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Formula One season opener in Bahrain canceled

February 21, 2011 |  1:59 pm

Bah_240 Organizers of the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix canceled the race Monday in response to the turmoil that has engulfed the small Middle Eastern island nation in recent weeks.

Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa informed Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone of the decision and posted the news to the country's Information Affairs Authority Twitter site. The race was scheduled to take place March 13 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Formula One's governing body, the FIA, described the race as being postponed in a statement on its website. There's a chance the race could be rescheduled toward the end of the season when the Formula One teams return to the Middle East for the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi on Nov. 13.

If the race is not rescheduled, it would be a significant blow to Bahrain's economy.

Thousands of government demonstrators have taken to the streets in recent weeks and around 10 protesters were killed Thursday after clashing with security forces.

The Formula One season will begin at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 27.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. Credit: Karim Sahim / Getty Images.

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