Date: 22nd February 2011 at 9:12am
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The opening race of the 2011 Formula One season in Bahrain was officially called off on Monday.

The decision came after days of discussion following unrest in the country.

Following the official announcement Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, Zayed R. Alzayani told Formula1.com: ?Bahrain?s Grand Prix is a time of celebration and hosting the race is a source of great pride for Bahrain and Bahrainis. It is a showcase to the world and we look forward to welcoming the teams and drivers and everyone involved in Formula One back to Bahrain in the very near future.?

With the final test session now set for Barcelona and the opening race of the season set for Australia, attention now moves to whether or not the Bahrain Grand Prix will be cancelled from the F1 calendar or rearranged for a later date.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa Al-Khalifa told cnn.com that discussions were already underway to reschedule the race: ‘We still hope to host an F1 grand prix in this calendar year – we are already in negotiations. We hope that we can reschedule the race later this year and be a valuable addition to the F1 calendar.’

Formula 1’s ruling body, the FIA released a statement yesterday which would appear to indicate that this decision would be made by them.

?This decision (to postpone the Bahrain Grand Prix) is the outcome of the close co-operation between the FIA, Formula One Management, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit.?

?The FIA is Formula One?s governing body and is responsible for the international calendar as well as all matters of safety relating to the stakeholders involved in Grand Prix racing.
The statement published on the FIA website read.

Finding a gap in the Formula One World championship schedule is not an easy task, nipping over to Bahrain between European would certainly not be ideal, there is a window between the Hungarian and Belgian Grand Prix’s, but this was suppose to give the F1 teams a summer break, another option and logistically better for teams would be slotting in the race while the Formula One teams are relatively close by in Abu Dhabi, but this could cause problems for the season finale in Brazil.