Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that Bahrain could be given more time to regain its place on the 2011 calendar.
That in turn means that we could still have to wait to see if any other races have to be moved to fit it in.
The FIA had given what appeared to be a firm a deadline of May 1 for the Bahraini government to be able to guarantee that the race could go ahead safely.
“We need to wait a little bit to see exactly how progress is made,” Ecclestone told Reuters today. “I suppose we’d be safe by early June or something like that. Things can change in a couple of weeks…so you don’t know. All of a sudden everything might be peaceful in a month’s time and they are happy to run the event and so we are happy to be there.”
Meanwhile Ecclestone was vague about the chances of Turkey remaining on the 2012 calendar after doubts about its financial viability: “I think Turkey is a bloody good circuit. All the facilities there are good, everything is good except we don’t have a big crowd. I would be disappointed if we lose it but we can’t keep subsidising it.
“When our first agreement was made, they subsidised ticket revenue so everyone was expecting a whole bunch of people to be there and if there wasn’t, the government was going to make up for the missing tickets.
“It looks very much like the crowd is going to be much bigger this year, so it means the government’s involvement will be considerably less.”
3 responses to “Ecclestone willing to wait for Bahrain”
Does he keep dragging this on because of some contract language? Thats the only thing that makes sense to me is if Bernie is worried that if he says the race is off he will not get his money.
I am appalled that we are still hearing this debate. Bahrain is a country experiencing major political upheaval and some of the behavior of the govt. towards its citizens has been disgusting to say the least. Bernie’s comments and the FIA’s silence in the run up to the season were shocking, giving a 1 May deadline for re-scheduling was questionable, but to continue to fail to take a stand on the ongoing repression of Bahrain’s citizens is now morally inexcusable. I hope the FIA is more firm or that FOTA or the GPDA find their voices. If F1 goes to Bahrain in 2011 I will not watch even if it is the season finale.
I share the level of disgust at the fact Bernie casually turns the other cheek. I’m appaled anyone in f1 thinks it’s appropriate to consider going there this year.
Proof that money talks.