FIA, Bernie Ecclestone announce Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead

Bernie Ecclestone
© PA Photos
The FIA and Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone release a joint statement giving their backing for the Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead.

The FIA and Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone have given their backing for this Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead, despite political unrest.

There were questions over whether the race should be held in the Gulf island following an increase in protests against the event this week.

A joint statement read: "The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Formula One Management (FOM) wish to jointly confirm their belief the Bahrain GP should go ahead this weekend, following assurances from the local promoter and the authorities that security, their responsibility, will be guaranteed for all participants.

"The FIA and FOM also strongly believe sport can often be a force for good and that the staging of the Grand Prix in Bahrain will come some way in helping soothe some of the issues which have been raised in the media.

"The President of the FIA Jean Todt, and Bernie Ecclestone, F1's commercial rights holder, are united in expressing their support for the Bahrain GP and the national organiser, and wish that all concerned respect the desire of the teams, drivers and all those involved in the staging of the event to do the best job possible over the weekend."

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa clocked the fastest time in the first practice ahead of this weekend's race.

Lewis Hamilton during a press conference on February 4, 2013
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