Crown prince to make decision on Bahrain GP

FORMULA ONE supremo Bernie Ecclestone will leave the decision on whether to hold next month’s Bahrain Grand Prix to the country’s crown prince.

The first race of the new season is in jeopardy as a result of the unrest that has seen six people killed after police fired live rounds at protestors demanding reform. Ecclestone revealed that crown prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifah was best placed to make the call.

“He will decide whether it’s safe for us to be there,” Ecclestone said. “I’ve no idea. I’m not there, so I don’t know. We won’t advise people to go unless it’s safe.”

A final decision could be made as early as tomorrow and Ecclestone suggested Bahrain could be moved to another date later in the season if the race on 13 March was called off.

The 80-year-old also ruled out holding the race on that date in another country, saying there would not be time for alternative organisers to make the necessary arrangements.

The British Foreign Office – along with counterparts in many other major Western countries – is advising against non-essential travel to Bahrain.