When Politics and Sport Collide

Bahrain is currenty going through a turbulent time. Practice and qualifying in GP2 Asia were postponed from today to tomorrow because the medical staff had gone to help the injured after overnight problems in Manama, the country’s capital. Reports say that hundreds were injured, and a couple of people were killed. In these circumstances, medical staff should not be wasted on a car race. Tensions continue to build, and with F1 being such a high-profile sport it is probably not the best idea to run the race. Much as we all love a good Grand Prix (even in Bore-ain), safety comes first – primarily for the people of Bahrain, and secondly for those involved in F1.

GP2 Asia has currently had its practice and qualifying rescheduled to the following times:
Practice: 9.00-9.30AST (6.00-6.30GMT)
Qualifying: 10.30-11.00AST (7.30-8.00GMT)
Race 1: 14.00AST (11.00GMT)

A week is a long time in politics, and this all might be sorted out by the time that we get around to the race in 22 days time. But one of the campaign groups has said that they would target the Grand Prix, and there is the final testing session before then, which might have to be relocated. Teams are supposed to be flying out there in just over a week’s time. Not only the teams, but also all the media descending on the country, and potentially thousands of international travellers, usually attend the race in Bahrain. The FIA would not want the responsibility of the safety of all these people on their heads.
For more on this story, go to Autosport for the sporting perspective, and the BBC for the more political side.

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