Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he will not be charging the Bahrain government for its postponed 2011 season opener.
It was reported in recent days that, because it was the island Kingdom’s crown prince who actually called off the event, the more than $40 million race sanctioning fee was technically still payable to the sport.
But the Times quotes the F1 chief executive as saying: “Nobody wants to gain from this.
“I want to be loyal to the king because he is doing everything he can to put things right with his people. He doesn’t need people like me stabbing him in the back,” added Ecclestone.
Also to the Telegraph, 80-year-old Ecclestone played down claims he is so ruthless he will be collecting the fee even though the 2011 race may not take place.
“The fee that is normally being paid for the event is not being paid,” he insisted. “I am not charging them for a race they are not getting.
“Whether they are covered by their insurers for loss of revenues, ticket sales etc, I am not sure. But if anything is force majeure then that is.
“It is similar to if an earthquake had struck — no one could have foreseen that a month ago,” added Ecclestone.
The Briton clarified that F1 is “not insured for this sort of thing”.
“If and when it is rescheduled they will pay their usual fee,” explained Ecclestone, who denied that Bahrain pays more for the privilege of having the first race.
“There has never been an extra fee to stage the first race — or the last race for that matter. We put the calendar together to suit the sport,” he insisted.
© RIF | GMM