Ecclestone hopes race to go ahead in 'quiet' Bahrain

By on Friday, February 18, 2011

Feb.18 (GMM) Amid widespread sentiment in F1 circles that the 2011 season opener in Bahrain should be cancelled, Bernie Ecclestone on Friday sounded more likely to push ahead with the race.

Only 24 hours ago, the sport's chief executive advised travellers against organising trips to the troubled island Kingdom for next month's testing and race.

But he told BBC radio on Friday: "Our people there say it's quiet, no problems.

"I'm more hopeful today. I hope we don't have to do anything. Let's hope this all blows away," added Ecclestone.

The 80-year-old Briton also said that if the decision-makers had been armed with Friday's information 24 hours ago, the GP2 Asia race at the Sakhir circuit probably would not have been called off.

However, other figures in F1 were less keen to associate the sport with the violence and turmoil currently going on in Bahrain.

"It's not just about the safety of those involved," Williams' chairman Adam Parr told Reuters, "but being sensitive to what is going on in the country."

And an unnamed senior figure added: "A lot of people would slag us off if we went for supporting a regime that kills its own people."

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