3/27/2012

Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled: racing experts

ALAKHBAR
 
Racing experts expect the Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled due to continuing instability in the Gulf statelet.
The influential F1Today.net website said it was looking likely that the race, due to take place on April 22, would be abandoned as the sport's governing body could not guarantee the safety of all those involved.
"The FIA is preparing a statement to announce the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix, sources in the paddock reveal," it said.
"The situation in Bahrain still isn't safe enough to host a Formula 1 race, according to the FIA."
The Bahrain Grand Prix was dropped from the calendar last year after violent clashes between the police and protesters against the regime.
Organizers of the race, which is a key showpiece for the the country's ruling royal family, have come under pressure to cancel it again as pro-democracy campaigners have returned to the streets in greater numbers in recent months.
There has been concern that it would be impossible to protect the spectators and racers in the event of a mass protest, with activists promising to make their voices heard.
The president of Bahrain's Automobile Federation said on Tuesday that there was no need to increase security for the race as he tried to calm the row.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa Al Khalifa told PA Sport: "We've never had any violence towards foreigners...All I can guarantee you is you will be as safe as at any other grand prix."
The Grand Prix Diary website tweeted that it would be "highly embarrassing" for the royal family if the race was abandoned.