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Bahrain: We're watching closely says Ecclestone

NEWS STORY
15/02/2011

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he is keeping a close watch on developments in Bahrain, admitting that the forthcoming Grand Prix could be hijacked by protestors seeking global publicity for their cause.

Speaking in the wake of the 'Day of Rage' which saw one protestor killed by the security forces and another killed at his funeral, Nabeel Rajab, vice president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, warned that the season opener could be used by protestors in order to attract the attention of the watching world.

Asked by the Daily Telegraph where the protests, and Rajab's warning, leave F1, Ecclestone revealed that he was still trying to make contact with Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa.

"He is a bit busy, as you can imagine, so I don't know yet exactly what is going on," said the Englishman. "The danger is obvious isn't it?" he continued. "If these people wanted to make a fuss and get worldwide recognition it would be bloody easy, wouldn't it? You start making a problem on the start grid in Bahrain and it would get worldwide coverage."

Asked if there was a danger that the race could be cancelled, Ecclestone said: "I have no idea. It's hard to establish exactly what is going on. As I say, I'm speaking with the Crown Prince later on. We're watching events closely. We'll rely on what they think the right thing to do is."

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