F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has all but killed off the prospects of the Bahrain Grand Prix actually going ahead, mere days after he had successfully lobbied – along with the Bahraini government – to have the cancelled race reinstated.

It would appear that the billionaire mogul has cottoned onto a rather important clause that the FIA perhaps failed to acknowledge when giving the race the green light: that the teams have the final say over any amendments to the F1 calendar.

Since the FIA World Motor Sport Council gave its ruling to the race to be reinstated on the F1 calendar in October, the decision has attracted vast amounts of criticism from multiple sources.

  Bahrain Grand Prix
The return of the Bahrain GP in 2011 looks all but finished…

We reported earlier that former FIA President Max Mosley pointed out that the Formula 1 International Sporting Code prohibited any amendments to the F1 calendar without the unanimous agreement of all of the teams, a consensus that Ecclestone has now realised he was never going to achieve with many teams declaring their opposition to the event even going ahead.

“The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants – they’re the facts,” he conceded to the BBC.

“Hopefully there’ll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course [the Grand Prix is] not on.”

The end result is an almighty egg on the face of the FIA, which will receive another round of criticism for having flip-flopped on the issue so dramatically.

Ultimately, the next steps will be to go about quietly removing the race from the 2011 calendar without the FIA losing too much in the dignity stakes.

The valiant – and frankly, futile – defence by FIA President Jean Todt of the FIA’s decision-making process to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix won’t help the Frenchman’s credibility. However, it would not be surprising to see the FIA Vice-President Carlos Gracia being the fall guy in the entire affair, for it was he who tabled the fact-finding report declaring all was going swimmingly in Bahrain when there was very clear evidence to suggest otherwise.

[Image via The Cahier Archive]

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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.