Bahrain Grand Prix called off

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix has been postponed

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix has been postponed

After a week of violence in Bahrain, the country’s prince has decided that the 2011 F1 season opener will not take place.

Instead the season will commence in Melbourne, Australia, on the 25th-27th March.

The announcement was made earlier today by the Crown Prince of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa:

“We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of 
national interest.

Bahrain’s priority is on overcoming tragedy, healing divisions and rediscovering 
the fabric that draws this country together to remind the world of the very best 
that Bahrain is capable of as a nation once again united.”

It is currently unknown whether the race will take place at a later date, or be cancelled entirely. However, an FIA statement has referred to the race as being “postponed”:

“The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile supports the decision of the 
Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit to postpone the 
scheduled first Grand Prix of the 2011 season due to be held in the Kingdom of 
Bahrain on March 11-13.

This decision is the outcome of the close co-operation between the FIA, Formula 
One Management, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit.”

Similarly, the pre-season test in Bahrain, on the 3rd of March, has also been cancelled. Barcelona will organise another test on the 8th-11th March to take its place. Also, the two-week gap where the Grand Prix should have been may also play host to another test elsewhere.

After the horrific violence seen in recent days, there is no doubt that this was the right decision. Even if clashes quell soon enough, the time taken for the country to repair will take weeks or months, and it would be of no service to the people to host a Grand Prix during that time.

In F1 terms, focus will eventually switch to when the race will (probably) be rescheduled. While the event may be moved to the final round slot, I feel it should take place on the 6th November, a week after the Indian Grand Prix, and a week before the Abu Dhabi GP. The thinking behind this is that the close proximity to Abu Dhabi will eliminate the problem of 3 Grands Prix in 3 weeks.

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One response to “Bahrain Grand Prix called off

  1. pickle92 February 23, 2011 at 11:39

    Surly the fact that the track is so bad is enough reason to call the race off. (Joke).
    The right decision has been made here. The F1 fanfare decending on Bahrain at a time like this would be awful.

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