Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Bahrain has a secure F1 future, says Ecclestone

Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa greets Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone before the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit in Manama on Sunday.


The Bahrain Grand Prix has a solid future and all publicity is good, Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said on Sunday at a race that anti-government protesters had wanted cancelled.

Asked whether the race would stay on the calendar, the 81-year-old Briton told Reuters: "Absolutely. Forever. No problem."

The race at the Sakhir circuit passed without incident and was won for Red Bull by Germany's world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Story continues below advertisement

Last year's grand prix was cancelled after a bloody crackdown on an anti-government uprising and Sunday's drew widespread condemnation from abroad and provoked rage among local opponents.

Asked whether the events of the past week, with the death of a protestor and television images broadcast worldwide of fiery petrol bombs and teargas, would have any impact on the growth of motorsport in the Middle East, Ecclestone was equally upbeat.

"I think it's good because people talk about things, you know. You know what they say - there is no such thing as bad publicity," he said.

"It's growing all the time, and other places are interested. I think it will grow here for sure," added Ecclestone, who owns the commercial rights to Formula One.

Bahrain was the first country to host a grand prix, in 2004, and the region now has two rounds of the 20 race calendar with Abu Dhabi joining in 2009.

Bahrain also owns half of the McLaren Group, the parent of the British-based Formula One team.

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at