Ecclestone acts over Bahrain GP issue

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The Independent Online

Bernie Ecclestone has acted to resolve the issues surrounding the Formula One calendar following the Bahrain Grand Prix saga this week.

In a letter from FIA president Jean Todt to the Formula One Teams' Association that was released yesterday, the Frenchman requested commercial rights holder Ecclestone resubmit a new calendar.

In the wake of last Friday's World Motor Sport Council hearing in Barcelona, the 26-man panel voted for Bahrain to be restored.

It was decided the race, postponed in February due to political unrest in the country, would take up India's October 30 slot, with the latter inaugural event switched to December 11.

Considerable backlash followed, with FOTA writing a letter to the FIA bemoaning logistical and insurance challenges.

Ecclestone then confirmed earlier this week the race would not go ahead this year.

Bahrain International Circuit chairman, Zayed R Alzayani, yesterday announced his country would "not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season".

With the ball in Ecclestone's court to resubmit the new calendar to the WMSC for approval, he today told Press Association Sport: "We'll be back to normal.

"We have to put it to the World Council. I sent something this morning, so it will be quick."

Despite the furore this week tarnishing the image of F1, Ecclestone has stated everything was done in a bid to assist Bahrain.

"The truth of the matter is we put the calendar together and the teams race on the calendar," added Ecclestone.

"We were trying to help Bahrain, who have been very helpful to Formula One, and hoping they could get themselves sorted out.

"I don't know whether there is peace or not, I've no idea. The FIA sent somebody out to check and they said it was all okay.

"I think the teams had different information, and they have the right to say they don't want to change the calendar."

Asked whether he felt sorry for the Bahrainis, Ecclestone added: "Yeah, I was hoping everything would be fine.

"I definitely tried to help Bahrain, that's for sure."