LONDON, (Reuters) – Formula One teams and sponsors have no concerns about racing in Bahrain this year and the grand prix is definitely on despite continuing unrest, the sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday.
“Nobody is saying we’re not going or we don’t want to go or anything. Everybody is quite positive,” the 81-year-old told reporters after a news conference to announce a technology partnership with India’s Tata Communications.
“I’ve told all the teams it’s no problem at all, I’m absolutely 100 percent sure we’ll go there and there will be no problem.
“Pity I’m not going to be there myself but don’t worry,” he joked, adding after a pause: “No, I shall be there, don’t worry.”
Tickets for the April 22 race at the Sakhir circuit went on sale at the start of the week. Last year’s grand prix was postponed and then cancelled after a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Teams have said they are happy to leave any decision to Ecclestone and the Paris-based International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Egyptian-American human rights lawyer Cherif Bassiouni, who headed an independent commission of inquiry that last year found security forces had used excessive force to suppress protests and tortured detainees to extract confessions, has also endorsed the race going ahead.