Start, Bahrain Grand Prix, 2010

Should the Bahrain Grand Prix be held in 2011?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Bahrain Grand Prix, 2010
Start, Bahrain Grand Prix, 2010

The Bahrain Motor Federation has until tomorrow to tell the FIA whether the Bahrain Grand Prix can take place this year.

The race was supposed to open the season on March 13th but was postponed after anti-government protests were violently suppressed.

There has already been much debate here over whether the race should go ahead. Cast your vote here and we’ll find out what the majority of F1 Fanatic readers think.


Bernie Ecclestone has pressed the case for holding a race in Bahrain as soon as possible:

“Formula One must never be political ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ full stop. My job is it to do the best deals possible for Formula One ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ to secure jobs. Five thousand people have jobs which are directly or indirectly connected to Formula One, and I want to secure these jobs.

“It is not my business to make politics. We have politicians for that.”

Ecclestone has said the organisers could be given more time to decide if the race should go ahead:


The Bahraini government has poured money into the Bahrain International Circuit. Holding a race there now would be a political act, giving a clear sign of support to the country’s ruling family.

In the weeks since the cancellation of the race details of human rights violations have emerged. The British Foreign Office advises against travelling to the country on safety grounds.

More details on the situation in Bahrain at present can be found here:

I say

Before the race was postponed I argued that it should be cancelled, and my view remains the same:

You say

Should the Bahrain Grand Prix be held this year? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should the Bahrain Grand Prix be held in 2011?

  • Yes (23%)
  • No (75%)
  • No opinion (2%)

Total Voters: 404

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130 comments on “Should the Bahrain Grand Prix be held in 2011?”

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  1. Ecclestone says that F1 shouldn’t be political?

    He’s right it shouldn’t – But we all know that it is one of the most political sports out there…

    I voted no – Even with DRS and KERS – Nothing bar a substantial make over can make this dull Tilke designed processional highway exciting…

  2. The whole ‘F1 shouldn’t be political’ argument is pointless. No matter how Bernie will spin it, in the end going there is a political statement by endorsing the regime’s brutal policies towards its people. It’s just as much a political statement as not going. The only correct decision is NOT to go to Bahrain untill matters are settled peacefully there. What price is the F1 paddock willing to pay to ensure its own safety?

    1. It’s not so much that by going to Bahrain F1 is saying “We support gunning down protesters”, it’s more that the country itself is saying “We’re so cool, we can have an F1 race even after having to have tanks in the street.”

      If Bernie had said “F1 lives in its own bubble and so long as it’s safe nothing else matters” it would be insensitive but at least logical. The apolitical argument is ridiculous.

      I personally don’t care F1 is used by China, Abu Dhabi etc. because I like to think people are smart enough to see past the happy facade. But when you have tanks down the road, it’s safe to say you’ve passed the limit.

      1. China had tanks on the road to beat down protesters too …

        Not sure why tanks are so important. Seems a bit arbitrary. I’d say unwarranted violence against protesters is as much a problem. China kills protesters on a regular basis.

        1. 1) They weren’t tanks in downtown Shanghai months before F1 was in town.

          2) I never said it had to be tanks. It’s just an example.

          1. Dozens if not hundreds of protesters get killed by Chinese security forces every couple of years.

        2. So are you now arguing for the China race to be dropped as well Patrickl?

          1. Yeah why not? Apparently people can’t stomach F1 racing in countries with oppressive regimes. I say pull back from China, Singapore, Abu-Dhabi, Bahrain, Malaysia, Turkey and India. There is no other way is there?

            Maybe some more European races instead?

  3. I voted yes. Of course only if the situation is save enough to drive. AFAIK there are no riots going on there anymore.

    Although the recent death penalty for 4 people convicted of police officers could hotten things up again.

    I see no reason to cancel a race for political reasons. We just had a race in China. Why race there and not in Bahrain?

  4. Not only in 2011 but forever it should not be held. We do not want races in countries that behave in such a violent wat to its people.

  5. mohammed almeslimani
    1st May 2011, 14:54

    we want bahrain F1

    It’s safe here :)

  6. The Bahrain government has shown it’s true colours to the world, there is no way F1 should go there whilst the current regime persists. They have arrested doctors and other medical staff who treated injured protesters and are threatening them with the death penalty –

  7. NO to this despicable race!!!

  8. Voted “yes”.

    Sports should stay out of politics and politics should stay out of sports.

  9. I believe Bernie has persuaded the FIA that the only reason Bahrain isn’t able to say ‘yes’ at the moment is because fans would abandon F1 in their thousands and the race would be boycotted. He wants to wait until Bahrain has faded from the public eye again, so they can get away with hosting the race without people leaving F1.

  10. Dull track, unstable political situation, some fear perhaps. Voted no.

  11. Chris Goldsmith
    19th May 2011, 11:01

    I’ve not missed a race in over ten years, but if Bahrain go ahead I certainly won’t be watching. It’s easy to say that sport and politics should stay separate, but when the race itself is paid for by the Crown Prince (a man directly linked with the murder of protestors and the silencing of the media) it’s impossible to do that. In this situation, the race is a political thing. The only way to keep politics out of it, is to refuse to hold the race.

  12. There’s a Facebook campaign for this now too – become one of the Fans Against the Bahrain Grand Prix here:

    Keith – will you be joining other F1 blogs and boycotting coverage of the Bahrain GP should it actually go ahead?

    1. I’ve explained my point of view on the race before:

      Bernie Ecclestone must cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix

      As for a boycott, I’m not convinced either way at the moment so if anyone has a view on that share it here.

  13. sid_prasher (@)
    6th June 2011, 19:33

    Voted No
    – because it has missed the deadline and it messes up rest of the season.
    Still maintain that FIA is not a political organization – any pressure that needs to be put on Bahrain Govt has to come from the governments of other countries or the UN. If no govt has officially broken ties with Bahrain, its unreasonable to expect FIA to do so (it anyways has no influence in these matters).

  14. Bahrain Wants F1 (@)
    7th June 2011, 8:51

    I am sorry to say that a have read a lot of well whishing but ill-informed comments on why it should be shut down. The country has been a victim of clever Iranian backed plot that hides behind legitimate calls for reforms, but usurps them in favor of installing a surrogate regime to Iran.

    Nevertheless, the government has lifted the martial law early, and King personally made a clear call for national dialogue with a genuine effort to deliver reforms and living condtion improvements. The opposition have welcomed this and GP reinstatemment. Yet people continue to shoot down this race and our nation.

    Let me ask; did they shut down Silverstone when the London riots occurred earlier this year? There were deaths, teargas and arrests? Yet, the UK was viewed as country that had every right to look after law and order. Be fair and hold us to the same standard.

    1. Please Mr/Mrs or whatever.

      If you want to write espionage novels on Iran plots to take over your country (if you indeed are from Bahrain) do it on your own forum or blog.
      Your government, nor any other source has given whatsoever report/investigation let alone evidence that Iran was doing any such thing or that they even were in a position to do so.

      It is perfectly understandable if you have not noted, but Iran faced protests remarkably similar to those in Bahrain very recently. Sadly they reacted just about the same way your government did, and were rightly condemned for it. Possibly by Bahrain as well.

  15. luis-albert
    7th June 2011, 12:06

    I say YES, briefly guys look @ the previous years. Bahrain has hosted the event with great sucess, myself been there twice and I am very positive it will be great this year too. Go go Bahrain F1

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