Formula 1 commercial manager Bernie Ecclestone says there are no doubts that the Bahrain Grand Prix will take place this year, despite ongoing question marks about its future.
With reports of continued political trouble still appearing in the media, there has been speculation that the event could face a repeat of the scenario 12 months ago when it had to be canceled. But Ecclestone is adamant that the race, which is scheduled to take place on April 22, will go ahead because he does not see any issue with events going on in the Gulf state.
"Everyone talks a lot about this part of the world, but Bahrain is the country in the region where there are the fewest problems," said Ecclestone in an interview with the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.
Ecclestone also said that he was considering the idea of alternating the Barcelona and Valencia races in Spain – amid recent comments from the organizers that they want to reduce costs.
"The Spaniards want to discuss it," he said. "We should not have two races there."
Although dropping one of the Spanish races would reduce the calendar, Ecclestone says there are no shortages of other venues ready to sign up.
"We could conclude deals today with five new promoters. The demand is high," he explained. "Great interest comes from Mexico. More races cost us and the teams more money, because they probably have to double their staff. But we could find solutions."