FIA gives Bahrain leeway

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile has granted the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit an extension until June 3 to decide whether or not it can host a Grand Prix in 2011. The decision was taken after consultation with the Bahraini authorities and Formula One Management.

June 3 is the date of the next FIA World Motor Sport Council, which will be held in Barcelona.

The idea that the sport will go back to Bahrain in the current circumstances continues to upset many in F1 and many fans. There is no doubt that if F1 did return to Bahrain the race would have to be held under the strictest security, simply because of the threat that the opposition would try to mount some kind of protest to highlight what has been going on in the country in recent months. Given the extreme nature of the repression, one must expect the opposition to have been radicalised, thus increasing the dangers for visitors.

18 thoughts on “FIA gives Bahrain leeway

  1. If we’re to take what happened with Korea last year as a reference, is it reasonable to assume that the Bahrain Grand Prix will be happening- no, rescheduled for- this year, Joe?

    I’m mystified. The FIA must have a lot of votes held by Bahrain that they depend on? I can just about afford some sympathy for them if the decision affects certain issues regarding the ownership of the commercial rights. However this is beyond a joke, regardless of what is being taken into account to make a decision. It is verging on bringing the sport into disrepute, in all probability it already has?

  2. It doesn’t matter who is in charge FIA deadlines are always more flexible than Red Bull wings.

  3. Joe

    I know its of topic but any news from the lotus court cases as I read somewhere that they should be a decision around the end of April.


  4. I say all the fans should call for a boycott. If they decide to race there, we don’t watch. Then lets see what the sponsors have to say.

    The people have a voice, use it.

  5. They must be incredibly desperate to keep Bahrain. If the same circumstances had happen in the UK we’d be told which hole to use!!!

  6. @Phil, if what happened in the UK? If peaceful protesters were attacked by the police? If people were locked up for political crimes? If protest was banned at public events to protect the image of the unelected ruling family? That would never happen in the UK!

  7. Or Bahrain desperately wants to be kept in the 2011 schedule…
    With Bernie having first dibs in the revenue ie. Greed is still good!

    Formula One should make a stand and even more the FIA, no racing in 2011! #FAIL

  8. MAYBE the FIA is planning to allow the event to happen so it can become a watershed moment in Bahrain’s history, a focal point for all the angry Bahraini people, and one final chance to highlight the injustices they believe they suffer, whilst the world looks on.

    On the other hand maybe the FIA is just a bit naive.

  9. kookiez,

    do you think it was end of hearings, maybe, because deliberations rarely come in the same month on a triable case?

    Not saying you’re wrong, because i’ve no idea how long it went on in court.

    . . .

    As to Bahrain, there’s so much going on there which is beyond I’m pretty sure even the great minds of the FIA to understand (and i hardly think JT or BE get real briefings, nor much beyond the usual FO quietly spoken wordings) that I worry, well, a GP is hardly the security bubble an olympic site would be, or even a big football game in the states.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Applies very strongly, when you have internal factionalisation. My view: if you laid on a full pass and a gulfstream to drop me off, i’d still pass. Leave it to Joe to reccy 🙂

    Put me in Bernie’s boots, honestly, allowing there are some very hacked off people considering very recent news, and allowing interconnection and links in funding, no way would i take the risk. Nice quiet, superficially tidy places are often simmering hotbeds but stir the nest and tempt them with something on their holiday home doorstep . . oh, and the nice still air ain’t no more, is it ..

    Trust but confirm does not apply to Bahrain. Can’t confirm. Can’t pull F1 out by saying “abort, abort”*. Maybe it’s just face, to let them down gently. Otherwise you’re just taking a technical and sporting baby WTC out in the pram and trusting the resort brochure map you picked up in a dusty bucketshop some years before when you were dreaming you could afford the honeymoon**.

    Only my (usually quite inaccurate) opinion of course, just that i find so few items to put in the “pro” column.

    – j

    * in happy hollywierd fashion.
    ** there’s a reason you can afford it now, says me cynically.

  10. I think the moment for strong action by the FIA has passed, even if the race doesn’t go ahead the dithering and mealy mouthed releases from Todt’s boys has allready tainted their reputation.
    The Bahrain government wanted a Grand Prix to raise their international profile and in granting them a race Bernie and the FIA have endorsed the regime. Maybe this wasn’t the FIA’s intention, but it is the result and they shouldn’t even consider going back to such a brutal regime. I have heard that some of the arrested protestors have been executed, this can’t be supported by the FIA.

  11. It would be foolish to think that the only dangers come from protesters within Bahrain.

    With OSB dead, only a few weeks after dramatic if not nuclear retribution was promised should any major figure be killed.

    An international western F1 circus would seem to be a high enough profile target to attract a terrorist act. This would also serve to show sects not conforming to extreme views (ie those in charge in Bahrain) that they should toe the line. However it is quite possible that the terrorists will not wait that long (until Bahrain), the very blatant rejoicing in the USA will be exacerbating the extremist emotion possibly to a point where they will act prematurely at the most prominent targets, London and Washington seem obvious.

  12. @John (other John)

    the reason you can find so few items for the “pro” coloumn is because there aren’t any!

    I’m usually the last person to want a GP to be cancelled (especially when I have holidays booked in order to watch free practice live on TV like Bahrain this year), but I would be massively pissed off if they squeezed it back on the calander this year, or any other time before it’s ready. I can see only negative conotations if it’s return.

    the sooner we hear something the better, the longer it goes the more nervous for Team I get!

  13. One would hope that a few of the big sponsors in F1 finally start bending ears about this. Or is there something going on here we don’t understand ?

    What a disgraceful state of affairs for our sport.

  14. Facebook campaign for a boycott anyone? I know they’re a bit of a cliché, but they can be very effective…

  15. The FIA really need to get a grip on this and have a long hard think about what the implications are.

    Preventing health workers from ethically providing care is a crime against humanity. Let alone forcing or coercing false confessions through torture of those Doctors, Surgons or their family members;

    F1 does not belong there.

    1. Andrew Livesey,

      Your point is valid, but are you what is propaganda and what is not propaganda?

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