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Ecclestone Waives Bahrain Formula One Fees

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Bahrain Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone Waives Bahrain Formula One Fees

VOA Breaking News
Voice of America
February 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone says he will waive the rights fees that are due from Bahrain, after the season-opening Grand Prix auto race there had to be canceled because of political unrest.

Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday that “the fee that is normally being paid for the event is not being paid,” and that he would not charge the Gulf kingdom “for a race they are not getting.” Fees had been expected to be in the $40 million range.

The 80-year-old Ecclestone described the decision as an act of loyalty and goodwill toward Bahrain's royal family.

The Formula One season will now open with the Australian Grand Prix on March 27. However, Ecclestone did not rule out rescheduling a race in Bahrain toward the end of the Formula One season if the situation there stabilizes.

On Tuesday, more than 100,000 people marched in Bahrain's capital Manama, in what organizers called the largest-ever pro-democracy demonstration in the majority-Shi'ite island nation of 500,000 citizens.

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