FIA president Jean Todt has left the door open for a potential rethink on the Bahrain Grand Prix returning to the calendar this year if having the race there proves too 'risky' for Formula 1.
With the governing body's decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix onto the 2011 schedule having drawn widespread criticism, and with drivers and teams seeking assurances about the safety of themselves and their personnel if the race does go ahead, Todt says that the FIA will continue to monitor the political situation in the build-up to the race.
"If we have clear evidence that there is a risky situation this will obviously be taken into consideration," Todt told the BBC.
Despite suggesting the situation remains fluid, Todt says the FIA is happy that Bahrain is now safe enough to hold the race - having sent Spanish motorsport federation chief Carlos Gracia there for a recent fact-finding mission.
"Our special envoy had meetings with the human rights people responsible in Bahrain," said Todt. "He met many people before the report was submitted and unanimously agreed."
Todt's view on Bahrain is in conflict, however, with human rights campaign groups, which insist that the situation is far from the picture of normality that is being portrayed.
The international Avaaz organisation has secured almost 450,000 signatures for a petition to be presented to world champion outfit Red Bull Racing calling on it and other teams to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Campaign director Alex Wilks was quoted as saying by the BBC: "Claims that calm has been restored and life is back to normal in Bahrain are completely untrue.
"In the last week the police have continued to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to break up peaceful marches, killing and injuring dozens of people."
He added: "On Monday, 47 Bahraini doctors and nurses who simply provided treatment to injured protesters have been charged by a military court with attempting to topple the kingdom's monarchy.
"Whitewashing these abuses is an insult to the hundreds of protesters jailed and dozens killed in their struggle for change. The FIA's decision to go ahead with the race based on one blinkered account of the situation shows how money has prevailed over morals.
"The main organisation that has provided this information, the Bahrain-based National Institute of Human Rights, is closely associated with the Bahraini Government and it appears the FIA investigator failed to contact any of the other key human rights organisations on the ground.
"Now it is up to the teams to stand up for what is right and boycott the race."
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