Bahrain 'very happy' with delayed GP date deadline

By on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mar.9 (GMM) The boss of Bahrain's F1 circuit has admitted relief about an extended deadline for the rescheduling of the 2011 race.

Bernie Ecclestone said recently that he and FIA president Jean Todt agree that if the postponed event is to be rescheduled this season, the new date must be firmed by the time of the opening Australian grand prix late this month.

The only way for that to be formalised by Melbourne would have been a decision of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Tuesday.

Instead, the FIA body announced that Bahrain now has until 1 May for a new date to be arranged.

"I am very happy that we have been given more time by the FIA to accomplish our national goals, so that we may hopefully stage our grand prix later this year," circuit boss Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa told the Gulf Daily News.

"When things get better, we will do what we can to be back on the race calendar," he added, referring to the political situation in Bahrain.

"While it is important for us to have our race, our complete concentration right now must be on a national dialogue."

The Bahrain Motor Federation could not be reached for comment, but it is believed some of their officials were in Paris on Tuesday.

Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary wrote on Tuesday that the delayed rescheduling deadline "will do nothing to alter the perception that the whole affair has been handled messily".

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