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FOM to foot cost of Bahrain cancellation

NEWS STORY
23/02/2011

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that Bahrain will not have to pay the fee - said to be around $40m (£24.6m) - after its round of the 2011 was withdrawn by organizers on Monday.

The Englishman has clarified the situation after claims in the media that the reason he called on the Crown Prince of Bahrain to make the final decision on the race's fate was so that (legally) the Bahrainis would appear to have pulled the event and would therefore forfeit their payment.

"The fee that is normally being paid for the event is not being paid," Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph. "I am not charging them for a race they are not getting.

"Whether they are covered by their insurers for loss of revenues, ticket sales etc I am not sure," he continued. "But if anything is force majeure then that (the political unrest) is. It is similar to if an earthquake had struck... no one could have foreseen that a month ago."

When asked if Formula One Management (FOM) was indemnified against the loss of the fee, Ecclestone revealed that F1 is "not insured for this sort of thing" and would receive no money from Bahrain unless it can find a suitable slot and host the race later in the year.

"If and when it is rescheduled they will pay their usual fee," he said, while also confirming that the $40m (£24.6m) figure being quoted in the media is "close" to the mark.

However, he dismissed claims that organizers paid a special fee to host the season opener. "The $20 million fee that Bahrain supposedly 'bid' to stage the first race of the year has been widely and inaccurately reported," said the Englishman. "There has never been an extra fee to stage the first race, or the last race for that matter. We put the calendar together to suit the sport.

"What has happened in Bahrain is desperately sad," he added, "but one month ago everyone was looking forward to the race, no one had a problem with it then. If everything is peaceful, which we hope it will be, then we will try our best to fit it in."

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