Ecclestone Will Not Charge Bahrain GP Any Money for Axed Race

Bernie Ecclestone played down reports that he is seeking financial restitution for the axing of the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix by the government in the Kingdom.

The race was canceled by the Bahrain's Crown Prince as a consequence of the political unrest in the country, with recent clashes between the local police and anti-government protesters leading to several dead and hundreds injured. Regardless, it was reported that Ecclestone might charge the Bahrain government a $40 million race sanctioning fee in case the event is canceled.

Talking to the Times earlier this week, the F1 supremo dismissed those rumors, saying that it's not in his nature to stab people in the back.

Nobody wants to gain from this,” said Ecclestone, according to the aforementioned source. “I want to be loyal to the king because he is doing everything he can to put things right with his people. He doesn't need people like me stabbing him in the back.”

In addition, he also told the Telegraph that he will not be collecting the racing fees for the 2011 event.

The fee that is normally being paid for the event is not being paid. I am not charging them for a race they are not getting. Whether they are covered by their insurers for loss of revenues, ticket sales etc, I am not sure. But if anything is force majeure then that is. It is similar to if an earthquake had struck – no one could have foreseen that a month ago.”

In the end, Ecclestone hinted once more that the race may be rescheduled in 2011.

If and when it is rescheduled they will pay their usual fee. There has never been an extra fee to stage the first race – or the last race for that matter. We put the calendar together to suit the sport,” he concluded.
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