Ecclestone made late bid for Bahrain

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone yesterday made a last-ditch bid to keep the Bahrain Grand Prix on this year's calendar.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone yesterday made a last-ditch bid to keep the Bahrain Grand Prix on this year's calendar.

The revelation has been made public by world governing body the FIA who have posted on their website a chronology as to how the saga of the off-on-off nature of the race unfolded.

The majority of the information is already common knowledge, until you come to an entry for yesterday, the day after the 80-year-old had publicly stated the grand prix was "not on".

It reads: "The commercial rights holder proposed to the FIA that the GP of Bahrain be rescheduled for 4 December, with the GP of India reinstated on its original date of 30 October.

"The FIA replied the same day, asking the commercial rights holder to provide guarantees that any new date proposal is acceptable both to the teams and to the organisers in Bahrain."

"However, the Bahrainis themselves, believing there was no chance of a grand prix being staged in the Gulf kingdom, announced last night they would not be pursuing the rescheduling of the race."

In light of that, Ecclestone today proposed to confirm the original calendar, with India to be reinstated on October 30.

The FIA have since asked all the members of the World Motor Sport Council "to express their view on this proposition via a fax vote" with answers to be received no later than midday next Tuesday.

The expose casts Ecclestone in a poor light, although firms up his claim made to Press Association Sport today he did all he could to assist Bahrain.

"We were trying to help Bahrain, who have been very helpful to Formula One, and hoping they could get themselves sorted out," Ecclestone told Press Association Sport.

"I don't know whether there is peace or not, I've no idea. The FIA sent somebody out to check and they said it was all OK.

"I think the teams had different information, and they have the right to say they don't want to change the calendar."

The race was scheduled as the curtain raiser in March, only for anti-government protests leading to its postponement on safety grounds.

Controversy followed last Friday when the WMSC confirmed the race had been reinstated on the calendar for October 30, with the inaugural Indian GP moved to December 11.

The decision was heavily criticised by the F1 teams due to the logistical and insurance problems posed by the move, eventually resulting in the axe falling.

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