Bahrain has till June 3 for final F1 decision


PARIS May 4 – Motor racing's ruling body the FIA said Tuesday that it would give organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix until June 3 to show they could stage the event."The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has granted the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit an extension until June 3rd, date of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Barcelona," the body revealed.

The FIA added that "this decision was taken after consultation with the relevant Bahraini authorities and Formula One Management, the international promoter."

Bahrain’s own federation had opted not to stage the inaugural event of the season on March 13 at the Sakhir circuit owing to political unrest in the Arab state following large-scale anti-government protests.

At the start of March the FIA called on the Bahraini authorities to say by May 1 if they would be able to stage the race this season.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who had floated the idea of the race being held there in November, had earlier suggested giving the Bahrainis a little more time.

The kingdom is ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty but has a Shiite majority and weeks of unrest have seen hundreds of arrests.

Government plans to execute four Shiites for the alleged murder of two police officers during anti-government protests in March have also fuelled fears of heightened tension in the Gulf state.