F1 supremo's last ditch bid to save Bahrain race revealed

Document published by FIA shows Bernie Ecclestone made final proposal to hold race on Dec 4
F1 supremo's last ditch bid to save Bahrain race revealed
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 11 Jun 2011 11:17 AM

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone made a last gasp attempt to save the Bahrain Grand Prix by proposing it be held on December 4, a document published by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) reveals.

Just hours before Bahrain officials accepted the race would have to be cancelled, the F1 commercial chief had tried to keep the race alive.

The FIA said Ecclestone had suggested on Thursday, a day after he had said it was 'not on', that the race be rescheduled for December 4, with India reinstated to the October 30 date it had relinquished for the Gulf kingdom.

The governing body then asked him for guarantees that such a change was acceptable to the teams and Bahrain organisers.

It was only at this point that the head of the Bahrain circuit said organisers accepted the race, postponed in March due to civil unrest, had to be cancelled after teams opposed any rescheduling.

The FIA said Ecclestone had proposed finally on Friday reverting to the calendar published before the start of the season.

It said the 26 members of its world motor sport council had been asked to vote by fax on June 14 at the latest.

Asked whether the U-turn on Bahrain and the months of uncertainty about the race had damaged the sport's image, Ecclestone told autosport.com at the Canadian Grand Prix: "What was negative?

"The only thing there was that we were trying to help Bahrain, who have been helpful to F1, and we were trying to stay there as long as we could," he added.

"I hoped we could get it sorted. I don't know if there is peace there or not - the FIA sent someone out to check and they said it would be all okay, but the teams had different information."

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