FIA and Ecclestone at loggerheads over Bahrain

F1’s governing body the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile and commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone are this morning at loggerheads over the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The decision was taken late last week to reinstate the event for October 30, a move dogged by controversy due to the uncertain political climate in the island kingdom, but which was defended by the FIA yesterday. They were satisfied that a report made by an envoy had cleared the race.

“Our special envoy had meetings with the human rights people responsible in Bahrain,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “He met many people before the report was submitted and unanimously agreed.”

But Bernie Ecclestone, perhaps sensing that the majority of the teams were against going to Bahrain, this morning made his own remarks, in which he suggested a provisional end-of-season slot for the race if it were to happen.

“The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen. Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go. If they are not, then we don’t go and there are no problems,” he is reported as saying by the Telegraph.

The teams’ silence over the issue is thought to be linked to certain sponsors with interests in the Bahraini government.