• Indian Grand Prix

Indian GP could be postponed to accommodate Bahrain

ESPNF1 Staff
May 23, 2011 « Kolles threatens Monaco protest | »
Bernie Ecclestone hard at work at the Spanish Grand Prix © Sutton Images

A low-key presence at the Spanish Grand Prix was Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa who is believed to have met with key FIA officials as well as Bernie Ecclestone as he continues to try to reassure the great and the good of the sport that all is well in his country. Part of those discussions covered the possibility of moving the Indian Grand Prix to December to accommodate a rescheduled Bahrain race.

Politicking in a bid to keep the postponed Bahrain GP on the calendar in 2011, the Crown Prince attended as a guest of McLaren but maintained a low profile. The Daily Telegraph said the team "kept their royal visitor under wraps".

With less than a fortnight until the Bahrain authorities are due to report back to the FIA regarding the state of play in the kingdom, Ecclestone confirmed the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, scheduled for October 30, could put back to December 4 to create a gap in the calendar.

"Yes, we are having a look at it," he said. "Everything's possible. We could [move it]. I'm not sure at the moment what I'm going to do. Everything's up in the air. I haven't decided about it. We'll see if we have to go to Bahrain."

But such a move is unlikely to go down well with the teams who have been on the road since the start of the year.

"I think we have to think about it very carefully because we are reaching a limit on what we can subject our people to," Mercedes boss Ross Brawn told Atupsport. "They have been going at it since the end of January as previously winter testing was handled by the test team ... so to tell them to carry on through to December and then they can have a few weeks off over Christmas and it starts again is not going to be sustainable.

"We won't keep the people. They'll get fed up and it will all prove to be too much. We are reaching a limit on what we can subject our people to."

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