Bahrain GP – F1’s season opener cancelled due to political unrest


The upcoming Formula 1 World Championship is facing more challenges as the rising problems in the Middle East plaguing Bahrain has cause the opening round of the championships to be cancelled. Officials from the Bahrain Grand Prix had earlier promised the safety of visitors to the race but have now decided that the season opening round of the Formula 1 will be cancelled. Protestors have been campaigning for reform in Bahrain recently which have caused concerns among many on whether the race should go on as the main visitors could be tourists. And with political unrests in the country, there might not too many people who are still keen to attend the race.

With this, the season will only start on the weekend of March 27 at the Australian GP. Some are claiming that the race could be a target of a campaign group and continue their protests because such publicity would surely help their cause. Berine Ecclestone, the F1 supremo said that he is concerned about the situation, echoing the chiefs of Bahrain GP that they are closely monitoring the whole situation while planning for the upcoming event. The Crown Prince who decided on the cancellation said that it is more important to solve the current national issues.
Mark Webber, the F1 driver for Red Bull Racing though has voiced his concern on whether the race should go on amidst the ongoing protests which have since recorded a few deaths. The season opener is scheduled for March 3 and Webber said that it might be better for the country to focus on the issue at hand because it is a tragedy when there are people losing their lives. Hence it might not be the ideal time to actually hold a sporting event now.

Ecclestone could have called off the race but has instead put the decision on the crown prince of Bahrain despite the concerns of some teams on safety and feasibility of the having the race go on. Ecclestone also said that at the moment, the situation does not look good and a decision would be made this week. So far, the GP2 Asia Series has scheduled at the Bahrain International Circuit has since been cancelled. No confirmation though if the event will be postponed to a later date.