February 21, 2011

Bahrain A No-Go

Bahrain, the scheduled first race of the 2011 F1 season, was postponed today.  In a statement, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, said:

"Although Bernie Ecclestone had graciously made clear that a decision on the race was entirely Bahrain's to make and was not yet required, we felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of Bahrain's Formula 1 race to a later date. We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest.  Bahrain’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together to remind the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united."

Darth Bernie, who earlier this past weekend said that things looked good for the race before flip-flopping on that statement, said "It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country.“The hospitality and warmth of the people of Bahrain is a hallmark of the race there, as anyone who has been at a Bahrain Grand Prix will testify. We look forward to being back in Bahrain soon."

The test session scheduled to take place this weekend in Bahrain has been moved to Barcelona, as expected.  Surprisingly, the race has NOT been canceled, with various reports stating that November 6th may be a likely date for a makeup.  If that date turns out to be solid, there would be some interesting scheduling problems; the Grand Prix of India is October 30th and Abu Dhabi November 11th.  Three races in three weekends, all of them rather distant to boot, could cause no end of stress.

For what it's worth, it's F1U!'s opinion that the race should not be run this season.  F1 can be as much about politics as it is about racing, and as the most watched seasonal sport in the world it has a responsibility to be sensitive to the Bahrani people.  When you read such things as "(the race) has been the prince's dream since he was a child.  He wants to negotiate so he can fulfill this dream, and it makes me sad that his dream is more dear to him than the needs of his people. "There is a big connection between (the uprising) and Formula 1," coming from the mouths of some of the protesters, it's clear what should and should not be done.  Just do the right thing, Bernie.

The first race of the season will now be Australia, the way it should have been in the first place, on March 27th.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:19 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Seems like Bahrain has more important things to deal with these days than race cars.  I'm glad it was postponed for all concerned.


Posted by: Mallory at February 22, 2011 12:47 PM (WJ2qy)

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