Formula 1 commercial rights manager Bernie Ecclestone will wait until next week to make a decision on whether or not the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead in the wake of the political turmoil going on in the Gulf state.
With tensions high following a number of deaths and injuries to protesters after police forcefully confronted them in Manama in the early hours of Thursday, doubts have emerged about whether F1's season opener can still go ahead. Bahrain GP officials are adamant, however, that they are still pushing ahead with plans for the March 13 race, and Ecclestone himself has said that he will not make a snap decision until the situation becomes clearer.
Speaking to Britain's Press Association, Ecclestone said that he had been kept up to date with events by the Bahrain royal family, and that a call on the viability of the race will come next week.
"It's not good, is it?" he conceded of the situation in Bahrain. "We'll have to keep our eye on things and make a decision quickly.
"I spoke to the Crown Prince this morning. He doesn't know any more than you or I, but they're monitoring exactly what is going on. Next week we will make a decision on what we are going to do."
F1 teams are due to meet in Barcelona on Friday to discuss the Bahrain situation, with teams set to ship their cars to the Middle East next week for the final preseason test that takes place on March 3-6.