Ecclestone: No fears over Bahrain Grand Prix
5 April 2013 – Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he holds no concerns over safety ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix later this month, with the 82-year-old confident that the event will not be the target of anti-government protests as has previously been the case.
In 2011, the race was cancelled amid an uprising against the Sunni elite - run by the ruling al-Khalifa family - resulting in at least 35 deaths. Last year the situation had improved sufficiently for the race to go ahead as planned, although security levels and police numbers were stepped up to deal with Shi'ite pro-democracy protests.
As the 2013 event approaches, Ecclestone is optimistic that the worst of the the Gulf Island state's issues are now in the past and says he has heard no negative reports.
"I haven't had any negative reports from anybody there," Ecclestone, who also confirmed that he will attend the Grand Prix, explained to Reuters. "Somebody who actually lives there came to see me yesterday and said everything's very normal."
"Everything that is there is as far as we are concerned good. They do a very, very good job of the race, the whole support from the top is good. No problems."
The Bahrain circuit, designed by popular Formula 1 architect Hermann Tilke and situated around 30km from capital city Manama, joined the calendar in 2004.