Start, Bahrain Grand Prix, 2010

Bahrain Grand Prix reinstated on 2011 F1 calendar

2011 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

472 comments on “Bahrain Grand Prix reinstated on 2011 F1 calendar”

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  1. Im not going to comment on whether i think its right or wrong to go there, but we do race in China……. And no one seems to have a problem with that.

    1. I have a problem with China. However, at this moment in time, it’s safer than the middle east. Mao is dead so that whole mass-murder thing doesn’t really go on anymore. I think.

      1. Chinas Human rights record is far far worse than that of the current middle east problem countries and has been going on for far longer, and overlooked by much of the west.

        I dont think safety will be a problem in Bahrain, one thing i at least trust in this decision is that they wouldnt be going if there was a danger, and recent reports in the country seem to indicate they are past their issues of a couple of months ago, however that has been achieved.

      2. Depends on where you go. China is a big country. There is usually some unrest going on somewhere.

        In 2005 and 2006 it was Guangdong, in 2008 (and other years) it was Tibet, in 2009 it was Xinjang and now there’s trouble in Mongolia.

        The police pretty much deals swiftly and brutally with these problems though. Internet gets censored and no one every exactly knows how many protesters got killed.

  2. Major (wrong) move to save a whole country. Bahrain has often been credited as great tourist destination, and the image was blown away. FIA is here to help.
    Dear Lord, stop the madness.

  3. Ned Flanders
    3rd June 2011, 15:31

    As much as this whole mess ****** me off, the unanimity of our condemnation of this disgusting decision reassures me that the humanity isn’t quite as ****** up as I often think it is. Respect to all you conscientious F1 fans out there, especially those who intend to boycott.

    1. I certainly plan on doing so.

      Only thing keeping me from boycotting would be a major suprise if Bahrain actually manages to get these reform discussions going and implement steps to really turn to normal (as in a normal most of us would feel comfortable with at home), they have free press and no people locked up for being uncomfortable for the regime.

      Seriously doubt it will ever happen though, so lets keep it on the boycott.

    2. Yeah, I was appalled that everybody simply watched the race in China, Malaysia and Turkey. Just utterly disgusting.

      So many human rights violations goin on in these countries and people just watch a race?!?!?

      I’m glad people finally start to realise the error in their ways.

      Surely people now realize that we cannot watch the race in Singapore, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and India. We should even boycot Brazil for the criminal risks that the teams are put under.

      I say we all boycott these races. Fanatics for the cause! Yay!

  4. polishboy808
    3rd June 2011, 15:33

    Argh, not this again….

  5. Great decision. Can’t wait to get out there. F1 Is the winner.

  6. I remember when Alesi ran out of fuel and Murray Walker famously said;

    “oh Jean, you may well look a bit worried, you’ve got a major problem sunshine!”

    I feel the same will apply here to Mr Todt.

  7. Is this Bernies “Let them eat cake” moment?

  8. I must admit, since the initial cancellation of the race in March, I’ve not paid much attention to the goings on in Bahrain, so anything I said would be uninformed and without reason. I’m not sure it’s safe to go to Bahrain, but I am not sure if the situation is quite as bad as the media have made out. I suppose I may never know. I really wanted the Grand Prix to go ahead, but if it is as unsafe as everyone is saying, I think we could have waited a year. It just seems like they’re rushing into it a bit.

    1. Ned Flanders
      3rd June 2011, 16:23

      Well, let me tell you on behalf of all the people who are following the story, there’s every indication that the situation is as bad as the media suggests.

      1. That’s a shame. I honestly can’t see anything bad happening on the weekend, but I doubt everyone will be behaving because they want to; they’ll be forced to. It could be a brutal and bloody weekend for the protesters trying to disrupt things. And if there are going to be people still protesting by then, there’s no way there should be a Grand Prix. Even if someone from the world of Formula 1 isn’t hurt, there’s every chance there will be some negative and disturbing stories to come out of the weekend.

        1. Yeah, it is bound to be an attraction to whoever wants to make a point. And the government will very probably feel its needed to prevent that by “increased security measures”.
          Not what I call safe.

          What’s more, it might put any reform discussions under pressure, as the opposition will probably threaten to break off talks and take to the streets when they see no progress before the event.

  9. Unbelievably stupid decision. I for one will not be watching this race.

  10. I think cyber lobbies such as Avaaz have the right approach. Rather than talking to Bernie and his cronies, they go directly to sponsors such as Red Bull. How can you promote your product to a young crowd while a car bearing your own name races on a track in a country where peaceful demonstrators are being shot out with live rounds, doctors and nurses beaten up and tortured and basic freedoms denied to the majority of the population ? I hope Red Bull will have some (business) sense and boycott the race (I won’t be watching anyway).. Only Damon Hill and Mark Webber had the guts to speak the right words but sadly they’re a vanishing generation.

    1. Indeed. But if the FIFA sponsors didn’t pull support from Sepp, I don’t see them acting any differently this time.

    2. Yeah, seems it is the only thing that might help a bit now.

    3. Ned Flanders
      3rd June 2011, 16:24

      Yeah, initially I couldn’t understand why the petition was directed towards Red Bull, but I suppose it makes sense

    4. They don;t need to win Red Bull over. They’d rather have one race less anyway.

  11. Money talks

  12. Its the correct decision, Bahrain has the right to move on after the anarchy its gone through.

    For those who are upset with this decision because they claim the Bahraini govt is killings its ppl, I say the govt only protected its ppl from the terrorists that hijacked the roads,attacked innocent civilians and ran over policemen and beat them to death.

    And I say to them, you are not in Bahrain, you only hear the lies you get from these terrorists. I am Bahraini and I have lived through these dark days and I say Bahrain, its ppl and its govt deserve a chance to move past this. You have no right to talk on my behalf or the bahraini ppl’s behalf about our govt. Let us deal with our internal affairs.

    Thank you FIA for making the right decision.

    1. “its ppl and its govt deserve a chance to move past this”
      No they don’t. They will never get the chance to move past this. Bahrain is gone as a touristic and business destination and will for a long time bear the costs of what the authorities did. Having the GP in October will only draw international media scrutiny back to what really happened.

      1. Exaclty. It will mean a lot of media will have to be let in to report on the event. And many of them will have to at least try and look for themselves about the situation to see whats the truth.

        That will bring a lot of pressure on any possilbe reform discussions, as all sides will use it as a means of putting a deadline on those discussions.

        1. Are you sure? I’m not. They can easily just let sport editors in, and escort them on the grounds of security.

          1. Sure they can, but what will the story then be? Think about the tweets from the likes of Buxton and Adam Cooper et all, about how they are being pulled along all weekend.

            And the comments from bloggers on how there is a lot being suppressed. Will that work?

    2. Is it still protecting them now after the violence reported yesterday – after the state of emergency was lifted? Sadly the situation is not over yet; one cannot move on from an ongoing event, especially not by using something that is aggravating said event.

    3. Ned Flanders
      3rd June 2011, 16:25

      You are Bahraini, are you? Let me ask: are you Sunni or Shia? I don’t expect a reply

    4. MVEilenstein
      3rd June 2011, 16:48


      You are a joke.

      1. MVEilenstein
        3rd June 2011, 16:49

        Nasreen, that is.

    5. Let us deal with our internal affairs.

      Then don’t invite international sporting events to take place in the middle of you dealing with your ‘internal affairs’.

  13. It was not about the money. If that is so, why was it impossible to wait until March? When we can be sure that the country is back to normal and there will be a safe race.

  14. I was wrong, I never expected this. Well, today I started doubting. Because this is also about powerplay between FIA, FOM and FOTA. So, I still see the possibility of à cancellation, by the teams via a boycot. But it doesn’t look good for F1.

  15. Hey guys, I’m going to the Bahrain GP this year and was wondering about accommodation, travel, that kind of thing?
    I read somewhere I’d have to take a truncheon, an ‘I LOVE THE BAHRAINI GOVERNMENT’ t-shirt and, because I burn like a peach, some sun-cream.
    If you can think of any other items I’ll need just let me know.

    1. COTD material for certain. Don’t forget the bullet proof vest and face mask.

    2. Mark Hitchcock
      3rd June 2011, 17:12

      How about a “No use crying over spilt blood” badge?

    3. Kevlar vest?

  16. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan)
    3rd June 2011, 16:07

    I will boycott this dull race organised by murdrerers!

    1. What about the unarmed policemen that were murdered Dan? Ran over by 4×4’s. You want these people to take charge of the country instead?

      1. What about the unarmed protesters that were murdered, Gecko? Run over by police. You want these people to take charge of the country instead?

        1. And those who shot at police trying to tend to protestors – they sound like just the people to be in charge.

      2. Ran over by a car trying to flee the scene of people being shot at that is.

  17. To all the haters – you have fallen hook, link and sinker for all the false propaganda spread by the so-called peaceful protesters and the inaccurate reporting of the western media in their rush for sensationalism and to “Go-live”. Boy are you gullible.
    This is the right decision and will help to reunite this beautiful country and go some way to returning it to the way it was before the minority of the population decided to disparage and vandalise it.

    1. Ned Flanders
      3rd June 2011, 16:29

      Overlooking the moral issues, Bahrain isn’t beautiful at all. It’s just a dusty little sand dune in the middle of the sea. Sorry if that sounds rude, I’m sure it has lots of stuff going for it, but frankly natural beauty is not one of its strong points

    2. So you’re telling me to trust your government TV station I’ve never seen, over the CNN and BBC, who have 100+ years of news experience combined?

      If you say so.

    3. MVEilenstein
      3rd June 2011, 16:53

      Proud to be a hater.

    4. So were the protestors the ones in police and army uniforms shooting at the people without guns in the street?

    5. Right, I have fallen to propaganda by AlJazeera english, the BBC, the Times, FT and numerous other established media outlets. As well as Human Right Watch, Amnesty International and other independant NGO’s with a reputation for looking at the real picture.
      I am sure they are run by the Iranians and by your Bahrain opposition.

      So what Propaganda did you dig into? The one where it left out the police shooting protestors, and only showed those protesters then fleeing, hitting a police officer in the course of fleeing?

    6. Anyone here explain to me the difference between the riots in France and the riots in Bahrain.

      1. In short, in France it was about violence by those protesting from the outset and they had no real political demands, mostly just frustration. But be sure to have a lookup on the internet for that Patrickl, not on a F1 forum.

        1. So blocking an important intersection and marching up to a protected government building (after being told not to) is “peaceful”?!?!?1

          You have got to be kidding me.

          Try blocking Trafalgar square, then march right up to downing street 10, shoot 3 police officers when they try to move your “peacful protest” off the square and then see what happens.

          If you make it back alive you are right. if not, I was.


  18. Jose Diaz-Marin
    3rd June 2011, 16:24

    This just an insult to all the people that have been abused and killed in Bahrain. And even if this is not enough for the FIA, then they should take into account the Fans, as they are the very reason and support behind the sport. This is an insult to all those fans that already bought tickets, arranged their travel and hosting for the India GP… Are they going to have a refund? Not in your dreams mate! I’m seriously considering not watching the rest of this season!

  19. Its not fair to punish a country for ensuring its ppl’s safety and stopping terrorists. they have blocked main streets, murdered labourers and cut out their tongues, they hijacked hospitals and refused to treat ppl, the encouraged children and women to go face the riot police, they attacked with molotovs, swords and knives and you dont want the govt to stop them? they stop cars on the street and attack women, and u dont want the govt to stop them? they created chaos in the country for ONE whole month and the govt didnt do anything then they escalted.. ur saying the govt shouldnt have stopped them?! the ppl ur saying our govt “murdered” are TERRORISTS!!!!

    1. How come the international press was thrown out so they couldn’t report these ‘facts’?

    2. Nasreen, be sure to take it from the world in general that you had no terrorists there in Bahrain.
      Had they been there, these terrorist would have made the news with bomb attacks like we had in Pakistan only this week. And in Iraq and Afghanistan a few days ago.

      You might have spawned some of them by the violence now though.

    3. Yeah, I’d love to see these “high horses” when London get’s terrorized by a bunch of shiites demanding better housing, better wages and not to be discriminated against.

      1. I seriously doubt they would send in the armed forces with tanks and call the NATO in for assistance.
        But talking about London, it is rather going to be sunni terrorists than shiites, we will have to see if anyting like that happens.

        1. Well they probably thought the same in Paris.

          But ehm …

          And read up on that 2004 Bahrain GP article posted somewhere around here. There have been terrorist threats against the King for years. F1 didn’t back down from terrorists and they shouldn’t start now.

  20. To the people demanding that the race be abandoned for political reasons, let me ask you this: what do you intend to do about the consequences of such an action? And by that, I mean that if one race is political, then all of them are.

    If we do not go to Bahrain for political reasons, then we need to assess the politics of each and every nation that hosts a Grand Prix. Take Melbourne, for example. The Australian Grand Prix is subsidised by the Liberal state government. Victoria has been Liberal for some time now, and serves as a base of power for the national opposition – who are currently in the process of holding the entire country hostage by vetoing each and every proposition the government comes up with for an envionrmental policy. They are trying to force an election and get themselves into power, despite the fact that they have no policies of their own except for “nothing the government suggests”. If they do get into power, they will repeatedly run Australia into the ground.

    What does Formula 1 think of this? Should they reasonably accept money from a political party whose official approach seems to be to wear the entire country down? Should Formula 1 support a potential Prime Minister who still believes that the country is monotheistic and whose beliefs on the role of women in society are outdated by at least forty years?

    And more importantly, if Formula 1 can support a government like that, why can they not support the government in Bahrain? Or do you just want to be able to sleep better at night?

    Until you can provide a valid answer as to why Formula 1 can be seen to support some governments but not others without being hypocrites (ironically, the very behaviour you are demanding they boycott), none of you have a leg to stand on.

    1. Ned Flanders
      3rd June 2011, 16:36

      I was going to comment on your analogy, but then I thought: why bother? I’m sure in your heart of hearts you know that it doesn’t make sense.

      Instead, may I suggest you stop wasting your time trying to annoy people, and go and to bed. It must be very late in Australia now, right? Sleep tight

      1. I’m sure in your heart of hearts you know that it doesn’t make sense.

        Actually, it does. I’ll forgive you for not being up on Australian politics, but let’s put it this way: the most basic difference between the Liberal and Labour parties is that Liberals are white-collars and Labour is blue. Under a Liberal government, there will be tax cuts for the rich, and tax hikes for the poor. Under a Labour government, there will be tax cuts for the poor and tax hikes for the rich. The obvious consequence of this is that the Liberals only look out for themselves, and everyone else be damned. It might not be the same methods as the tactics used by the government in Manama, but the end result is the same: the people who need help the most lose out.

        Instead, may I suggest you stop wasting your time trying to annoy people, and go and to bed.

        May I counter your suggestion with a suggestion of my own?

        How about you stop trying to get people to go away simply because you disagree with their opinion? I’ve got a lot of respect for you Ned, but when you try pulling stuff like this, it makes me wonder why you’re so critical of the Bahraini government since they’ve basically been doing the exact same thing. Or would you like to start throwing around some words and phrases that you don’t know the meaning of again?

        It must be very late in Australia now, right?

        It is. It’s 1:46am. My mind, however, is as sharp as an army bayonet – I’ve spent the past two hours dealing with someone who somehow managed to kill all the power to four flats in my college, so I’m wide awake.

        1. Sorry, but a proper response would’ve been a waste of time. Clearly, you made up your mind back in February. The more people have criticised your views, the more you’ve dug yourself into a trench of opinion.

          Surely you do read some stuff that we have to say and think, y’know what, they have a point? Has anything that anyone has had to say on the issue had any influence on your opinion, to any extent??

          1. Clearly, you made up your mind back in February.

            So did you.

            Has anything that anyone has had to say on the issue had any influence on your opinion, to any extent?

            No. And you know why? It’s because nobody has been able to produce a single argument – much less a convincing argument – as to why Formula 1 can judge the politics of one country and leave another alone.

            My stace has always been that the race should only be cancelled on the grounds of safety. Politics don’t come into it – that’s a dangerous, slippery slope. If you want to make a stand against Bahrain, there are more appropriate channels to do so.

        2. Wow, seems the power supply is pretty shabby there PM. Didn’t you have some problems to fix with that a few months ago as well?

          As for Bahrain and politics. Some of the tweets from Bahraini rejoicing about having the GP back and how it showed those #@@#^&@{# protesters clearly show, that this is seen as a big win for the government. In effect making it political.

          Interesting thoughts formulated about the liberals and labour. If only it was that simple. In reality taking care of the poor the way many Labour-ish governments do often backfires. And the Liberals sometimes achieve positive things, like boosting the economy, or cutting down on misspending.

          To bring the thought back to Bahrain. The most important fact is, that you can actually vote who you want to decide on matters, and guess what it influences more than half the power in government. And you can actually work for the government, or go into politics yourself and have direct influence and even be PM (as in prime minister :-D ). In Bahrain you can only work for the government if you are Sunni in most cases, and the chosen parliament has very little real influence.

          1. Didn’t you have some problems to fix with that a few months ago as well?

            It’s Chinese powerboards and appliances. They run on a different output to Australian ones, and use up a lot more power. We found one of the master fuses for the block was burning, and when they turn on all their power, it just blew the entire circuit.

          2. Ah, right. Hope it did not damage to much then. Hm, cheap purchasing does not always pay off, it seems.

    2. Until you can provide a valid answer as to why Formula 1 can be seen to support some governments but not others without being hypocrites (ironically, the very behaviour you are demanding they boycott), none of you have a leg to stand on.

      If you were an F1 employee and you had to go to Bahrain, would you? Do you feel secure enough that you can go there and nothing will happen to you? Knowing that you’re the top international event and is a very plum target for any and all threats?

      I wouldn’t. And that’s why we shouldn’t go to Bahrain.

      1. I don’t agree with any particular point there. It’s well-documented that my stance has always been that the race should be cancelled if the situation means it is unsafe for teams and drivers to go. I also believe that if the political situation in a country is so dire that people are calling for the race to be abandoned for political reasons, then the country is clearly already in a state where it is unsafe to go and talk of cancelling the race for political reasons shouldn’t even come into it.

        No, the people I am addressing are the people who wish to make a political example of Bahrain. If one race is political, then all races are. And until the nay-sayers can explain to me why it is okay for Formula 1 to pass judgement on some countries, but not to others, then nothing they can say will convince me that they’re right.

        Because if you really look at it, the blog as alight with comments when the race was first cancelled. But then as soon as Formula 1 left the country, the debate stopped – but the injustices the blog members were decrying did not. So I suspect a lot of people are demanding a boycott not because it’s the right thing to do, but because they want to be able to sleep soundly at night, safe in the knowledge that they did the “right thing” or “their part” to help Bahrain when in reality, they haven’t done a thing.

        1. It didn’t stop because they wanted F1 back. They did anything and everything they could to stop the protests to get F1 back. Mind you, not even China killed protesters just to get an F1 race.

        2. But fact remains, safety can not be guaranteed for everyone. Not for all 3000+ team personell, not for all the media and certainly not for tens of thousends of visitors.

          Just look at the violence already going on again, less than 24hrs after the FIA delegate left. You need only one extreme protester to upset all of it.

        3. Accidental Mick
          4th June 2011, 14:23

          Keep in mind that this event is one of the few to be televised live and globaly.

          If there is still tension in Bahrain (and I don’t know one way or the other), the protesters will do their level best to “get on the telly” and the police will be doing their best to stop them.

          The event will be a powder keg that I for one don’t want witness.

    3. Russell Gould
      3rd June 2011, 16:45

      I think that coercion at gunpoint is the issue here. Doesn’t seem to be the case down under.

    4. You know, I would really like to pretend it doesn’t matter, that F1 is F1 and whatever happens in the country hosting the race is their own problem.

      But here we have a direct link between an F1 race being able to go ahead and people getting mown down in the streets. You cannot say that everything has returned to paradise in Bahrain in such a short time without depending on people being killed.

      I would be a hypocrite to say we shouldn’t be in Bahrain because its government does dodgy things. Hell, technically ever UK MP for the last 30-odd years has broken constitutional law by passing through EU legislation and we have a Grand Prix. I’m also none too fond of political activism. That’s why I wanted the race to be postponed until next year, to give a decent amount of time for things to be settled. As it is, F1 will go to Bahrain not because some people were killed but then everything was sorted out afterwards and the country moved on, but directly because people were killed to calm things down straight away with nothing but empty sentiments about reform and dialogue. Which is just simply a step too far for me.

    5. That’s like saying the Montreal GP should be boycotted because the mayor is of a somewhat questionable moral fiber…

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