Bahrain GP likely to be cancelled, says Ecclestone

The Bahrain Grand Prix will not go ahead after Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone admitted the race could not be rescheduled without the support of the teams.

Ecclestone had backed moving the race to October 30 after the season opener had originally been postponed because of unrest in the country.



But now Ecclestone has admitted the race will not go ahead after 11 F1 teams objected.



Ecclestone told BBC Sport: "Hopefully there'll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course it's not on.



"The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants - they're the facts."









Ecclestone's comments come after the move to put the Bahrain race on in October - and move the race originally schedule for that date in India back until December - attracted widespread criticism.



That move was condemned by teams and drivers and also by human rights organisations, who were unhappy with claims by the sport's governing body, the FIA, that the situation had returned to normal in Bahrain.



Global campaigning organisation Avaaz criticised the FIA's fact-finding report on Bahrain as like "stepping into the Twilight Zone".



The FIA and president Jean Todt have come in for considerable criticism, not least from former FIA president Max Mosley who highlighted a major flaw in the process, something which Ecclestone has now also admitted.



Despite the apparent unanimous vote at the World Motor Sport Council hearing in Barcelona on Friday, Mosley noted a decision cannot be made law unless there is unanimous approval from all the teams.



Eleven of the marques, under the umbrella of the Formula One Teams' Association, wrote a letter to the FIA, Ecclestone's Formula One Management and the Bahrain International Circuit claiming they do not want to race in Bahrain this year.



FOTA have urged the Indian Grand Prix be reinstalled on its initial October 30 date and that Bahrain, that had taken up the slot on the back of the WMSC hearing, be held over until the end of the season, should it go ahead at all.



Pressure has been growing on the FIA to reverse their decision, not least from human rights groups in the wake of viewing a report made by one of the vice-presidents, Carlos Gracia.



Ricken Patel, executive director at Avaaz whose organisation has so far gathered nearly half a million signatures calling for the race to be called off, said: "Reading the FIA's Bahrain report is like stepping into the Twilight Zone.



"While the FIA's sham report says no human rights have been violated, at least 31 Bahrain citizens have been killed and hundreds more tortured and imprisoned.



"Formula One based their decision to race in Bahrain on this dangerously irresponsible report, a decision now universally opposed by the F1 teams.



"Formula One must pull out of Bahrain immediately or have their reputation forever tarnished."



Gracia claimed in his report, based on a visit whilst martial law was still in effect, that all had returned to normal in Bahrain.



However, Maryam Al-Khawaja, representing the independent Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said: "The report is disastrously unbalanced.



"The FIA has chosen to turn a blind eye to the ongoing violations in Bahrain.



"The government should allow independent human rights groups to do their work in Bahrain."



Gracia, the president of the Spanish motor sport federation, has defended his corner in the wake of the criticism levelled against him.



Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS, Gracia said: "I can only speak about what I saw and that was complete quietness.



"I had official visits and interviews, but I also walked down the street and I was in shopping centres, always with a feeling of complete normality.



"There were people shopping or working. Nothing that caught my attention.



"What I found was an open government that offers the opposition the chance to speak."



Despite Gracia's report it now seems growing pressure, particularly from the teams, has led to a change of heart which will see the Bahrain moved to the end of the season if it goes ahead at all this year.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower