Bahrain race should be cancelled says Mark Webber

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is due to hold talks with the crown prince of Bahrain later today over whether next month's grand prix will go ahead.

Speculation has been rife over the last 24 hours that the season-opening event on March 13 has been cancelled or postponed in light of the pro-democracy protests across the Gulf kingdom.



Ecclestone, however, appreciates the time for an answer is at hand, and is now planning to speak with Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to resolve the ongoing issue.



"At the moment nothing at all has changed since yesterday, or the day before, or the day before that," Ecclestone told Press Association Sport.



"Sometime, a little later on this afternoon, I shall be speaking to the crown prince, and then we can make some decisions as to exactly what we want to do."



Uppermost in the mind are the threats emanating from anti-government protesters that the race will be targeted.



Demonstrators camped at what has become the hub of the protests, Pearl Square in the capital Manama, have spoken of their fury at the crown prince's fears of losing the race rather than expressing concerns for the people of Bahrain, with six shot dead last week.



As reported in The Times, protester Mohammed Nimah said: "His precious Formula One is more important than the blood of his people which he spilt.



"We put pressure on the Formula One contract, the crown prince got scared and now he wants to negotiate."



Another protester, Hasan Dhani, added: "There is a big connection between (the uprising) and Formula One.



"The race has been the prince's dream since he was a child.



"He wants to negotiate so he can fulfil this dream, and it makes me sad his dream is more dear to him than the needs of his people."



So far from within F1, only Mark Webber has voiced his opposition to the race taking place.



The Red Bull driver said: "It's probably not the best time to go there for a sporting event. They have bigger things, bigger priorities."



Given the money at stake, the suggestion is if the race is called off it may slot into the calendar at a later date, potentially in between the races in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, with the latter pushed into December from its current November 27 slot.



It is believed Bahrain pay £25million to host the grand prix, plus an additional £12million to guarantee it is the first of the new season.



Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star