Ecclestone set to wait over Bahrain

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Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is to wait until after the weekend before deciding on whether to cancel next month’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The deteriorating political situation in the island kingdom yesterday forced the cancellation of the GP2 Asia Series races scheduled to take place at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.

According to reports, four people were killed and 300 injured on Wednesday as riot police stormed a camp of demonstrators in the capital Manama. Batons, tear gas and rubber bullets were used on the 2,000 that were sleeping at the time in Pearl Square, prior to a battalion of 50 tanks moving in to patrol the streets.

The scenes followed two deaths earlier this week as protesters seek political reform in a country where the Sunni Muslim family has ruled a predominantly Shi’ite population for the last 30 years.

Given the ongoing unrest, serious question marks now hang over the viability of staging the curtain-raising F1 event, due to take place at the BIC from March 11-13.

Ecclestone, who spoke to the Crown Prince regarding the prospects of the race, said: “It’s not good is it?

“Next week we will make a decision on what we are going to do.”

Marussia Virgin Racing team principal John Booth said moving the grand prix to another location would be “impractical” because vital equipment was dispatched by sea more than a month ago.