New doubts over Bahrain GP - F1 | ITV Sport
Thursday, 17 February 2011 12:17
Doubts are growing over the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix after this weekend's GP2 event was called off amid growing unrest in the country.
The situation in Bahrain has dominated worldwide news bulletins today, after there were fatalities and many injuries overnight when security forces cleared anti-government protesters who were gathering in the city of Manama.
GP2 had been due to hold the second event of its winter Asia championship in Bahrain this weekend, but postponed today's practice and qualifying sessions as medical personnel due to be at the Sakhir circuit were required in Manama instead.
The series has now cancelled this weekend's round altogether at the request of the Bahrain motorsport authorities.
Formula 1 is set to arrive in the country for the final test of the winter on 3-6 March, with the first grand prix of the year scheduled to happen at Sakhir on 11-13 March.
Bernie Ecclestone has already said that he is monitoring the situation closely, while the Sakhir organisers have pledged to put the safety of spectators and the F1 community at the forefront of any decisions.
Speaking before the overnight clashes in Manama, FIA president Jean Todt had said motorsport's governing body would not over-react to the current situation in Bahrain, but would not take any chances with the motorsport fraternity's safety either.
"I always try not to over-react on breaking stories," Todt was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent while at an Irish road safety event.
"Number one, you have to check what is the reality - which is not always what you hear - and to react without too much emotion and to face properly the problem.
"Of course the essence of the FIA is safety; safety on the racing car, safety on the road, safety in our organisation."