Motor racing-Williams likely to have boycotted Bahrain race

LONDON Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:52am GMT

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LONDON Feb 25 (Reuters) - Williams would almost certainly have boycotted the Bahrain Grand Prix had it not been called off, team chairman Adam Parr said on Friday.

The opening race of the Formula One season, due to take place on March 13, was postponed by organisers on Monday because of anti-government protests.

"The decision was right by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and if for whatever conceivable reason that hadn't been the decision, I don't think we would have gone," Parr told www.autosport.com.

"Had the Bahrain Grand Prix gone ahead, I don't think we, and in fact I suspect even all the teams, would have gone."

Final testing was also shifted from Bahrain to Barcelona and the first race of the year will now be in Australia on March 27.

"It was quite apparent to everybody that we were simply going to make the situation there worse, because we would have been a focal point for demonstrations and unrest," Parr added

"There would have been all the media associated with us there, and therefore I think it would have just been incendiary."

Formula One would try hard to reschedule the race, Parr said, but a packed calendar and the hot summer temperatures in Bahrain would make it difficult. (Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by John O'Brien; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

((mark.meadows@thomsonreuters.com; +44 7708909684; Reuters Messaging: mark.meadows.reuters.com@reuters.net. For Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport/)

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