Bahrain still hope to host grand prix

BAHRAIN chiefs are still hopeful of staging a grand prix at some point during the 2011 Formula One season.

The island kingdom, a fixture on the sport’s calendar since 2004, was due to stage the opening race of this year’s season on 13 March, but last Monday, the Crown Prince confirmed that the grand prix had been cancelled amid political unrest in the region.

And although Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said at the time of the announcement that he would like to see Bahrain slotted in later this season, several teams have already stated that it would be difficult.

Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes it isn’t “feasible” while Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says it would be a “challenge to accommodate”.

“Losing the grand prix is nothing compared with a stable country and a strong economy, but Bahrain is still seeking the possibility of hosting the much-awaited race later this year,” said Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, chairman of the country’s economic development board. “We hope the protests will subside and the race will continue at a later date.”

One date being suggested falls between the grands prix in Abu Dhabi and Brazil at the end of November, which would see the latter pushed back to December. There is also a three week gap between the Chinese and Turkish grands prix but for logistical reasons rescheduling for then would prove difficult.