MAY 2, 2011
Bahrain gets an extra month
Bahrain's deadline for declaring itself capable of hosting this season's grand prix, which originally expired on May 1, has been extended until June 3.
Bernie Ecclestone said last week that he thought the Bahrainis should be given more time and, today, the sport's governing FIA issued the following statement: "The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile 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.
"This decision was taken after consultation with the relevant Bahraini authorities and Formula One Management, the international promoter."
At the weekend, just ahead of the original deadline expiry, the Bahrainis said they wanted to see F1 back "in the very near future" without saying when they believed that was likely to be given that national matters had to take precedence. The FIA's move, however, makes it clear that there is still a desire to see the Sakhir race rescheduled this year, even if an interruption to the summer break or a logistically more challenging end to the season proved unpopular with F1 teams.