The Bahrain Grand Prix, due to take place on 13th March, has today been called off.
The decision was widely expected after a series of bloody anti-government protests that have taken place over the last week.
The first grand prix of the 2011 season will now be the Australian Grand Prix on 27th March, but it is thought that there are plans to re-schedule the Bahrain race later in the season.
“We must focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting to a later date,” said Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
“After the events of the past week, our nation’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together; reminding the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united.”
“It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country,” said Bernie Ecclestone.
“The hospitality and warmth of the people of Bahrain is a hallmark of the race there, as anyone who has been at a Bahrain Grand Prix will testify. We look forward to being back in Bahrain soon.”
The fourth pre-season test session, which was scheduled to take place in Bahrain next week, will also be cancelled. It will instead be held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona between 8-11 March 2011.