The already slim chances of the Bahrain Grand Prix returning to the Formula 1 calendar later this season now appear to be all but over after a state of emergency was declared in the Gulf state on Tuesday.
The FIA had given Bahrain GP organizers until May 1 to resolve the political troubles that had forced the 2011 season-opener to be called off and to request a new date. However, after fresh protests in Bahrain over the weekend, and troops from Saudi Arabia having been called on to help restore order, the state has declared a state of emergency for the next three months.
In a statement that was read out on Bahrain's main television channel, it was announced that the King had "authorized the commander of Bahrain's defense forces to take all necessary measures to protect the safety of the country and its citizens."
With the three-month period running past the May 1 deadline given to the state by the FIA, there now appears very little prospect for the race getting slotted in later this year. F1 commercial rights manager Bernie Ecclestone has said several times that if Bahrain could guarantee it could put on a trouble-free event, then he would give it a date later in the year.