Two British newspapers are claiming formula one teams are reluctant to race in Bahrain later this month, amid mounting concerns about human rights abuses and the fate of a protester on hunger strike for the past two months.
According to the London Sunday Times, hundreds of formula one engineers, mechanics and catering staff have been issued with two return tickets from this weekend's race in China: one for Bahrain and one for Europe and home in case the race is cancelled, The Times said, without quoting sources.
One unnamed Formula One team principal told The Guardian he believed the race in the Gulf state on the 22nd of this month should be either cancelled or postponed.
About this time last year, Bahrain's ruling dynasty cracked down on protesters demanding democratic reforms, and 35 people were believed to have been killed.
But Formula One's boss Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that the outbreak of fresh violence will not affect this year's race.