By: Max Davies, F1 correspondent
McLaren Mercedes have joined their rivals in supporting the decision by the Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, to cancel the opening round of the 2011 Formula One season.
Martin Whitmarsh (Team Principal) said: "The cancellation of any grand prix is always a disappointment for all concerned - but, bearing in mind the situation in the Middle East at present, we fully support the Crown Prince's decision."
With the planned fourth pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit now moving to Barcelona instead and no announcement as to whether the race will be re-arranged towards the end of the forthcoming season, chairman of the venue Zayed Alzayani remains hopeful of an eventual return.
"We look forward to welcoming the teams, drivers and everyone involved in Formula 1 back to Bahrain in the very near future," he said.
"Bahrain's grand prix is a time of celebration, and hosting the race is a source of great pride for Bahrain and Bahrainis. It is a showcase to the world. I hope that F1 and our friends around the world will understand our decision at this difficult time."