Bahrain Grand Prix reinstated on 2011 F1 calendar

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Start, Bahrain Grand Prix, 2010

Start, Bahrain Grand Prix, 2010

The FIA World Motor Sport Council has reinstated the Bahrain Grand Prix to the 2011 F1 calendar.

The race will be held on the weekend of the 28-30th October when the Indian Grand Prix was originally slated to take place.

That race is now expected to take place at the end of the season, though it remains to be seen exactly when.

The earliest date it could occupy is December 2nd-4th, one week after the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, F1 teams have expressed reservations about extending the season.

According to an FIA statement:

Following a fact-finding mission undertaken at the request of FIA President Jean Todt, FIA Vice President Carlos Gracia visited Bahrain on 31 May 2011 to assess the situation in the country.

Meetings were conducted with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Bahrain Motor Federation and Bahrain International Circuit, as well as other national and international organisations including Mr. Tariq Al Saffar at the National Institute of Human Rights. It should be noted that the recent announcement by the King of Bahrain has established a political dialogue and reconciliation process.

After considering all the factors and taking into consideration all stakeholders? concerns, the WMSC unanimously agreed to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix in the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship.

This decision reflects the spirit of reconciliation in Bahrain, which is evident from the strong support the race receives from the Government and all major parties in Bahrain, including the largest opposition group, all of whom endorse the Formula One Grand Prix and motor sport in the country.

The WMSC feels that reinstating the Grand Prix is a means of helping to unite people as the country looks to move forward, and also recognises the commitment made by the Formula One teams, their employees and families, and personnel associated with the Championship including the local team of volunteers who are so vital to the event.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will take place on 30 October, replacing the Indian Grand Prix, which will now become the final round of the 2011 Championship, combined with the FIA Annual General Assembly and Prize-Giving Gala.

The race organisers issued the following statement:

The head of the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) today welcomed the decision of the FIA (Federation Internationale de L?Automobile) World Motor Sport Council to reintroduce the Bahrain Grand Prix to the 2011 calendar.

The decision, announced by the FIA after the Council?s meeting in Barcelona, follows a FIA delegation visit to Bahrain to assess the situation in country this week.

Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman of the BIC, said: “This is welcome news for all of Bahrain. As a country we have faced a difficult time, but stability has returned; with businesses operating close to normal, the State of National Safety lifted and countries removing travel restrictions.

“Collectively, we are in the process of addressing issues of national and international concern, and learning lessons from the recent past. By the time the Grand Prix arrives we will be able to remind the world about Bahrain at its best.

“The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been a source of national pride and it is an event than transcends politics. Not only does it receive strong support from the Government, but also from all major parties in Bahrain, including our largest opposition group, Al Wefaq, who yesterday endorsed both the BIC and motor racing in Bahrain.

“Importantly, it will also offer a significant boost to the economy. The Grand Prix attracts 100,000 visitors, supports 3,000 jobs and generates around $500m of economic benefit. Its positive effect will be felt throughout the country.

“On behalf of Bahrain, I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and the FIA and the rest of the motorsport community for the support and understanding they have extended to us this year.”

Bahrain is a pioneer of motorsport in the region and the rescheduled Grand Prix will be the 8th hosted by the Kingdom since its inaugural race in 2004.

The confirmation the race will take place restores the calendar to its original 20-race length, the largest it has ever been.

Update: A muted reaction from Red Bull to the news:

“Red Bull Racing has acknowledged the FIA World Motor Sport Council?s decision to go ahead with the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix.

“We will go through the correct channels and discuss this decision within the appropriate forum with the other F1 teams and our fellow FOTA members.”

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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472 comments on Bahrain Grand Prix reinstated on 2011 F1 calendar

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  1. Yddo said on 5th June 2011, 10:52

    As a South African I have mixed feelings about reinstating the Bahrain GP. F1 was very quick to boycott us, regardless that the majority of us fans were in no way endorsing the policies of the government of that time. Politics v fans….morals v money…..

  2. VXR said on 5th June 2011, 11:40

    Well, the British GP went ahead in 1972. Anyone remember what happened in Britain that year?

  3. sherif zeen said on 5th June 2011, 12:58

    from what i see in the comments i want to say its a game so lets not get it into another subject , for me F1 has been always my dream and having it in Bahrain is like my dream come true, im Egyptian who lives in Bahrain and i know for a fact that Bahrain is very safe place to be in , ppl is so friendly and you are welcome everywhere ,the protests has stopped two months ago and everything has come back to normal.
    we will be waiting you all in October and its a chance to see my beloved Bahrain , sure you will love it as much as we all do.

    • Mike said on 5th June 2011, 15:53

      Are there people been held in detention?

      Has the international media effectively been barred from entering and reporting on Bahrain?}

      Has there been any arrests in the last week?

      Sadly, I have seen evidence to suggest to me that all the answers are yes.

      • VXR said on 5th June 2011, 19:30

        Sadly, I have seen evidence to suggest to me that all the answers are yes.

        The answer to all three was most definitely ‘Yes’ in China too!

        • Burnout said on 6th June 2011, 18:19

          All International media was barred from entering China in the last year? Last two years? Last decade?

          China has committed a lot of human rights violations, but the country hasn’t been in a state of emergency or enforced a media blackout in the last few years. It can’t be compared to the current situation in Bahrain.

  4. Booooooooo!!!!

    I don’t care if it is the title deciding race for the season (i strongly hope this is not the case), but i will not be watching this joke of a race, at a joke of a track, at a sad miserable joke of a country.

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