Bahrain’s Crown Prince decides the race is off

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Bahrain, 2010

Jarno Trulli, Lotus, Bahrain, 2010

The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix will not take place, according to the race organisers.

The Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said: ??We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest.

“Bahrain?s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering the fabric that draws this country together to remind the world of the very best that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united.??

Bernie Ecclestone said: “It is sad that Bahrain has had to withdraw from the race, we wish the whole nation well as they begin to heal their country.

“The hospitality and warmth of the people of Bahrain is a hallmark of the race there, as anyone who has been at a Bahrain Grand Prix will testify. We look forward to being back in Bahrain soon.”

With the Bahrain Grand Prix not happening the Australian Grand Prix on 25th-27th March will be the first race of the season.

It remains to be seen whether the race will be postponed until a later date or cancelled entirely.

Williams chairman Adam Parr said: “It is obviously disappointing for everyone involved in the organisation of the event, but it is clear that to race in Bahrain at this time would be inappropriate given the current circumstances.

“It is always Williams? intention to contribute positively to the countries we compete in and so we fully support the Crown Prince?s decision to cancel the test and forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix.

“We now look forward to a season debut in Melbourne and returning to Bahrain when it is right to do so.”

Renault team principal Eric Boullier added: “The recent situation in Bahrain has been very difficult for the country. We feel the decision taken by the Crown Prince is wise and we fully support it.

“The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been welcomed with enthusiasm from the Bahraini people, and we?re looking forward to going back there when they have healed their country. We will now amend our logistics accordingly and will get ready for Australia.”

The chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit Zayed Alzayani said he hopes F1 can return to the circuit soon:

“Bahrain?s Grand Prix is a time of celebration and hosting the race is a source of great pride for Bahrain and Bahrainis

“It is a showcase to the world and we look forward to welcoming the teams and drivers and everyone involved in Formula One back to Bahrain in the very near future.

??I hope that F1 and our friends around the world will understand our decision at this difficult time.??

The FIA also issued a statement on the race which it referred as being “postponed”:

“The Federation Internationale de l?Automobile supports the decision of the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit to postpone the scheduled first Grand Prix of the 2011 season due to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on March 11-13.

“This decision is the outcome of the close co-operation between the FIA, Formula One Management, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit.”

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Image ?? Team Lotus

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121 comments on Bahrain’s Crown Prince decides the race is off

  1. It’s the correct decision for the Bahrain people. But I’m honestly not going to miss the race. It’s one of the most boring tracks on the the calendar anyway.

  2. Its sad as i was looking forward to the season kicking off but in all honestly sort of happy as Australia is a much better opener.

  3. I would have liked the race to have gone ahead, but if this is best for Bahrain, then I support the decision.

  4. ManjuBoy (@manjuboy) said on 21st February 2011, 17:02

    It’s sad, but the correct call.

    It’s sort of like deciding whether or not to carry on with a backyard birthday party for you 6 year old child while your family is being held hostage in the house by desperate people.

    Mark Webber has the correct perspective on this.

  5. Keith I love the fact that they havent even mentioned this on the official F1 website yet :) easily the best f1 site :)

  6. mildertduck said on 21st February 2011, 17:10

    Do we have any news as to what’s happening in the GP2 Asia series? I’m suspecting that it’ll be cancelled as well, which seems to make a bit of a farce out of the whole competition…

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st February 2011, 17:11

    A shame but a sensible decision.

  8. I think this was the only sensible option. If the situation in Bahrain stabilises the race could be rearranged for the end of the season if they are prepared to pay Ecclestone enough money, although I wouldn’t be surprised there will be no 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix.

  9. USA-brian said on 21st February 2011, 17:24

    for everyone who booked a flight…. It is most of the time better to pay maybe $100 extra to reschedule your flight for a later vacation, because cancel the flight would result in a bigger money loss, unless you purchassed a fully refundable ticket. Use it for another race. And you wouldn’t lose too much money.

  10. I thank you all in supporting the Bahraini people. I understand what people there are going through.

    I’m Egyptian, and I spent the last month in continuous protests against the government, until we finally got rid of our dictator, and we’re now heading towards a new democratic and liberated era.

    Although I’m a hardcore F1 fan, but I’d rather see the race at Bahrain gets called off and people there wins they’re liberty and freedom in return.

    • ManjuBoy (@manjuboy) said on 21st February 2011, 17:46

      Congratulations on your new future. I hope you are able to realize the dreams you have for your people and your country. You deserve it!

      Maybe in five years there will be an Egyptian Grand Prix at Luxor?

      • Thank you ManjuBoy! A Grand Prix at Luxor? I’d love that! Or a grand prix at the Pyramids maybe?? Imagine! :)

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd February 2011, 8:17

          Congratulations to getting things moving. Keep up and learn from mistakes made in the past!

          I did see your people are being supportive of neighbour Libya as well. They need all help they can get.
          Maybe get your army to bomb a few airfields so they stop bombing their own people would be great, but I understand your military not being to happy to act like that in a foreign country.

    • Maciek said on 21st February 2011, 21:53

      Congratulations on your victory. I had to watch my country’s revolution from abroad 20 years ago and when I was watching events in Egypt unfold now, there was more than a little part of me that wanted to be there too. All the best to you.

  11. budchekov (@budchekov) said on 21st February 2011, 17:54

    Good, time to bring back the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch?
    Lousy weather but saw James Hunt win there in 1976…

  12. SwankyF1 said on 21st February 2011, 17:58

    I love how all the teams say they agree or “fully support” the king’s decision as if their opinions actually mattered or their support was necessary. (especially Williams lol)

    I suppose now Ferrari will go their usual route and declare that they don’t support the king’s decision.

  13. budchekov (@budchekov) said on 21st February 2011, 17:59

    @I always thought a non points optional pre-season race was a darned good idea…

  14. Copersucar said on 21st February 2011, 18:27

    I believe this is the right decision in the present circunstances. But I will miss it anyway. I do like the Bahrain GP a lot and I remember pretty good races there (well, a wet Bahrain race would be tops. Unlikely, though).

    I would have Bahrain instead of Silverstone or Valencia anyday, really.

  15. A sensible call, and I think that this will obviously mean the first race of the season will take place a bit later is a rather trivial concern under the circumstances.

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