FIA insist Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004The FIA has insisted next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as planned despite security concerns in the area.

The sport’s governing body issued the following statement:

The FIA is the governing body of motor sport and therefore of Formula One. As such, it sets the season?s calendars following the proposal of the commercial rights holder (CRH) in accordance with the local national authorities in all matters relating to safety.

Within that context, the FIA ensures that any event forming part of an FIA world championship is organised in compliance with the FIA Statutes and the relevant Sporting and Technical Regulations and that the safety of the public, officials, drivers and teams is secured at all times during an event.

The FIA must make rational decisions based on the information provided to us by the Bahraini authorities and by the commercial rights holder. In addition we have endeavoured to assess the ongoing situation in Bahrain.

President Jean Todt led a fact-finding mission to the Kingdom in November 2011, meeting a large number of decision-makers and opinion formers, including elected Shia members of parliament, the president of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, ambassadors from the European Union countries, the crown prince, the interior minister and many members of the business community.

All expressed their wish for the Grand Prix to go ahead in 2012, and since then, the FIA has kept in close touch with all these stakeholders. Away from the public eye, the FIA has received regular security briefings from the most senior diplomatic officials based in the Kingdom as well as from other independent experts.

The 2012 calendar, as presented by the CRH, was ratified by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in September 2011. Since then no request from the F1 Commission or the CRH has been made to the WMSC to either postpone or cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Based on the current information the FIA has at this stage, it is satisfied that all the proper security measures are in place for the running of a Formula One World Championship event in Bahrain.

Therefore, the FIA confirms that the 2012 Gulf Air F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain will go ahead as scheduled.

Commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone was due to meet the teams today to discuss the race.

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111 comments on FIA insist Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 13th April 2012, 8:15

    Well, I’d rather have a race than not, but I’m a little sceptical that, given the circumstances, the FIA have relied on Bahrain themselves for information.

    I’m a cynic. I have no reason to believe that what the media tells me is any more true than what the FIA tell me. Sure, F1 is in it for the money, but let’s remember that stories on civil unrest are profitable for the media at large as well.

    Very, very few of us are anything like qualified to really assess the situation. We all have a moral compass, but we can all think for ourselves.

  2. P5ycH0 said on 13th April 2012, 8:47

    Does anyone remember why the FIA stopped racing in South Africa?
    Was that because of a similar situation?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2012, 21:37

      Ecclestone planned a race for 1986 but several television companies threatened not to broadcast it and there was also an issue with some unions – I think in Australia – refusing to handle freight from South Africa. This ultimately forced them to scrap the race. More here:

      Ecclestone once tried to claim that they stopped racing in South Africa ‘because of apartheid’, or words to that effect, which is utter cant. F1 kept taking their money long after other sports had cut their ties with South Africa, and there’s nothing to support Ecclestone’s claim F1 stopped racing there on moral grounds.

      In other words, it’s 26 years later and nothing has changed.

    • Daniel said on 13th April 2012, 21:56

      Racing in South Africa was stopped purely because we do not have a proper track for F1 anymore. lesser formulas van still race here, but I doubt that F2 and F3 will even be able to use our tracks, they are just too unsafe.

      It wasn’t a political reason at all.

  3. McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 13th April 2012, 9:05

    and that the safety of the public, officials, drivers and teams is secured at all times during an event.

    If anything goes wrong now, they’re going to need to lawyer up, fast. A couple of security guards isn’t going to stop a group of protesters from abducting someone to make a point.

    • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 13th April 2012, 9:39

      Don’t think that peacefull protesters who are protesting against regime will abduct someone.

      • Girts (@girts) said on 13th April 2012, 10:02

        @maldikons I think your post shows the obvius conflict between these two statements very well:

        1. Bahraini opposition are just suppressed people who fight for their rights against a violent regime.
        2. Bahraini opposition are a serious threat to F1 drivers, team personnel and spectators, who have absolutely nothing to do with the crimes committed by Bahraini government.

        The first statement makes the protesters victims. The second one makes them terrorists.

      • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 13th April 2012, 10:09

        @maldikons They’ve been reported as using home-made bombs and molotov cocktails against the Police/Army. Doesn’t sound entirely peaceful to me. You can’t guarantee that they won’t abduct someone, and equally, I can’t guarantee that they will. But the risk is there. That is what I was getting at.

        It would make a politcal point, although not neccesarily a positive one for their cause, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time in history that something like that has happened.

        • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 13th April 2012, 10:52

          As far as i understand the situation according to general meaning and mood here on this site – Bahraini leaders are “evil” and opposition are the “sufferers” as Bahraini regime cracks down on they calls for change in the existing government system.

          In the meantime there is reports of violent clashes coming from opposition side – the mentioned Molotov cocktails and bombs – so the opposition is not so peacefull. Also there were potential threats that opposition cannot guarantee safety for F1 people coming there – how so?

          My point is – the Bahrain should establish safety for the people coming here – as mentioned here, nor Vettel nor HRT are responsible for troubles they are having, thus they shoul’d not be target just to “make a point” or whatever.

  4. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 13th April 2012, 9:21

    This places my with a serious dilemma, I mean I don’t want this GP to be held but I also don’t want to miss a single Grand Prix. Don’ know if I’m that hypocrite enough.

    • I wouldn’t worry; I hardly think that the Bahraini government will go “look at the TV ratings!!! Their down damit! This must be a sign that democracy must prevail! ”
      It’s a bad scene for sure; however it will only be your own conscience you ease by not watching it.
      My opinion anyway. Happy to be proven wrong.

  5. I’m a huge F1 fan who has done a lot of research on what’s been happening in Bahrain and came up with this list of 6 Reasons to Boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 13th April 2012, 11:02

      Point 4 on the list defines author as hypocrit.

      Saying “China is bad, but Bahrain is worse” is the same as to say to the cops, that they can leave the thiefs and burglars unntouched until all the murderers are cought.

      Cops should catch thiefs and murders and if we boycott Bahrain on human right grounds, we should boycott China too.

      • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 13th April 2012, 11:30

        As many things in life these things are relative.

        Show me ONE country of the world that isn’t or hasn’t somehow compromised the “human rights” of an individual or group in some way or another for some cause?

        What is happening in Bahrain is blatant monarchic/tyrannical/state violence against its people. Take yourself back to when these protests began. There was a peaceful movement of protest which was rebuked by violent repression.

        To bang on about China you should also bang on about all the other nations that have their own interpretation on “human rights”.

        This particular issue is about Bahrain. The people of China evidently don’t give a toss about the F1 circus – they ain’t even interested in turning up for this small sports event somewhere in their vast country.

        Bahrain is smaller than most Chinese cities. The sheer difference in proportion alone makes any comparison futile.

        • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 13th April 2012, 11:39

          So for you to care about China (any other country) and human rights they should kill thousands (or any other relative percentage of general population) of people?

          • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 13th April 2012, 11:44

            No, I try at least to care about human rights issues in general. This issue is about Bahrain. Leaving the the people of Bahrain to suffer because there’s a case for human rights elsewhere is missing the point.

  6. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 13th April 2012, 9:32

    @Tamerlane Well anyone here that agrees with the FIA should read that link. Just to finally open their eyes.

  7. 2 races in a row! Awesome!

    …..que the tirade of “you selfish monster” sort of backlash…….

  8. Dizzy said on 13th April 2012, 16:06

    Am I right in saying that unlike when the race was cancelled a year ago the UK government havn’t put out any official warnings telling people not to travel there?

    seen reports today that japanese & austrian broadcasters wont be going to bahrain. both sky & bbc have said there going if f1 goes & are happy to be going there.

    speaking of bbc & sky, bbc found some technical problems with some of there equipment last night & the sky crew heard about it & went to them & helped them out by lending them some of there equipment. so those watching on the bbc this weekend are doing so thanks to sky’s help :p

  9. Irejag (@irejag) said on 13th April 2012, 22:05

    I don’t care about the politics. I just don’t want to turn on the news the next day and see massive headlines saying, “Massive F1 Massacre”.

  10. wigster (@wigster) said on 13th April 2012, 22:22

    As an F1 fan who wants to see as many races each season as I can, I’m happy that the race, at this point at least, is going ahead.

    Having said that I can’t put a few hours of entertainment before the safety of the people attending the race. Therefore I have to hope the FIA and other authorities who have access to far more relevant information on what’s going on than I do have got it right, and Barhrain really is safe to go racing in and the FIA aren’t just burying their heads in the sand hoping everything will be all right.

  11. Luke (@lsmanley) said on 13th April 2012, 22:57

    I hear a lot of people saying, “What a terrible decision, I hope nothing bad happens…” It is a terrible decision, but does anyone like me hope that something terrible does happen? Honestly?

    This grotesque spectacle represents everything’s that wrong with my/your sport. Ecclestone yet again embarrassing us with his ridiculous comments. The **** weak FIA bending over. All the spineless teams and drivers going along with it. Why? MONEY. Obvious but clearly the case. Talk about selling your soul.

    If something bad did happen maybe it’d bring this whole rotten house of cards down and then maybe, rising from the ashes, would be the sport I love… I mean seriously, how can our heroes be a bunch of little rats scurrying to the beckoned call of Ecclestone, with his dead eyes and sickle in hand, pointing his finger of death at the people of Bahrain.

    They can take their reward, pop their champagne corks. Whist a corrupt, murderous regime locks down their country and suppresses and tortures dissenters. Surely they’ll all rot in hell.

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