Bernie Ecclestone must cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix

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2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

The full horror of what has gone in in Bahrain in recent days has now emerged.

Reports have emerged detailing protesters being killed with live rounds and surgeons beaten for trying to treat the injured.

Foreign journalists have been barred from entering the country and some of those who bore witness to the government’s clamp-down were beaten as well.

This weekend’s GP2 Asia race meeting was cancelled. Ambulances that should have been on stand-by at the track were instead among those driving the government’s victim to hospitals by the hundreds.

It is easy to make arguments about ‘moral hypocrisy’, and point to questionable actions taken by other governments in countries that F1 visits.

But showing up in Bahrain and accepting their money to race days after the world has watched it murder its citizens would be unconscionable.

The difficulty in guaranteeing the safety and security of the teams’ employees and everyone else who travels with the F1 circus is a further concern.

With testing due to begin at the circuit on March 3rd the first staff will be scheduled to arrive in Bahrain next week.

The desire to ensure the smooth running of the race would likely provoke another wave of repression from the security forces.

Those with longer memories recall how Formula 1 continued racing in South Africa in the seventies and eighties long after most other sports, repulsed by the brutal and racist apartheid regime, boycotted the country.

This attracted little attention 30 years ago when F1 was far less popular. Today the eyes of the world are on whether F1 will again turn a blind eye to the plight of an oppressed people out of its eagerness to line its coffers.

It must not.

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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341 comments on Bernie Ecclestone must cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix

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  1. Paul Richardson said on 19th February 2011, 18:54

    one point four billion reasons a man can sleep well…..

  2. Pariscy2u said on 20th February 2011, 7:44

    F1 is not political and stays away from all forms of politics.
    Remember a few years ago when the Turkish had the so called “president” of their muppet “government” in occupied Cyprus hand the trophy to the winner of their Grand Prix??? RESULT: US$1,000,000 fine.

    So bottom line leave politics out of racing.

    Bahrain is a state of the art circuit and NOT BORING AT ALL. If the teams and drivers want to play it safe in a race to just finish it (for whatever reasons) the track is not boring, the racers and the team politics are.

    Last word of advice. Don’t beleive everything that gets reported. I leave in the region and have actually been in Bahrain 3 days in the last week. What I can tell you FROM WHAT I HAVE SEEN is that the protesters are a few thousands, MAYBE 15,000.

    Looking forward to a great race in Bahrain, whenever it takes place

  3. MASA said on 2nd June 2011, 15:25

    dear Mr ecclesteine, imagine having the grand prix in Germany during Nazi hilter regime who was killing the jews,I think you would have definitely cancelled it , so why now while this dictator of bahrain killing/oppressing/jailing/torturing the innocent people of Bahrain you still are considering bahrain as a place to have the grand prix ? Please cancel it in bahrain as this regime already targetted doctors/nurses/teachears and even a young 20 yr old girl poet who is in jail right now . THANK yoU

  4. KHOSHASHI said on 2nd June 2011, 15:33

    Saying the protests in bahrain is a political issue is absolutely unfounded ,the moment you kill people then you are a criminal and should not be awarded anything. Just please visit youtube or even visit nabeel rajab (human right activist in bahrain) to see the degree of ottrocites committed by this regime. The grand prix should definitely be cancelled as the protests are still going on and the brutal oppression is still going down.This country is boiling and it will explode so beware not to be their during the human explosion.thank you

  5. KHOSHASHI said on 2nd June 2011, 15:51

    just to correct my previous post , visit Nabeel rajab on facebook (he is the human right activist who is banned from leaving bahrain)

  6. kbcusa said on 2nd June 2011, 20:43

    If Bernie/FIA are tone deaf enough to re-schedule the race, the teams, via FOTA, could refuse to go and cite safety rather than political reasons. And if it comes to that, I hope they will!

  7. hamza said on 4th June 2011, 3:09

    Save the people of Bahrain from the government deadly

    Save the people of Bahrain from the government deadly

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