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Bahrain organizers monitoring situation

NEWS STORY
16/02/2011

Amidst growing unrest in Bahrain, organizers of the F1 season opener, which gets underway in less than a month, are closely monitoring the situation.

In a brief statement, Bahrain International Circuit CEO, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, said: "The safety of all Bahraini nationals, ex-pats and overseas visitors is a priority at all times in the Kingdom and, at the Bahrain International Circuit, our focus at the present time is on delivering another successful event in the form of the 2011 Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

"We are monitoring the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities, and will respond appropriately to any further developments."

Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and the rest of the F1 paddock will no doubt be watching Bahrain this weekend as the Sakhir circuit hosts the second round of the 2010/2011 GP2 Asia series, while on Thursday March 3, the final pre-season test is due to get underway.

The 'Day of Rage' in Bahrain, which resulted in the death of one protestor and the death of another at the subsequent funeral, is the latest in a series of uprisings in the Middle East.

While Ecclestone talks of the Grand Prix being hi-jacked by protestors seeking TV coverage - surely after last year's race it's F1 that needs the coverage - those of us living outside the rarefied atmosphere of Planet Paddock appreciate that something far more important than Formula One is going on here.

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