Full speed ahead for Bahrain F1 Grand Prix
London, February 24, 2012
Formula One teams and sponsors have no concerns about racing in Bahrain this year and the Grand Prix is definitely on despite continuing unrest, the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday.
"Nobody is saying we're not going or we don't want to go or anything. Everybody is quite positive," the 81-year-old said after a news conference to announce a technology partnership with India's Tata Communications.
"I've told all the teams it's no problem at all, I'm absolutely 100 per cent sure we'll go there and there will be no problem.
"Pity I'm not going to be there myself but don't worry," he joked, adding after a pause: "No, I shall be there, don't worry."
Tickets for the April 22 race at the Sakhir circuit went on sale last week. Teams have said they are happy to leave any decision to Ecclestone and the Paris-based International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Ecclestone said he had no plans for increased security around Formula One teams in Bahrain, although the local authorities were likely to ensure measures were taken anyway.
Asked about reports of a British man having fingers chopped off in violence marking the anniversary of the unrest, Ecclestone shrugged.
"But you don't know why. There are probably people here that had worse things happen to them. It happened to me actually," said the billionaire, who was mugged in 2010 for his watch near his office in the wealthy Knightsbridge district of central London.