| SUZUKA, Japan
SUZUKA, Japan Oct 8 Formula One teams are
keeping a wary eye on the situation in Bahrain with the Gulf
kingdom due to host a grand prix next April after this year's
was cancelled due to civil unrest.
"Obviously it's worrying when you hear the type of news
that's come out of Bahrain," said Christian Horner, principal of
champions Red Bull, at the Japanese Grand Prix.
"But I think that (Formula One supremo) Bernie (Ecclestone)
more than anybody probably is acutely aware of the situation
there and when the time is right for difficult decisions that
have to be made he's demonstrated that he's not afraid of making
The island's Shi'ite majority want more political rights and
an end to what they say is discrimination by the Sunni-ruled
monarchy that put down an pro-democracy uprising this year.
Many Shi'ite areas are seeing almost nightly trouble with
the police and a teenager died from shotgun pellet wounds after
clashes with police on Thursday.
Around 30 people, mainly Shi'ites, died when the protest
movement erupted in February and there has been further tension
after 20 doctors and medical staff were recently sentenced to
jail terms of up to 15 years by a military court.
Bahrain is scheduled to host the fourth round of the
championship next April 22.
The race is the country's biggest and most prestigious
sporting event and would have been the season-opener this year,
but was first postponed and then cancelled after months of
debate and a failed attempt to reinstate it.
Horner said there would be plenty of opportunity for the
governing FIA and Ecclestone to assess the viability of the race
before the end of the year.
"I think the right decision was made this year, I'm sure if
there is a difficult decision to make again, I'm sure that
decision won't be left so long next time," he added.
Renault team boss Eric Boullier said Bahrain should be given
as much time as possible, however.
"On the human side, it's not nice to see all these
problems," he told Reuters.
"We keep an eye on it. On the sport side, we want to be back
in Bahrain, clearly. We have not changed our position from last
"Bahrain is part of Formula One for many years, they have
invested in Formula One and we like to go there and it's part of
the show now. So we want to be back. But not at any price."
(Editing by Mark Meadows; For Reuters sports blog Left Field go