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Ecclestone unconcerned by Bahrain GP

Apr 5, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone has no reservations over the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix despite widespread protests in the run up to last year’s race.

In 2011, the race was postponed due to violence flaring up in the wake of the Arab Spring, with the safety of all personnel thought to be at risk should the GP have gone ahead. One year later, there were still violent protests to deal with, but the race went ahead regardless without any interruptions, although two members of the Force India team flew home for fear of their safety.

When asked by Reuters if he was worried about the race, Ecclestone said “No concerns, none at all.

“I haven’t had any negative reports from anybody there. Somebody who actually lives there came to see me yesterday and said everything’s very normal.”

Ecclestone also suggested that any action would hinder peace efforts in Bahrain.

“I think they are talking now anyway, so I don’t think they’ll upset the talks by making protests. It didn’t help them last year, so if they had any brains they’d just get on with their talks.”

Bahrain has hosted a grand prix since 2004, acting as the curtain raiser for the 2006 and 2010 Formula One seasons. Following the violence in 2011, many believed that the Sakhir International Circuit’s place on the calendar was under threat, and the lack of popularity among drivers and fans could see the race be dropped in the near future. For now though, Bahrain will host the race for a ninth time on April 21.

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