| MANAMA, April 22
MANAMA, April 22 The Bahrain Grand Prix has a
solid future and all publicity is good, Formula One chief Bernie
Ecclestone said on Sunday at a race that anti-government
protesters had wanted cancelled.
Asked whether the race would stay on the calendar, the
81-year-old Briton told Reuters: "Absolutely. Forever. No
The race at the Sakhir circuit passed without incident and
was won for Red Bull by Germany's world champion Sebastian
Last year's grand prix was cancelled after a bloody
crackdown on an anti-government uprising and Sunday's drew
widespread condemnation from abroad and provoked rage among
Asked whether the events of the past week, with the death of
a protestor and television images broadcast worldwide of fiery
petrol bombs and teargas, would have any impact on the growth of
motorsport in the Middle East, Ecclestone was equally upbeat.
"I think it's good because people talk about things, you
know. You know what they say - there is no such thing as bad
publicity," he said.
"It's growing all the time, and other places are interested.
I think it will grow here for sure," added Ecclestone, who owns
the commercial rights to Formula One.
Bahrain was the first country to host a grand prix, in 2004,
and the region now has two rounds of the 20 race calendar with
Abu Dhabi joining in 2009.
Bahrain also owns half of the McLaren Group, the parent of
the British-based Formula One team.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Philippa Fletcher)