Bahrain asks to hold F1 race later this year

Bahrain has asked Formula One's governing body to reschedule its grand prix when it meets on Friday, insisting the country is returning to normal despite ongoing political tensions for months.

Zayed Rashid Alzayani, chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit which holds the Bahrain Grand Prix, told The Associated Press that the Gulf country was ready to "hold the race today."

Alzayani said he was hopeful it will be held in October or November to coincide with the Abu Dhabi GP on November 13.

It was the first time Bahrain has formally said its Bahrain Motor Federation has proposed rescheduling the March race, which was canceled by Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

"We feel we are in position to have that event back," Alzayani said. "Things have calmed down tremendously in Bahrain. Life is back to normal. We are happy to have the race anytime really."

The decision on whether the race goes ahead, and when, will be made during Friday's World Motor Sport Council meeting in Barcelona.

Alzayani argued that rescheduling the race would bolster spirits of Bahrainis and give its battered economy a boost. He estimated the race alone could infuse $500 million into the country and "could be a nice catalyst to re-ignite the economy."

"We went through a rough patch and we need nice moments in our history now for the nation," Alzayani said. "Formula One has always been a time where Bahrain showcases itself to the world not only as a sports arena but as society, a community that Bahrain as a nation has to offer. Formula One can bring back joy to the country."

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has led the campaign to reschedule the race.





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