F1: Bernie Ecclestone ready to agree new deal for Bahrain to host Grand Prix

Many are against Bahrain hosting the race

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is ready to hand a new five-year contract to the organisers of the controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.

This year's race again went ahead against a troubled backdrop as pro -democracy demonstrators staged marches and protests in their quest for reform given the country's miserable human rights record.

The more violent element, primarily the radical February 14 Youth Revolution, expressed their concerns and objections with the daily burning of tyres and clashes with police who responded with teargas.

Despite the problems, Ecclestone has confirmed to Press Association Sport his willingness to start negotiations on an extension to a deal that still has another remaining three years, but will run to 2021.

"I feel they do a super job and we're more than happy to give them a new contract for five years. I don't see any problems," said Ecclestone. Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani feels talks will start soon, with the new contract signed before the end of the year.

"We're still contracted to 2016, but obviously we are willing to look beyond that," said Alzayani, speaking to Press Association Sport.

"We've not started negotiations yet, but we are happy to look at it. The intentions (for a contract extension) are definitely there.

"We're committed to the sport, we were the first race in the Middle East - we call ourselves the home of motor sport in the Middle East.

"We truly believe that in every sense of those words, so we are here for the long term, and we want to be known as the friendly race.

"Hopefully we can sign something this year." Ecclestone has also indicated next year's grand prix in the Gulf island kingdom could open next season, as it did in 2006 and 2010.

In 2011, however, anti-government demonstrations that resulted in the deaths of a number of protesters, led to the postponement of the race and eventually its withdrawal from the calendar that year. Alzayani stated last week it was his desire for his track to again usher in a new campaign, and he added: "It's on the table.

"For us, we're ready any day of the year, but we will have to see how it fits with logistics, other dates, other countries hosting and if there are conflicts with any other events they may have.

"We've had the first race before, and by July or August we will get a better picture as to where we will lie on next year's calendar."

Ecclestone's one concern, however, is Bahrain hosting a test session shortly before the race, believing it would become processional as teams would be setting up their cars for the event.

Despite the need from the teams for warm weather ahead of a season, following complaints this year of the rain and cold that blighted running in Jerez and Barcelona, Bahrain is definitely on the agenda.

"That is one of the concerns, and that's his opinion, but I don't think that would happen, " said Alzayani.

"With a change of weather the whole set-up can change, so you never know.

"I don't believe in that theory as much as he does, but we will take it into consideration.

"We are hoping to get an early race and a test session next year as well, so whether it's the first, second or third test, I don't know yet."

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
boksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
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

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor