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F1 teams seek Bahrain clarity

2012-02-07 09:32

RETURN TO BAHRAIN: The Bahrain Grand Prix is set to return to the F1 calendar in 2012, though teams are wary since civil unrest has once again flared up.

Jerez, Spain - Formula 1 teams are concerned about the situation in Bahrain but will leave the decision on whether to race there in April 2012 to the sport's governing body and commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The 2011 Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit was postponed and then cancelled due to pro-democracy protests that triggered a bloody crackdown.

Clashes have continued regularly since then, with activists saying more than 60 people have died since the unrest started, and have worsened in recent weeks as the February 14 anniversary approaches.

Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said: "Like everyone, including the FIA and the commercial rights holder, we are concerned about the situation.

"We, as the Sauber F1 team, are not in a position to judge that very well, so we have to trust in the FIA and the commercial rights holder who have the call on this. If they think it is the right thing to go then we will definitely go there," she added.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier, who is vice-chairman of the teams' body FOTA, agreed it was up to the International Automobile Federation.

Boullier said: "We have commitments with regard to the F1 championship, so it is not an easy decision to take. Right now we are awaiting feedback from the FIA on whether or not we go."

Lotus chairman Gerard Lopez, who is close to Ecclestone, sounded in favour of going, however.

Lopez said: "What I've been hearing is that a number of guarantees have been given in terms of how everything will happen and so on," he told reporters.

"So if things look good then there is no reason why we shouldn't go to Bahrain," he said.

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