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Bahrain withdraws from 2011 calendar 10 Jun 2011

Sun sets over the circuit.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Preparations, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Thursday, 11 March 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6 leads at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 14 March 2010 Aerial view of the circuit.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 14 March 2010 The drivers sit still for the annual drivers' photo in front of Bahrain's Sakhir tower

Bahrain Grand Prix organisers have decided to withdraw from staging a round of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship. It follows the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s reinstatement of the race last week.

The Sakhir race was originally scheduled for March 13, but was postponed due to civil unrest in the island state. A decision on whether to reinstate it had been expected at the start of May, but the FIA extended the deadline at the request of Bahraini authorities, before handing it a new October slot.

However, following concerns raised by various parties over the past week, organisers have decided they would rather switch their focus to a welcome return to Bahrain in 2012.

"Whilst Bahrain would have been delighted to see the Grand Prix progress on October 30th in-line with the World Motor Sport Council's decision, it has been made clear that this fixture cannot progress and we fully respect that decision," Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) chairman Zayed R Alzayani said in a statement.

"Bahrain has always sought to play a positive role in the continued development of Formula One, from pioneering F1 racing in the Middle East, to helping other countries in facilitating their own races in new territories, as well as providing our own unique experience and universal welcome to Grand Prix supporters.

"Bahrain has absolutely no desire to see a race which would further extend the calendar season and detract from the enjoyment of F1 for either drivers, teams or supporters. We want our role in Formula One to continue to be as positive and constructive as it has always been, therefore, in the best interest of the sport, we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season.

"We look forward to welcoming teams, their drivers and supporters back to Bahrain next year and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our supporters, including staff, volunteers, sponsors, private businesses and the general public, for whom I know this year's decision will be a disappointment.

"We would also especially like to thank the FIA, FOM, the Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) and the teams for all support and understanding they have extended to us at this time."