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. – FIA Press Release
This was the official statement from the FIA that has shocked many today following the World Motorsports Council meeting. Some thought there was a chance that Bahrain may be reinstated, but it was a slim one given the state the country is in, it does not seem right in anyway for F1 to be going there. Before the confirmation came through, Mark Webber summed it all up rather well in 140 characters on Twitter:
When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let’s hope the right decision is made.. – Mark Webber @AussieGrit
As for an explanation, the official press release gave the following reasons for the race to reinstated later this year, taking the Indian GP’s place.
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.
It’s far from a convincing statement and somewhat surprising that the vote was unanimous – every F1 fan on Twitter and Facebook isn’t impressed that F1 is going ahead – surely just confirming the Bahrain GP for 2012 would have been enough “good news” (term used loosely) for chairman on the circuit.
As for the teams and drivers, maybe you’re thinking they should boycott the event in protest, but Bernie won’t let that happen and he controls the purse strings for the sport and it’s teams. It’s certainly a possibility, but we wouldn’t bank on it – Red Bull for example released a very much non-committal press release shortly after the news broke…
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.
What do you all think? Judging by Badger’s Facebook page, not one of you are in favour of this news and anyone who’s bought flights to India will be even more upset – the event is to be rescheduled for the end of the season.