Date: 20th February 2011 at 8:48pm
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Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will trust Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifah with the final decision over whether F1’s opening race of the season will go ahead.

‘He will decide whether it’s safe for us to be there, I’ve no idea. I’m not there, so I don’t know.’ Ecclestone told the BBC. ‘We won’t advise people to go unless it’s safe.’

As Formula One fans we spend the winter looking forward to the start of a brand new season, the intrigue regarding who will be in contention for the podium and excitement of cheering on our favourite drivers and teams.

But the current situation in Bahrain and other countries across the Middle East firmly places a 190 mile race into context.

‘When you hear of people losing their lives, this is a tragedy.’ Red Bull’s Mark Webber told the BBC after Sunday’s testing sessions. ‘It’s probably not the best time to go there for a sporting event. They have bigger things, bigger priorities.’

The teams and drivers safety is also of paramount importance with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi voicing his own concerns. ‘I’m scared. If I have to go, I have to go, but scared. That’s it.’

‘I mean, if I have to go, I have to go. It’s my job. But do you want to go for a holiday there?’
he told Autosport Magazine.

The decision is set to be made over the next 48 hours and while the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) will stand by any decision made by Formula One Management (FOM) and will attend if the race gets the green light, would it really be right to go racing while there is chaos elsewhere in the country?