F1 boss wants Bahrain decision 'within weeks'
London, March 1, 2011
Formula One has to make a decision within weeks on the possible rescheduling of the Bahrain Grand Prix and a summer date has not been ruled out, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Tuesday.
Bahrain had been due to host the season-opening race on March 13 but that was shelved after the protests in the Gulf kingdom.
Ecclestone has said he wants to reschedule the race at Sakhir for later in the season if possible. "The FIA (International Automobile Federation) world council will meet at the beginning of March and could look into the situation," he told the official formula1.com website.
"I have already spoken with FIA president Jean Todt about the possibility of finding a new date and we both agreed that a decision has to be made before the season starts."
The new season-opener will be the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 27.
"We don't need an alternative race anywhere in Europe or any other place. We need a race in Bahrain," Ecclestone said when asked whether the only viable alternative would be in Europe for logistical reasons.
"If the Crown Prince is of the opinion that his country is able to host a race we will return to Bahrain. "I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country."
Formula One has a three-week shutdown scheduled for August, the height of the European summer, to give some respite to team employees and allow them to spend time with their families.
With Bahrain back on the schedule, the season would once again have a record 20 races.-Reuters