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Bahraini Crown Prince asks Mosley not to attend GP

NEWS STORY
03/04/2008

As speculation continues over the future of Max Mosley, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, has written to the FIA President asking him not to attend this weekend's Grand Prix.

Having previously been advised by Bernie Ecclestone not to attend the race, this request from the Crown Prince will be seen as a hard blow to Mosley's confidence, furthering feelings within the sport that no matter the validity of the accusations against him the FIA President's position is becoming untenable.

Unsurprisingly, the contents of the letter were revealed by The Times, which, along with sister publication, the News of the World, has led the media attack on Mosley over the last four days.

According to the newspaper, the Crown Prince writes: "In light of the allegations, I suspect you may be deliberating on your planned attendance at the Grand Prix here in Bahrain later in the week. I therefore felt it important to convey the position of Bahrain and its people.

"Clearly of paramount importance is the success of the event for all concerned - the Kingdom of Bahrain, Formula One and spectators, the letter continued. "The focus quite rightly should be on the race. With great regret, I feel that under the current circumstances, it would be inappropriate for you to be in Bahrain at this time."

As it happens, Mosley was not planning to attend the event anyway, opting to concentrate on his planned legal action against the News of the World. However, this request from the Crown Prince will still come as further embarrassment.

With rumours that a number of the manufacturers are extremely uneasy with the situation, there is already fierce speculation with regards the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix at which Mosley is due to launch the FIA's anti-racism campaign, which follows events at Barcelona earlier this year when Lewis Hamilton was subjected to racist abuse.

It is felt that having been accused of indulging in Nazi fantasy role-playing, which he denies, Mosley is in no position to lead an anti-racism campaign.

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