7 Apr 2012

Formula One's governing body keeps eye on Bahrain

9:34 am on 7 April 2012

Formula One's governing body has kept a close eye on the situation in Bahrain as calls for this month's grand prix to be postponed gathered pace due to continuing violence.

Protestors have clashed with police while more than 5,000 people demonstrated in the north of the capital Manama to demand the release of a jailed activist on hunger strike.

The April 22 race at Sakhir follows the Chinese Grand Prix on April 15, with teams getting ready to fly to Shanghai after the Easter weekend.

Last year's race in Bahrain was postponed, reinstated and then cancelled due to a February uprising and bloody crackdown.

The kingdom has been in turmoil for more than a year with regular opposition party marches and rallies and clashes between riot police and youths in Shi'ite districts involving tear gas and petrol bombs.