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Bahrain F1: to be or not to be?

Bahrain F1: to be or not to be?

Though businessmen are celebrating, is there a likely chance that the Bahrain F1 may still not happen?


June 5, 2011 4:19 by

Earlier on Friday The World Motor Sport Council decided to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix later this year. Though the move was met with much enthusiasm from hoteliers and businessmen of Bahrain, it hasn’t gone down as well with its critics in the West.

Former FIA president Max Mosley wrote a hard-hitting commentary in The Telegraph, which included the following: “Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions. If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If Formula One allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalise unarmed protesters.”

Former driver, Damon Hill, told the BBC Formula One racing would “forever have the blight of association with the repressive methods to achieve order” if it held the race.

And lets not forget the words of Australian Mark Webber who became the first driver to voice his opinion on the matter when he told the press:  “As a competitor, I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country. I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that.”

So with the current temperature amongst the racing fraternity being rather hot, is there a potential boycott on the cards? And if so, what could be the likely affect on the Bahraini business scene?

Kipp spoke to our resident automotive expert Damien Reid, Managing Editor of F1 Racing Middle East and the Group Managing Editor of Sports and Automotive at MediaQuest (isn’t he quite the over-achiever?) to find out.


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