Ecclestone says Bahrain GP decision rests with Crown Prince

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The final decision on whether or not the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead will be made by the Crown Prince, according to Bernie Eccclestone.

The F1 season opener on 13 March is in serious doubt following civil unrest in the country that has left six people dead during days of protests in which police have fired live rounds at demonstrators.

F1 boss Ecclestone's latest comments come two days after he said he hoped the problem would just 'blow away' so the race could be run.

Speaking to BBC Sport on Sunday, Ecclestone claimed that Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifi was the best person to make the call. The Prince is heir apparent to the throne and also the supreme commander of the defence force.

"He will know whether it's safe for us to be there. I've no idea. I'm not there, so I don't know. Let's hope it will be alright. We won't advise people to go unless it's safe," Ecclestone said.

The Foreign Office has already advised British nationals not to travel to Bahrain unless absolutely necessary while a number of team bosses are believed to be against holding the race at all. A report in the Sunday Times claims some teams would boycott the event if the race went ahead.

Their concerns are even more pressing because Bahrain is also due to hold a four-day pre-season test, starting on 3 March. As teams are limited to 15 days' testing before the start of the season, they want a quick decision so an alternative venue can be found; Barcelona and Jerez are thought to be the most likely choices.