2011 Bahrain climbdown still rumbling on

By on Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jun.11 (GMM) The Bahrain rescheduling saga is rumbling on even though the uncertainty about the 2011 calendar has now ended.

Bernie Ecclestone has re-submitted an amended calendar to the FIA featuring India with its usual October date and the troubled island Kingdom missing completely.

But the saga on Friday rolled on, when the Jean Todt-led governing body revealed that F1 chief executive Ecclestone was still pushing for Bahrain to have a rescheduled race mere hours ago.

Despite publicly supporting the teams' refusal to go to Bahrain in December, Ecclestone proposed on Friday "that Bahrain be rescheduled for 4 December", FIA documents showed.

It is probably a face-saving move by F1 authorities to give the impression Bahrain took their own decision to call off the event due to the logistical problems, rather than the appearance it was cancelled due to safety and moral fears.

Ecclestone's new calendar will be voted on by the World Motor Sport Council by fax on Tuesday.

In the paddock, most drivers have refused to weigh in with their moral views, including Fernando Alonso who declined to comment altogether on Friday.

But Mark Webber, vocally opposed on moral grounds, says his views are widespread.

"I'm not a lone voice. There's lots of others," said the Australian.

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