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Bahrain GP organizers call off 2011 race

Sakhir, Bahrain (Sports Network) - Organizers of the Bahrain Grand Prix announced on Friday they have withdrawn its rescheduled October 30 event from the 2011 Formula One world calendar.

Following the decision from the FIA's World Motor Sport Council one week ago in Barcelona, Spain, several concerns raised by various parties, mainly F1 teams, forced Bahrain organizers to cancel the event and switch their focus to restoring it for 2012.

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani issued a statement, saying "While Bahrain would have been delighted to see the [Bahrain] Grand Prix progress on October 30th, in-line with the World Motor Sport Council's decision, it has been made clear that this fixture cannot progress, and we fully respect that decision."

Bahrain had been scheduled as the F1 season-opener on March 13, but anti- government demonstrations in that Middle Eastern country at that time forced race organizers to cancel the event.

F1's top boss Bernie Ecclestone had hoped a new date for the Bahrain GP could be determined before the season got underway. A decision date for rescheduling Bahrain was initially set for May 1, but the FIA granted an extension for race organizers until June 3.

The withdrawal of Bahrain now makes it 19 rounds on this year's F1 calendar. The inaugural Indian Grand Prix had been slated for October 30, but Bahrain's return to the calendar last week led the FIA to move India to an undetermined date later in the year. It's likely F1's governing body will revert India to its original date.

"Bahrain has absolutely no desire to see a race which would further extend the calendar season and detract from the enjoyment of F1 for either drivers, teams or supporters," Alzayani noted in his statement. "We want our role in Formula One to continue to be as positive and constructive as it has always been, therefore, in the best interest of the sport, we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season."

06/10 14:32:46 ET


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