Formula 1 team chiefs have admitted that the current political situation in Bahrain is a concern ahead of this year's race, but they remain confident the FIA will do the right thing in deciding whether or not the event should go ahead.
The Bahrain Grand Prix returns to the calendar this year after the 2012 season opener was canceled in the wake of political troubles in the Gulf state. However, with reports of ongoing street clashes, there have been fresh doubts about whether or not the situation could deteriorate if a high-profile event like an F1 race takes place.
Speaking ahead of the opening preseason test at Jerez in Spain on Monday, Sauber and Lotus bosses said they were monitoring the situation, but that the final decision on the event would rest with the FIA.
Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said: "I think everyone, including the FIA and the commercial rights holder, we are concerned about the situation. But we, as the Sauber F1 team, are definitely not in the position to judge that very well. We have to trust in the FIA and the commercial rights holder, who have the call on this. And, if we think it is the right thing to go there, we will definitely go there."
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said: "We want to be racing and we want to be racing in every part of the world where we are welcome. Bahrain is one of these places. But with the political situation in Bahrain, it is up to the FIA to decide if it is safe to go. Obviously we have commitments with regard to the Formula 1 championship, so it is not an easy decision to take. We are waiting for the feedback from the FIA now on whether or not we are able to go."
Lotus F1 team owner Gerard Lopez reckoned that if guarantees provided to teams were met then he saw little reason for the event to be called off.
"All I can say is that Bahrain is a great country," he explained. "I love being there, the people are nice there, and the events have always been really well run. What I have been hearing is that a number of guarantees have been given in terms of how the things will happen and so on. So, if things look good, then there is no reason why we should not be able to go to Bahrain.
"If everything is run fair that is it. It would be wrong for the sport to be used politically, so if everything is set for F1 to go to Bahrain, then F1 should go to Bahrain."