Wednesday 23 January 2019

Formula One: Bernie defends Bahrain decision

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has insisted postponing the Bahrain Grand Prix was the only way forward for fear of potential trouble during the race weekend.

In the wake of the political upheaval in the Gulf kingdom that led to the deaths of six anti-government protesters last week and many hundreds injured, human rights activists had threatened to target the race to further their cause.

But following discussions between the crown prince, Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Ecclestone and motor sport's governing body, the FIA, it was felt calling off the race was the best course of action.

"I'm a little bit disappointed that it has now been postponed, but if you look at the way that part of the world is at the moment, it is the only thing anyone could do," said Ecclestone. "The crown prince and I discussed the whole thing and did what we thought was right for everybody.

"We were happy to go along with more or less what he had in mind. It would have been no good us saying 'No, we're going to be there whether you like it or not'. The crown prince thought it was the correct thing to do, and that would be on safety obviously.

"Can you imagine if everybody had been there and suddenly there had been a little bit of an uprising again?

"It would have been bad for everyone."

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