Mar.2 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Bernie Ecclestone will keep the 2012 race fee even if he is forced to cancel the Bahrain grand prix at the last minute.

The F1 chief executive made the revelation to fend off speculation he is only supporting the Kingdom’s controversial return to the calendar for financial reasons.

Britain’s Telegraph newspaper said the Bahrain government pays $40 million per race, but last year Ecclestone did not collect the fee after civil unrest forced the cancellation of the event.

“They (Bahrain) will pay if there is no race,” Ecclestone revealed.

“The money is in the bank already. So we’re not going because we’re going to get paid. That has nothing to do with it.

“We have a contract with them and we’re respecting the contract. And I don’t believe the people there would take a risk if they thought there was a risk.”