Bahrain Grand Prix has total support 15 Jan 2004
The Bahrain Government and Bernie Ecclestone have reiterated their backing for April's inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix, following media speculation that current terrorist threats in the Gulf region could have a negative impact on the event.
"We have a long-term agreement with Bahrain to organise the Grand Prix," said Ecclestone. "We are extremely serious about our commitment in the Middle East and fully support the addition to the FIA Formula One World Championship. Nobody is immune from terrorist threats and I know how seriously the authorities take such claims. Neither the circuit nor we have received any such threats."
Government officials in the Kingdom of Bahrain were also quick to refute the media speculation. "Nobody is immune from threats," said a spokesperson for the hosting Bahrain International Circuit. "The entire Middle East region is a victim to them and we take all such claims very seriously. However, Bahrain takes its national security as a matter of paramount importance and is working very closely with its regional and international allies to minimise any risk"
Concerning the progress of building at the new track, the spokesperson added: "The construction work at the circuit is 89% completed. The final layers of tarmac will be laid within the next three weeks. All of the necessary facilities are ahead of schedule."
The Bahrain Grand Prix, the first Formula One race to be run in the Middle East, is less than three months away and the circuit is already well prepared for its official FIA inspection on March 7, in advance of the race on April 4.