Bahrain withdraws 2011 F1 opening Grand Prix 

Written by David on February 21st, 2011 at 8:18 pmLast Update: February 21st, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Bahrain Grand PrixThe Bahrain International Circuit today announced that the Kingdom of Bahrain would withdraw from hosting this year’s F1 Bahraini Grand Prix race so that the country can focus on its process of national dialogue.

Last Friday, Bahrain’s Crown Prince – HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa – initiated a new national dialogue involving all sections of Bahraini society in order to resolve the current political situation in the Kingdom. The Crown Prince informed Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone of the BIC’s decision by telephone earlier today.

“At the present time the country’s entire attention is focused on building a new national dialogue for Bahrain. Although Bernie Ecclestone had graciously made clear that a decision on the race was entirely Bahrain’s to make and was not yet required, we felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of Bahrain’s Formula 1 race to a later date,” said HRH Prince Salman. “I would like to extend my personal gratitude to Bernie Ecclestone for his support and understanding. After the events of the past week, our nation’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together; reminding the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united.”

“Bahrain’s Grand Prix is a time of celebration and hosting the race is a source of great pride for Bahrain and Bahrainis. It is a showcase to the world and we look forward to welcoming the teams and drivers and everyone involved in Formula One back to Bahrain in the very near future. I hope that F1 and our friends around the world will understand our decision at this difficult time,” added Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit.

source: Bahrain International Circuit

Images © Renault F1/LAT

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