Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa walks with Formula One's commercial supremo Ecclestone, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit Zayed al-Zayani and other officials before the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at Sakir Circuit

Ecclestone keen to extend Bahrain race deal

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Bernie Ecclestone says he’s eager to extend Bahrain’s contract to hold a round of the world championship despite continuing controversy over the race.

The grand prix was the focus of protests for the second year in a row following its reinstatement onto the calendar.

Bahrain was cut from the calendar in 2011 after pro-democracy protests were brutally suppressed by the government, leading to a state of emergency being declared.

“I feel they do a super job and we’re more than happy to give them a new contract for five years,” Ecclestone told Reuters.

The Bahrain race organizers have expressed an interest in holding the first race of the season as they did in 2006 and 2010. The race was supposed to be the season-opener in 2011 before it was postponed and eventually cancelled due to the unrest.

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani said a date change was “on the table”.

“For us, we’re ready any day of the year, but we will have to see how it fits with logistics, other dates, other countries hosting and if there are conflicts with any other events they may have,” he continued, adding that an extension on their current contract could be signed later this year. Bahrain’s current contract expires in 2016.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.