Bahrain Officials Not Giving Up on F1 Event

The officials of the Bahrain Grand Prix have once again reiterated their guarantees that they will see to it that the season opening rounds of the 2011 Formula 1 championship will go down as scheduled, between March 11-13.

Recent reports coming from the Kingdom don't sound very well though, as a huge clash between the local authorities and anti-government protesters last night have resulted in 3 deaths and several other civilians being injured.

Initially, due to medical personnel shortage, the practice and qualifying sessions of the GP2 Asia round at Sakhir had been moved from Thursday to Friday, but a few hours later a media statement on the championship's official website confirmed the round was canceled altogether. Under the circumstances, fears about such an ending to occur for the F1 race in March started growing in recent hours.

According to several international media, also the last group test of the off-season, due to be held in Bahrain between March 3-6, is in danger. Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) will reportedly discuss their plans for the aforementioned test and the possibility to move it elsewhere, while a decision on the potential cancelation of the Bahrain GP is also on the horizon.

The safety of all Bahraini nationals, expats and overseas visitors is a priority at all times in the Kingdom and, at the Bahrain International Circuit,” insisted Bahrain International Circuit CEO, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa in a media statement on Thursday, trying to calm people down.

Our focus at the present time remains on delivering another successful event in the form of the 2011 Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, [and] we continue to monitor the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities.

Our priority at this time is ensuring the well being of everyone associated with this event, and we will respond appropriately to any further developments.”
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