• Bahrain rescheduling

Season could end December 11 to accommodate Bahrain

ESPNF1 Staff
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Bernie Ecclestone: "From a safety point of view I don't think there is anything to worry about" © Sutton Images

As the deadline for a decision on the rescheduling of the Bahrain Grand Prix looms, Bernie Ecclestone has said he hopes the race makes it back on to the calendar. But that could mean an already long season dragging on until December 11.

The FIA is set to decide on June 3 whether the event will go ahead this year after violent civil unrest meant it was postponed earlier this year. On Thursday, Ecclestone met with the teams in Monaco to discuss the possibility of going back to Bahrain in 2011, saying he has "hope" the race will go ahead.

"They are happy," Ecclestone was reported as saying by Autosport. "But there is a problem with the date: that is the only thing."

Ecclestone confirmed the inaugural Indian Grand Prix would be postponed until the end of the season to allow the Bahrain Grand Prix to take place on October 30. However, that would push the season's finishing date back to December 11 - a week later than expected and something the teams are not entirely happy about.

"The trouble with the teams, it is difficult with the people who work for them," he said. "They will speak to all their people about what their general feeling is with their crew."

When asked if it would be safe to return to Bahrain, Ecclestone said there could be an issue but thinks it is nothing to worry about.

"I don't know," he said. "I've no idea. It can be safe on the Friday of the race and on Sunday...I don't know. They are all nice people there. We would not have any problem, but if someone wants to get attention that would be a good way to do it. From a safety point of view I don't think there is anything to worry about."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said that the team were willing to go, and revealed that due to the logistical issues of back-to-back races in Brazil and India Ecclestone was actually proposing the later finish.

"We feel that Bahrain is a great place where F1 has to go," Domenicali said. "We need to work together with them [Bahrain] to see if, for the benefit of being there for a long, long, long time, it is good to do a choice for next year or to wait and see. What we have discussed is related to some possibility of a calendar that will be presented to the World Motor Sport Council on Friday, and the date will not be on the first weekend in December, it will be the second weekend of December.

"This is quite a tricky calendar if I may say, and we need to sort out and see if the logistics of all of this can be sorted out. This was the first point that was raised by Bernie yesterday, so we need to think if it is really possible. As far as Ferrari is concerned, we want to have Bahrain for a long time in the future."