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Bahrain paid for cancelled race, says Ecclestone

Formula One commercial supremo Ecclestone walks in paddock after second free practice session for the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza cir
Formula One commercial supremo Ecclestone walks in paddock after second free practice session for the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza cir

LONDON (Reuters) - Bahrain has paid the hosting fee for this year's Formula One grand prix even though the race was canceled, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying on Monday.

"I don't think turnover will be down this year," the 80-year-old Briton told the Independent newspaper when asked about the sport's 2011 balance sheet.

"I think it will be flat because we were paid for Bahrain. I said we will give them the money back and they said 'Don't bother'."

The hosting fee for this year had been estimated by various sources at around $40 million.

Ecclestone had said in February that he had waived the rights fees after the season-opening race was called off due to violent civil unrest.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by John Mehaffey)

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