Teams could put brakes on Bahrain spectacle
Bernie Ecclestone may rule Formula One with an iron fist, but the spectacle of speed supremo claims it's the teams that have the final say over the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix.
There has been much debate surrounding the running of the April 22 race in the troubled Gulf kingdom, with some teams and senior figures within the sport calling for it to be postponed or cancelled altogether.
Last year’s GP was suspended in the wake of anti-government protests that resulted in a number of deaths prior to it being cancelled completely, although Ecclestone has maintained there are commercial reasons as to why teams should still take part.
However, the 81-year-old seemed to revise his opinion after learning of the latest outbreak of violence in the troubled Arab state, which saw seven policemen injured in a bomb attack.
“We’ve no way we can force people to go there,” he said. “We can’t say ‘you’ve got to go’ - although they would be in breach of their agreement with us if they didn’t go - but it doesn’t help.
“Commercially they have to go, but whether they decide to or not is up to them,” Ecclestone added. “I’ve had no one say anything other than ‘we’re going to be racing in Bahrain’.”
Although he was unaware of the details of the bomb blast that occurred in a village outside the capital Manama, Ecclestone insisted the race at Sakhir Circuit was still on.
“Yes [it’s going ahead]. If the people in Bahrain are happy that they can run the event,” he said. “We’re not involved in any of the politics in Bahrain, over who is right or wrong.”
He also added: “I want to make clear it’s nothing to do with finance.”