Unlike any other country in the world, F1 is a focal point in Bahrain. For the government, bringing F1 is intended to unify the nation and show that things are back to normal. For the protestors, F1 is a sign that the government will not listen. F1 represents those who have been killed and tortures.
But regardless of politics, human nature is what tells me it is not safe to travel to Bahrain. How easily a peaceful protest can turn to violence, whatever country you are in and whatever the intentions of the organisers.
From past experience, I fear the Bahrain government will exert a large amount of force on the protestors and arrest many during the F1 weekend. This will cause a response. The government will not target F1 personnel of course, but what about the protestors? Off the track is dangerous enough, and if they can get onto the track who knows what they will do?
I fear for the GP2 and F1 men and women who are heading out to the country. Their lives are in danger, and I will be praying my heart out to God for their safety.
Put money aside for once, Bernie Ecclestone. Postponing/cancelling Bahrain will not be a sign one way or the other. If you leave because of safety fears against the protestors, that is not supporting the protestors. It is also not supporting the government. F1 can ill afford another death. F1 has a great safety record mechanically. Let’s keep it a great safety record from a human standpoint too. Bernie, where will F1 be if someone is kidnapped or dies? Nobody will watch it. You will not have any money then. So come on, do the sensible thing. Cancel Bahrain before you lose F1 altogether.
If you want to watch a different racing series the weekend of the Bahrain GP, it’s the opening weekend of the Formula Renault NEC. It seems the series is oversubscribed – you can take a look at the massive entry list here – so there will be a lot of great young future F1 drivers on track. This includes Josh Hill (son of Damon, grandson of Graham), and my personal favourite Jordan King.
I’m not sure where/if you’ll be able to watch it on TV, but hopefully somewhere will have it.
Let’s hope it doesn’t have to come down to boycotting Bahrain. Bernie Ecclestone will have a lot to answer for if it does.