Bahrain Grand Prix may not be rearranged after fresh blow
Race looks likely to be scrapped after king declares three-month state of emergency in Gulf state
The remote possibility of the Bahrain Grand Prix taking place this season has been cast into further doubt after the king of the Gulf state declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday.
The FIA has given the race organisers until 1 May for a decision on whether the season-opening race, which had to be called off amid civil unrest in the island kingdom, could be rescheduled to the end of the season.
Anti-government protestors were planning on targeting the race and although the situation has now calmed down, a reported 200 people were injured over the weekend the race should have taken place.
Fresh political protests have led to Bahraini officials drafting in 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia to help protect key facilities and keep order as the demonstrations intensify.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had previously said that the race would go ahead if the Bahrain government could guarantee a trouble-free event, but insists he will work to keep the sport away from politics.
The state of emergency will go beyond the date set by the governing body, which makes the likelihood of a return to Bahrain in 2011 almost impossible.
Should the Bahrain GP be formally removed from the calendar, the season, which gets under way in Melbourne on 27 March, will be reduced to 19 races – the same number as 2010.