Officials coy amid ongoing Bahrain rumours

FIA officials and Bernie Ecclestone are coy this week amid continuing uncertainty about Bahrain’s return to the F1 calendar next year.

After this year’s race in the troubled island Kingdom was cancelled, Bahrain is scheduled to return to the schedule next April. Team bosses, however, have expressed concern that the unrest within Bahrain is not yet resolved, leading to a discussion during the recent F1 Commission meeting.

But it is believed that, for now, the 2012 calendar as published by the FIA stands firm.

A report in the Gulf Weekly on Wednesday said F1 officials in Bahrain, who are determined to organise the 2012 race, regard the continuing rumours as “unsettling”.

An FIA spokesman said: “The calendar for the 2012 (season) has been ratified by the FIA, therefore all listed events are scheduled to run, as planned.

“The position is simple – there is a calendar for races for 2012, it has been approved and all teams and promoters work on that basis.”

The spokesman, however, did not comment on reports that Turkey has been unofficially appointed as a ‘standby race’ in the event Bahrain is called off.

And F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said in a notably terse statement: “The 2012 calendar is as has been published.”

Bahrain’s circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani said: “We are on the calendar and that is it.”


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