FIA reinstates Bahrain Grand Prix

The Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead this year after Formula 1's ruling body, the FIA, voted in favour of reinstating the race on Friday

FIA reinstates Bahrain Grand Prix

The race was scheduled to open the 2011 season in March, but was postponed due to the unrest in the country.

A decision was expected on May 1, but the FIA decided to give Bahrain until today before making a decision on the future of this year's race.

On Friday, the governing body's World Motor Sport Council met in Barcelona to vote, and gave the green light for the Bahrain Grand Prix to take place this year.

The event has been given an October 30 date, which is likely to mean the Indian Grand Prix moves to December 4 or December 11, the latest finish to a season since 1963, although the FIA did not confirm the date for the race.

Indian GP officials said they welcomed the season finale slot.

The season will also comprise a record 20 races.

The FIA said in a statement that the WMSC had "unanimously" agreed to reinstate Bahrain.

"Following a fact-finding mission undertaken at the request of FIA President Jean Todt, FIA Vice President Carlos Gracia visited Bahrain on 31 May 2011 to assess the situation in the country," said the statement.

"Meetings were conducted with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Bahrain Motor Federation and Bahrain International Circuit, as well as other national and international organisations including Mr. Tariq Al Saffar at the National Institute of Human Rights. It should be noted that the recent announcement by the King of Bahrain has established a political dialogue and reconciliation process.

"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.

"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."

The Bahrain International Circuit welcomed the FIA decision.

"This is welcome news for all of Bahrain," said Zayed R. Alzayani, Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit. "As a country we have faced a difficult time, but stability has returned; with businesses operating close to normal, the State of National Safety lifted and countries removing travel restrictions.

"Collectively, we are in the process of addressing issues of national and international concern, and learning lessons from the recent past. By the time the Grand Prix arrives we will be able to remind the world about Bahrain at its best.

"The Bahrain Grand Prix has always been a source of national pride and it is an event than transcends politics. Not only does it receive strong support from the Government, but also from all major parties in Bahrain, including our largest opposition group, Al Wefaq, who yesterday endorsed both the BIC and motor-racing in Bahrain.

"Importantly, it will also offer a significant boost to the economy. The Grand Prix attracts 100,000 visitors, supports 3,000 jobs and generates around $500m of economic benefit. Its positive effect will be felt throughout the country.

"On behalf of Bahrain, I would like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and the FIA and the rest of the motorsport community for the support and understanding they have extended to us this year."

Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn revealed earlier this week that Formula 1 teams had informed Bernie Ecclestone that a December 11 finale was "totally unacceptable".

"I think it is unacceptable and we've told Bernie that and he knows our opinion," said Brawn. "If we continue to take those sort of approaches then we will run into problems because our people cannot be expected to work in that environment and situation, so I think it is totally unacceptable."

Red Bull said in a short statement that the Formula One Teams' Association would discuss the decision internally.

"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."

shares
comments
Button: McLaren set to dictate race pace

Previous article

Button: McLaren set to dictate race pace

Next article

FIA open to delaying new F1 engines

FIA open to delaying new F1 engines
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021