Max Mosley expects cancellation of Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Mosley, the former head of world motorsport, does not think the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead on 30 October.

The race, originally due to be held on 13 March but called off in February because of civil unrest in the Gulf state, was reinstated last Friday.

However, Mosley believes the image of Formula 1 will suffer enormous damage if the race goes ahead.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "I will be astonished if the event goes ahead. I don't think it will happen."

Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, agreed unanimously on 3 June to restore the race - which had been scheduled to be the season opener - to the 2011 calendar.

The inaugural Indian Grand Prix, which was supposed to be taking place on 30 October, has been shunted back to 11 December.

But Mosley continued: "One thing that everybody seems to have overlooked is that the teams have to agree a change of calendar.

"You can't simply move the Indian race from one point to another without asking all the people who have entered.

"You need the written agreement of every team and I don't believe that is going to be forthcoming."

The 12 Formula 1 teams are believed to be unhappy with the revised schedule but FIA president Jean Todt said on Monday that the decision to reinstate the Bahrain race had been taken after a report claimed the situation in the country had stabilised.

And the head of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, stressed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme said the Grand Prix would help unite the country.

Sheikh Mohammed, who was instrumental in taking Formula 1 to Bahrain in 2004, said: "There is a long way between now and then [30 October] and we're confident that by the time the race comes around we'll have addressed a lot of the issues.

"The Grand Prix is a uniting force and that is the view of the majority of people in Bahrain, including the opposition and we look forward to this race helping Bahrain deal with the issues it went through."

However, Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes the Gulf state is not as stable as the FIA suggests and he is trying to overturn the reinstatement of the race.

Ecclestone, F1's commercial rights holder, has called for a new vote to cancel the 30 October date and give Bahrain a conditional date of 4 December.

"Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go," he told the Times newspaper.

"If they are not, then we don't go and there are no problems. We can change this 30 October date by having a vote, by fax if necessary."

Former world champion Damon Hill, chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club, said F1 had missed a chance to voice its concerns over the ongoing situation in Bahrain.

He told the BBC's World Update: "I think the trouble with Formula 1 is that it's a bubble. It goes around the world and people live in this bubble and they seem to feel they're immune to everything else that's happening."