Bahrain GP decision 'will be made next week'

Bernie Ecclestone is to wait until after the weekend before deciding on whether to cancel next month's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. The deteriorating political situation in the island kingdom yesterday forced the cancellation of the GP2 Asia Series races scheduled to take place at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.

Given the ongoing unrest, serious question marks now hang over the viability of staging the curtain-raising F1 event, due to take place at the BIC from 11 to 13 March.

A decision on whether it goes ahead rests with Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and the race organisers in Bahrain, as well as Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

Ecclestone, who yesterday confirmed finally speaking with the Crown Prince regarding the prospects for the race, said: "It's not good, is it? We'll have to keep our eye on things and make a decision quickly.

"I spoke to the Crown Prince this morning. He doesn't know any more than you or I, but they're monitoring exactly what is going on. Next week we will make a decision on what we are going to do."

Formula One is due to descend on Bahrain in less than a fortnight's time for the final pre-season test session, scheduled to run from 3-6 March. A decision as to whether that goes ahead could be made as early as today given all the teams are in Barcelona for the penultimate test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Al Khalifa has again reiterated everything will be done to ensure all goes ahead as planned, and as smoothly as possible. The BIC chief executive added: "Our priority at this time is ensuring the well-being of everyone associated with this event."

However, it appears to be a promise that cannot be guaranteed, in particular if the protests continue over the next few days, and into next week.

FIA president Jean Todt, speaking on a visit to Dublin, claimed he was determined to keep a cool head. Todt stated that he always tried "not to overreact on breaking stories," adding there was "no reason for unnecessary concern".

However, the cancellation of the GP2 race has added a further twist, as an FIA spokesman said: "As you can imagine we are monitoring events extremely closely – every five minutes. The president is looking at the matter closely and when there is something to announce we will let everybody know."

The environment in Bahrain is unpleasant, according to members of the GP2 Asia personnel. Team Air Asia driver and Team Lotus reserve Davide Valsecchi said: "My hotel is just 800m away from the centre of the riot and I could hear shots of machine guns."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week