2011 Bahrain Grand Prix
The political situation in Bahrain continues to deteriorate, putting the running of next month’s season-opening F1 race in jeopardy.
The government has used security forces to break up demonstrations by protesters demanding political reform. At least two people have been killed and over a hundred have been injured.
The practice sessions for tomorrow’s GP2 Asia races have been cancelled as medical crews are being deployed elsewhere.
GP2 reporter Will Buxton said on Twitter that some of the teams are staying near Pearl Roundabout, where much of the violence has taken place:
“Hearing that some GP2 teams are staying near Pearl Roundabout and have been told not to go back to their hotels.”
There are also reports of foreign journalists being denied access to the country. Writing on his blog, Buxton added:
“We arrived in Bahrain last night, and the airport was relatively quiet. Despite this, I and about five of my colleagues had our passports taken away with no explanation.
“After a 15 minute wait, our passports were returned, again with no real explanation as to where they had been taken or what had been done with them other than that it was part of new procedure. How this will work over the Grand Prix weekend when the airport is set to become far busier and with a sudden and vast influx of international media remains to be seen.”
This week’s GP2 Asia races were scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday.
F1 is due to test at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 3rd-6th ahead of the first race of the season.
Update: The GP2 Asia race has been cancelled. The series organisers issued the following statement:
“Following the current events in Bahrain, at the request of the Bahrain Motorsport Federation, it has been decided that the remainder of the meeting which was supposed to take place this week at Bahrain International Circuit is cancelled due to force majeure.”
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Image © Mercedes