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Tue 8 Mar 2011 06:52 PM

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Bahrain given May deadline to decide on 2011 Formula One race

Gulf state's Motor Federation has until May 1 to tell FIA whether it can restage postponed race

Bahrain given May deadline to decide on 2011 Formula One race
Jenson Button at Yas Marina Circuit 2010
Bahrain given May deadline to decide on 2011 Formula One race
Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1 commercial chief
Bahrain given May deadline to decide on 2011 Formula One race

Bahrain has until May to decide whether the country's postponed Formula One Grand Prix can be rescheduled this year, the sport's governing body said on Tuesday.

"The World Motor Sport Council asked the Bahrain Motor Federation to communicate by May 1 at the latest if the Bahrain Grand Prix can be organised in 2011," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement.

The race, originally scheduled for the Sakhir circuit this weekend, would have been the season-opener but was called off due to unrest in the Gulf kingdom.

The championship will now start in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix on March 27.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said he wants to reschedule the Bahrain race, providing the situation has calmed down, with a likely date towards the end of the season.

"We'll have a look and see what we can do, how we can swap things round a bit," the Briton said last week. "Maybe we can change with Brazil or something like that."

Brazil is scheduled to end the season on November 27, after the penultimate race in Abu Dhabi.

"If there's peace in Bahrain, we'll be there," added Ecclestone who had called for a decision to be made before the season starts and ruled out an alternative round in Europe.

The FIA's motor sport council, meeting in Paris, have also tweaked rules regarding tyres and the safety car with immediate effect.

The FIA said an additional specification of dry weather tyres, and extra set of 'prime' tyres, could be made available to teams at certain events for evaluation purposes and used in Friday practice only.

"Teams will be informed about such an additional specification at least one week before the start of the relevant event," it added.

Pirelli has taken over from Bridgestone as Formula One's sole tyre supplier this year.

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