LONDON // Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial rights owner of Formula One, said on Tuesday that although he is unable to force teams to participate in the Bahrain Grand Prix, he expects all 12 Formula One teams will be there.
Some teams are reportedly reluctant to race in Bahrain amid continuing concerns over security in the country. Last year's event was postponed following anti-government protests before eventually being removed from the schedule altogether.
Ecclestone said that the fate of this year's event, set for April 22, could be decided by the teams.
"We've no way we can force people to go there," Ecclestone said. "We can't say, 'You've got to go' - although they would be in breach of their agreement with us if they didn't go, but it doesn't help.
"Commercially, they have to go, but whether they decide to or not is up to them. I've had no one say anything other than, 'We're going to be racing in Bahrain.'"
Ecclestone added that, as far as he was concerned, this year's race was still on.
"Yes. If the people in Bahrain are happy that they can run the event," he said.
"We're not involved in any of the politics in Bahrain ... When you go to somebody's country you have to respect exactly how they run their country and the laws of that country.
"We've an agreement with the FIA [the sport's governing body] that Bahrain is a round of the world championship, and we've a contract with the promoters, but I want to make clear it's nothing to do with finance."
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