it gets withdrawn by the national sporting authority in the country, we will be there.

"I don't see any difference between here [China] and Bahrain. It's the same. It's another race on the calendar."

FIA president Jean Todt won't attend the meeting because he won't be in China on Friday.

Ecclestone, who confirmed that he plans to attend the race, is confident that safety will not be a problem in Bahrain.

He believes that protesters in Bahrain have not "got anything against" the grand prix itself.

"I don't see why it should be," he said when asked if it is dangerous for team personnel or journalists to go to Bahrain. "I don't think that the people in Bahrain have got anything against F1 team people or journalists.

"Apparently people there are carrying out their business as normal, I'm told. I've not been there. A guy from Lotus went over there to check things out and he said that everything is perfect. It's business as usual."

Ecclestone warned that F1 should not get involved in politics in any of the countries that it visits.

"When we enter a country in the normal way, we don't deal with the religion or the politics," he said. "We will go there. If it was a pop singer, they would be there and they would sing.

"We shouldn't get involved with other people's politics in Formula 1 racing."

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Author Jonathan Noble
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