• Bahrain unrest

FIA supports Bahrain's decision

ESPNF1 Staff
February 21, 2011 « Final test to take place in Barcelona | »
The FIA backs Bahrain's decision to postpone the first race of the season © Sutton Images

The FIA and several key figures in the Formula One paddock have come out in support of Bahrain's decision to postpone its grand prix.

On Monday afternoon the Crown Prince issued a statement saying: "We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of Bahrain's Formula One race to a later date."

The season opener will now take place on March 27 in Australia and the FIA said it was completely behind the rescheduling.

"The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile supports the decision of the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit to postpone the scheduled first Grand Prix of the 2011 season due to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on March 11-13. This decision is the outcome of the close co-operation between the FIA, Formula One Management, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit."

Renault boss Eric Boullier said his team was looking forward to returning to Bahrain under more appropriate conditions.

"The recent situation in Bahrain has been very difficult for the country," he said. "We feel the decision taken by the Crown Prince is wise and we fully support it. The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been welcomed with enthusiasm from the Bahraini people, and we're looking forward to going back there when they have healed their country. We will now amend our logistics accordingly and will get ready for Australia."

Mark Webber agreed that the move was right for F1.

"I think the right decision was made, in light of what is going on, so we look forward to Melbourne instead," he said. "It would have been nice to go to Bahrain, but hopefully it can stage the race again. As for starting in Melbourne, it's my home race and, as always, I'm looking forward to it. It is a sensational event, we're in good shape as a team, so I hope to go there and get a very good result."

Williams chairman Adam Parr added: "It is obviously disappointing for everyone involved in the organisation of the event, but it is clear that to race in Bahrain at this time would be inappropriate given the current circumstances. It is always Williams' intention to contribute positively to the countries we compete in and so we fully support the Crown Prince's decision to cancel the test and forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix. We now look forward to a season debut in Melbourne and returning to Bahrain when it is right to do so."