New reports are claiming that the Bahrain Grand Prix is likely to be rescheduled to later in the 2011 Formula 1 season, with suggestions indicating that the race would occur after the Malaysian Grand Prix but before the season-ending race at Brazil.

With more countries’ foreign affairs departments advising against all non-essential travel to the Arab kingdom, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone could well be left with little option other than to postpone – or even cancel – the season-opening race, which is scheduled for March 11-13.

The Gulf News is citing a quote from an official with Mercedes GP a German race team as saying: “We have been told to step down our operations.”

Team figures will meet with members from formula One Management at the conclusion of today’s test at Barcelona, and an announcement over the Grand Prix is expected shortly thereafter.

The country has been gripped by a violent spate of anti-government riots from opposition party supporters, with many protestors killed and injured by what some are claiming as heavy-handed tactics by police and the armed forces, who have responded with rubber bullets and tear gas when trying to disperse the gatherings.

Of late, the country’s Crown Prince has instructed the personnel to step down in order to begin mediations between all parties, no doubt hoping that this might entice the Grand Prix circus to the country, with the race being one of the country’s biggest tourist drawcards.

Ecclestone has since said that he would rely on the judgement of the Crown Prince as to whether it would be safe enough for a race to occur.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.