Ecclestone Pushes for Bahrain Deadline Extension

Bernie Ecclestone doesn't seem too impressed with the open letter addressed to him by a Bahraini pro-democracy activist group, via Facebook. As the aforementioned group asks him to keep F1 out of the country for the 2011 campaign due to ongoing troubles in the country, the F1 supremo does exactly the opposite: he pushes for more time for the officials in the Kingdom to figure out whether they want the Grand Prix this year or not.

Following political turmoil in the country during the month of February, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) ruled to cancel the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix based on security issues. Later on, following prospects of a potential rescheduling of the race in the latter stages of the season, the FIA granted the Bahraini organizers until May 1st to bring assurances that they can host the race in 2011 under normal conditions (safety-wise).

However, with that deadline only days away and the situation in the country still very much complicated, Ecclestone is willing to give the organizers in the country some more time to work things through.

We need to wait a little bit to see exactly how progress is made,” said Ecclestone, according to the Reuters news agency, hoping that his initial plan to host 19 races in the 2011 season of Formula 1 may still hold on. “I suppose we'd be safe by early June or something like that.

Things can change in a couple of you don't know. All of a sudden everything might be peaceful in a month's time and they are happy to run the event and so we are happy to be there.”

However, a future rescheduling of the event doesn't lie in the hands of Ecclestone anymore, as only the FIA can rule for or against such a move. Whether they will agree with the 80-year old F1 supremo or stick to the initial deadline, we'll probably find out first thing next week.
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