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Now Bernie says it's not looking hopeful

Friday 18th February 2011

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Now Bernie says it's not looking hopeful

Now Bernie says it's not looking hopeful

Bernie Ecclestone is to monitor over the weekend the hourly change to the political unrest in Bahrain before making a definitive decision on the future of next month's season-opening grand prix.

The Formula One supremo earlier on Friday claimed he was "more hopeful" of the race taking place in contrast to Thursday after four people were killed and hundreds more injured as riot police stormed a camp of demonstrators in the capital Manama.

However, Ecclestone appreciates the shifting sands of a volatile situation are too difficult to predict, and that on reflection he will be far better equipped to appraise the matter in a few days.

Following the funerals of three anti-Government protesters on Friday, reports have since emerged of the army and police again attacking demonstrators, both in Pearl Square and the local hospital where it is understood tear gas has been used.

Asked by Press Association Sport whether the latest incidents had again changed matters in his mind, Ecclestone replied: "Yes."

Ecclestone had acted earlier on advice from a film crew who were due to work at the GP2 Asia event this weekend, only for the two races to be cancelled in light of the unrest in the island kingdom.

"Two of my guys were there and they said they were looking out of their hotel window and that they saw a group of people supporting the king, with nobody causing any trouble," said Ecclestone.

"They said that all was quiet, that one of the main roads that was closed was now open again, and that was more or less it.

"They did say they would have to wait until later on today because of the funerals taking place, and that they did not know what the position would be until after that.

"So when I made my earlier statement it was based on the information I had at that time, as opposed to what is happening."

Ecclestone now knows he is wiser to wait and speak again towards the middle of next week.

"From a realistic point of view it appears that things are changing hourly," added Ecclestone.

"I feel the most important thing now is to wait until after the weekend, to see what happens over the next few days, and then make a decision next Tuesday or Wednesday."

Ecclestone has been in contact with representatives of the teams currently based in Barcelona for the penultimate pre-season test.

Naturally there is disquiet amongst the teams at the bloodshed and tension in Bahrain which is due to stage the curtain-raising grand prix from March 11-13, prior to which the final test is scheduled in the country from March 3-6.

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