• Bahrain Grand Prix

Ecclestone waives Bahrain fees

ESPNF1 Staff
February 22, 2011 « Sexton named as US GP president | »
Protesters walk past a poster advertising the cancelled Bahrain Grand Prix in the capital Manama © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone will not charge the Bahrain authorities the $40 million licensing fee which is strictly still payable despite the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

"Nobody gains from this," Ecclestone told the Times. "I want to be loyal to the King [of Bahrain], 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.

"Right from the start, we talked about the problems there, and he was straight with me. I am not there and I do not know properly what problems they are having. But the King was concerned about Formula One and our safety, which is why he took the decision to call off the race."

Ecclestone said he was not sure whether the local organisers were insured against the losses incurred as a result of the cancellation, but argued if they were then they should be covered. "It is similar to if an earthquake had struck," he said. "No one could have foreseen that a month ago.

"If and when it is rescheduled they will pay their usual fee," he added. "There's 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 told the Daily Telegraph he would do his best to reschedule the race.

"What has happened in Bahrain is desperately sad but one month ago everyone was looking forward to the race," he said. "No one had a problem with it then. If everything is peaceful, which we hope it will be, then we will try our best to fit it in."