F1 Teams Cancel Bahrain Test in March

The Formula One teams have agreed not to send their crews to Bahrain for the final test of the pre-season, scheduled between March 3-6, according to a recent report from Sky Sports News.

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) met on Friday to discuss the possibility of missing the test in Bahrain due to political unrest in the country. Several other venues were taken into account as a replacement, including the Spanish circuit of Barcelona or the Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit, but no decision has been made just yet.

According to recent comments from some members of the FOTA, the teams would fancy a trip to Abu Dhabi for weather-related reasons, as it will help the teams test their 2011-spec challenger in hot weather conditions. In addition, should the Bahrain Grand Prix get canceled for security reasons, the teams would then proceed to a second consecutive test at Yas Marina.

After a further meeting on Monday, the teams apparently decided that it would be too risky to go ahead with the Bahrain group test in early March, especially since the political situation in the country has reached the boiling point in recent weeks.

Several clashes between anti-government protesters and the local police have resulted in a bunch of killings and hundreds injured, the last of which occurred in the very city of Manama, near the Bahrain International Circuit.

The news certainly comes as a blow to the race organizers, as it's a clear indication that the F1 teams are not comfortable at all with bringing their organizations to the country. Under the circumstances, Bernie Ecclestone's decision later this week becomes crucial, as it may scrap the season opening round from the F1 schedule in 2011, bringing the calendar back to a 19-race structure.
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