• Bahrain unrest

Ecclestone changes stance after more Bahrain violence

ESPNF1 Staff
February 19, 2011 « Liuzzi to test for HRT over weekend | »

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he may have misjudged the situation in Bahrain when he said "it seems as if it's quiet, no big problems".

Reporting from the ground in Bahrain has been mixed, with some areas of the island state relatively unaffected while four deaths have occurred at the heart of the protests. Ecclestone admitted he was misinformed by some FOM cameramen in a Bahrain hotel.

"It appears things are changing hourly," he clarified after widespread reports of increased violence on Friday afternoon. "When I made my earlier statement it was based on information I had at that time, as opposed to what is happening."

Asked if he now fears he will have to cancel the race, Ecclestone answered: "I don't fear anything, I just think things have changed and that we should wait and see over the weekend exactly what changes there have been. At this moment it doesn't look good."

The Formula One teams have said they are waiting on Ecclestone and the FIA to make a call on whether to go to the final race.

However, on Saturday morning, after the comments made by Ecclestone and FOTA, the British foreign office and several other governments advised against all but essential travel to Bahrain.

"In light of recent developments, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office [FCO] has changed its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to the Kingdom of Bahrain," read a warning on the British website. "We have also advised all UK nationals currently in Bahrain to maintain a high level of security awareness particularly in public places and on major highways; and to avoid large gatherings, crowds and demonstrations."