Bernie Ecclestone calls Bahrain government "stupid"

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone believes the Bahrain government are "stupid" to host a Grand Prix, because of the opportunity it gives to political protestors.

Sunday's race is taking place amid a week of protests organised by opponents to the ruling royal family.

Some MPs and protest groups have called for it to be cancelled.

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The government here are stupid to put this race on. It is a platform for people to use protesting

Bernie Ecclestone Formula 1 boss

"The government here are stupid to put this race on. It is a platform for people to use protesting," he said.

"MPs are good, we see them once a year, we never see them otherwise. They suddenly pop up, which is good because no-one knows who they are and suddenly get their name in the paper so it does good for everybody.

"At least the groups who are there are talking with each other and trying to sort things out. I'm speaking to the leader of the opposition after qualifying."

Bahrain race chief Zayed Alzayani said on Thursday he was keen on the idea of his event becoming the first race of the season  again.

Bahrain replaced Australia as the first race of the season in 2006 and 2010 and would have done so in 2011 had that race not been postponed and then called off due to civil unrest.

"We're having a look at the calendar in general because we have more races to fit in so we'll see what we can do," Ecclestone told BBC Sport's Dan Roan.

"We're not here, or we don't go anywhere, to judge how a country is run.

"Human rights are that the people that live in a country abide by the laws of that country. I might be in Africa doing 200km/h with no problem. If I come to England and do the same thing, I'm in trouble.

"So it's a case of whatever the laws are in a country, people need to respect them, all of us, and the people that live here."

Ecclestone also added he would even consider taking F1 to Syria if the opportunity ever arose.