Bahrain GP2 Asia race cancelled

GP2 Asia organisers have cancelled this weekend's second round of the series in Bahrain in the wake of the deteriorating political situation in the Gulf state

Bahrain GP2 Asia race cancelled

With a number of deaths having been reported overnight after police forcefully moved in to drive protesters out of their camp in Manama, race organisers felt there was no choice but to call the GP2 race off.

Shortly after it was announced that Thursday's programme had been delayed because medical staff could not be present at the Sakhir circuit as they were needed in Manama, GP2 confirmed that the rest of the weekend's programme was cancelled following a request from the local motorsport federation.

A statement issued by GP2 organisers said: "Following the current events in Bahrain, at the request of the Bahrain Motorsport Federation, it has been decided that the remainder of the meeting which was supposed to take place this week at Bahrain International Circuit is cancelled due to force majeure."

The cancellation of the GP2 Asia Series round adds fresh doubts about the possibility of the looming Formula 1 pre-season test and opening round of the world championship taking place next month.

F1 teams are due to test in Bahrain from March 3-6, with the opening round of the championship currently scheduled to take place on March 13.

Both F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt have so far vowed only to keep a watching brief over events before deciding if the Bahrain Grand Prix can go ahead.

Todt told Irish media on Wednesday that the FIA would not rush into a decision and would wait until this weekend's GP2 Asia event had taken place before deciding on a course of action.

He said: "I always try not to over-react on breaking stories. Number one, you have to check what is the reality - which is not always what you hear - and to react without too much emotion and to face properly the problem.

"There has been some movement in Bahrain. I understand things are improving and we have to wait.

"The next step is the GP2 race this weekend... Of course the essence of the FIA is safety; safety on the racing car, safety on the road, safety in our organisation. So that's what we are claiming, but at the moment there is no reason to have unnecessary concern."

A decision on whether the pre-season Bahrain test goes ahead could well be made on Friday, with sources revealing to AUTOSPORT that teams are due to meet in Barcelona for a scheduled get-together of FOTA's Sporting Working Regulation Group.

AUTOSPORT understands that the Bahrain test will be discussed in the Friday meeting.

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Series FIA F2
Author Jonathan Noble
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