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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral