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Motor Racing

Bahrain given deadline to confirm Grand Prix

The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix have been given until May 1 to confirm whether they will be able to stage a race this year.

The announcement comes following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris today during which the civil unrest in the Gulf kingdom was discussed.

The race, that was due to take place this weekend, was cancelled a fortnight ago in the wake of anti-government protests that resulted in the deaths of six people.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone last week suggested if peace returned to Bahrain he would find a way of rescheduling the race.

Ecclestone had hoped a decision would be made today, but instead the WMSC has placed the onus on Bahrain to determine whether it will be possible for the race to go ahead at a later date.

A statement from the WMSC read: "The World Motor Sport Council (has) asked the Bahrain Motor Federation to communicate by May 1st at the latest if the Bahrain Grand Prix can be organised in 2011."

If the organisers believe there is a possibility, Ecclestone will likely seek to squeeze the event into an already-tight calendar at the end of the year.

The likelihood is the race will take place after the grand prix on November 13 in near neighbours Abu Dhabi and before the season-ending showdown in Brazil.

It would then remain to be seen whether the year would culminate with a brutal schedule of three back-to-back races or whether Brazil would switch to December 4.