I am not a great believer in petitions, because usually they are ignored by people who do not have to answer to an electorate, but it is worth pointing out that the human rights organisation avaaz has been asking for support to stop the Grand Prix in Bahrain. At the time of writing the total number of signatures is close to 439,000. As any F1 internet veteran will tell you the world’s serious English-speaking F1 fans number around 500,000, as most websites tend to top out at that kind of number when it comes to unique users. This would suggest that a considerable percentage of people who care about the sport are not happy with the FIA decision, although there are no doubt a large number of people who do not care about the sport, but do care about human rights issues. I have no idea how the numbers are split. Nonetheless, here is the link to the petition.
The message attached to the petition reads: “To Red Bull, and other F1 teams: We call on you to declare publicly that you won’t race in Bahrain this year, because the government has killed and injured hundreds of innocent people who were standing up for their rights. Your reputation, and Formula 1′s, will suffer if you reward this deadly regime.”