Bahrain has until May to decide whether the country's postponed Formula One Grand Prix can be rescheduled this year, the sport's governing body said on Tuesday.
"The World Motor Sport Council asked the Bahrain Motor Federation to communicate by May 1st at the latest if the Bahrain Grand Prix can be organised in 2011," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said.
The race, originally scheduled for the Sakhir circuit this weekend, would have been the season-opener but was called off due to unrest in the Gulf kingdom.
The championship will now start in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix on March 27.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said he wants to reschedule the Bahrain race, providing the situation has calmed down, with a likely date towards the end of the season.
"We'll have a look and see what we can do, how we can swap things round a bit," the Briton said last week. "Maybe we can change with Brazil or something like that."
Brazil is scheduled to end the season on Nov 27, after the penultimate race in Abu Dhabi.
"If there's peace in Bahrain, we'll be there," said Ecclestone who had called for a decision to be made before the season starts and ruled out an alternative round in Europe.
The FIA's motor sport council, meeting in Paris, also tweaked the rules to allow new sole supplier Pirelli a chance to try out new types of tire while adhering to a ban on testing during the season.
The FIA said an additional specification of dry weather tires and of "prime" tires could be made available to teams at certain events for evaluation purposes and used in Friday practice only.
"Teams will be informed about such an additional specification at least one week before the start of the relevant event," it said.
Pirelli has taken over from Bridgestone as Formula One's supplier this year but has had limited opportunities to test the tires on 2011 specification cars with just four preseason tests with the teams in Spain since the new year.
"We needed to put in place a mechanism within the regulations now to allow us to test new tires in a competitive context this year if necessary," said Pirelli Motor Sport Director Paul Hembery.
"It's great that we have this possibility open to us because we are already hard at work defining the specification of our tires for the future.
"Without this potential opportunity we would be unable to test with a current car and would be relying solely on a previous generation vehicle, so it could be a good solution to the testing issue for both ourselves and the teams."
The FIA also announced its Circuit Design Group was examining existing race circuits to try and find ways of increasing overtaking possibilities.
Some circuits, including such modern layouts as Barcelona and Abu Dhabi, are notoriously difficult to overtake on with Williams technical director Sam Michael pointing the finger at the use of chicanes.