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Bahrain cancels Formula 1 race

British McLaren-Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton drives at the Sakhir racetrack, 15 April 2007 in Manama, during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix.

BOB MOON: The tiny gulf state of Bahrain today confirmed that it will not host a major international auto race this year. The Formula One race was first cancelled in March -- because of civil unrest related to the Arab Spring.

But last week the race was surprisingly rescheduled for the fall -- only to be cancelled again today, as Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


STEPHEN BEARD: Last week's decision to reschedule the Grand Prix race was made by the Formula 1 organizers. But the teams taking part in the race rebelled. They said it should not go ahead, citing logistical and insurance issues.

However, says Jonathan Reynolds of Formula 1 Racing Magazine, the heavily-sponsored teams are more likely worried about commercial damage.

JONATHAN REYNOLDS: I think it's just important for any global sport these days with huge numbers of sponsors and corporations attached to like Formula 1 , that you make sure you get your image right. And going to a country like Bahrain is not very good for Formula 1's image.

Bahrain has now accepted the decision to cancel the race but this will be a big financial blow. The event was expected to inject $500 million into the Bahraini economy.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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