Replacement race for threatened Bahrain opener unlikely image

Cancellation of the 2011 season opener in Bahrain would likely leave a hole at the start of this year’s 20-race calendar, a team boss has admitted.

Violent anti-government protests have led to this week’s GP2 Asia race being called off in Bahrain.

Virgin team boss John Booth told the BBC that if a similar decision is made ahead of next month’s Bahrain grand prix, it is unlikely a replacement race will be organised.

“Impractical,” he said. “Our sea freight, like every other team’s, left for Bahrain a month ago, and a lot of the equipment in the sea freight is vital for the running of the cars.”

However, finding an alternate location for the fourth pre-season test would be simpler, amid early reports that the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi is already making its venue available.

The matters will certainly be discussed when F1 team chiefs meet on Friday.

Booth said freight for the March 3-6 Bahrain test needs to be sent by next Friday.