Brake put on F1 opener

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The season-opening race of the new F1 campaign in Bahrain has been called off.

The Bahrain International Circuit has confirmed the Gulf kingdom has decided to withdraw from hosting the event that was due to take place in March to focus on “overcoming tragedy” and “healing divisions” after civil unrest.

Prince Salman said: “The country’s entire attention is focused on building a new national dialogue for Bahrain. Although Bernie Ecclestone made clear a decision on the race was entirely Bahrain’s to make and was not yet required, we felt it important for the country to focus on issues of national interest and leave the hosting to a later date.”