The Bahrain Grand Prix weekend was the focus of a bitter row over whether the race should go ahead given the situation in the country.
This had a clear effect on the outcome of our regular ‘Rate the Race’ poll. Some readers gave the race the lowest possible rating in protest at it having gone ahead at all.
There was also a significant drop in the number of people participating in the vote at all – a 21.5% fall compared to the first three races of the year. Several commenters said they had not watched the race on principle.
The race, which saw Sebastian Vettel hold off Kimi Raikkonen for his first win of the year, was rated 6.904 out of ten, the lowest of the season so far, but higher than the last three Bahrain Grands Prix.
In a post-race discussion dominated by the political side of things, here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say:
The events surrounding the weekend ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ from the protests, the violent suppression, the protester tragically killed, the trouble experienced by Force India and Sauber, the blackout of Force India, the propaganda act from the regime, and the announcement of widespread arrests of protesters and journalists ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ have left a very bad taste in my mouth which has overshadowed the Grand Prix.
Others disagreed that F1’s willingness to do business with the Bahrain government reflected badly on it:
I grew up in Bahrain and spent 27 years there. The unrest has been happening there since 1993. So because a country has its issues, we shouldn’t have a sport there? So we shouldn’t have had any of the Bahrain Grands Prix if that is what you’re saying.
The only reason that this is been put all out of proportion is because of the media. Maybe we should stop the F1 in Brazil because of the Button issue last year, or maybe stop China F1 because they have to much poverty? F1 is is about racing not about a country’s issues.
Damonsmedley took issue with the claim that the situation in Bahrain was just a media creation:
There were police and security forces keeping everyone away from the track and out of Manama so F1 personnel wouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót come across anything other than pleasant and smiling pro-F1 locals.
Some naive people in F1 seem to have fallen for it, but the majority saw through it. Journalists were reprimanded and many were taken aside and given a good talking to for mentioning everything happening outside the track.
One protester that died earlier had his body withheld from his family until the Grand Prix was finished. It?óÔé¼Ôäós all very disgusting and calling this weekend anything other than a complete failure and disaster would be lying.
Some simply chose not to rate the race in light of the situation:
I agree with the sentiment that it should not have been held. It did go ahead though, and I would feel wrong giving it a mark of one for non-racing reasons. Therefore, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm abstaining.
As for the race, some were disappointed to see Raikkonen slip back in the final stint:
I didn’t expect the performance of the Lotus cars. Raikkonen blew a chance of a victory, I think. Really hope Rosberg doesn?óÔé¼Ôäót get a penalty, his defensive driving was a highlight of the race.
Matty No 2
The effect of tyres on the racing divided opinion. Some appreciated what was clearly a more exciting race than F1’s last visit to Bahrain:
Better than your usual Bahrain bore-fest, but the tyres made the race exciting ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ not the track. Some good action up and down the field but I was disappointed that Raikkonen?óÔé¼Ôäós pace didn?óÔé¼Ôäót hold up.
While others echoed Michael Schumacher’s comments:
I appreciate the new tyres making the races exciting, but I fear we?óÔé¼Ôäóre starting to see a trend developing too far into the strategy side and less towards the racing side.
It didn?óÔé¼Ôäót seem like anyone could really go flat out at any point in the race unless they wanted to shred their tyres.
And regardless of the developments in Bahrain since last year, there remain those who think F1 already had a good reason not to visit the circuit:
If it wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót for Lotus, for the mishaps that threw McLaren in the middle of the pack and for the fourth different winner this season, I?óÔé¼Ôäóm afraid this would have been an insanely boring race.
As a fan of European circuits I’m also convinced Bahrain is just the first on a list of circuits that we could very well do without.
Past rate the race results
Bahrain Grand Prix rate the race results
|2008 Bahrain Grand Prix||5.364|
|2009 Bahrain Grand Prix||6.420|
|2010 Bahrain Grand Prix||4.587|
|2012 Bahrain Grand Prix||6.904|
What did you think of the Bahrain Grand Prix? Should the race have gone ahead? Have your say in the comments.
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Image ?é?® Lotus F1 Team/LAT