The Formula One Teams' Association has written to the sport's chiefs stating that its members do not want to race in Bahrain on the new Oct. 30 date, but teams are open to discussing a future slot for the event later in the year.
With ongoing controversy about the FIA's decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix on the calendar, and move the inaugural event in India to Dec. 11, F1 teams have been holding talks over the past 36 hours to discuss their response to the situation.
Although there has been no official public statement about the matter, a letter is believed to have been sent to the FIA, Formula One Management and the Bahrain Grand Prix organizers outlining FOTA's position. It is understood that FOTA has made it clear that its members do not want to race in Bahrain on Oct. 30, and instead it requests that the Indian GP be put back to the slot it originally had in the calendar.
Despite its stance on the Oct. 30 date, FOTA has not closed the door totally on a return of the Bahrain GP this year and has said it is willing to discuss a future date, perhaps in December, when the race could be rescheduled.
The desire to return the Indian GP to its original Oct. 30 date comes just hours after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone suggested that that was what he wanted to see happen. In an interview with the UK's The Times newspaper today, Ecclestone said: "The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen. Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go. If they are not, then we don't go and there are no problems."
As well as teams being unhappy about the logistical problems of rescheduling travel arrangements and seeking guarantees on safety in Bahrain, there are also now believed to be issues relating to the manner in which the FIA changed the calendar without the unanimous support of the competitors. Former FIA president Max Mosley has spoken out again on the subject, suggesting that the governing body was in breach of its own International Sporting Code in the way it shifted the date of the Indian GP at its World Motor Sport Council meeting last week.
Article 66 of the ISC states: "No amendments shall be made to the Supplementary Regulations after the beginning of the period for receiving entries, unless unanimous agreement is given by all competitors already entered, or by decision of the stewards of the meeting for reasons of force majeure or safety (see Article 141)."
FOTA would not confirm what its official response to the Bahrain situation. However, a spokesman said: "Action has been taken through the appropriate channels."