Date: 8th June 2011 at 10:11am
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It’s become rather annoying. One of the most entertaining Formula One seasons continues this weekend in Canada and yet everyone is discussing the political mine field that F1 has walked into over hosting a race in Bahrain.

Vettel may well already have the World championship wrapped up at this early stage, but that hasn’t taken anything away from the great racing we’ve had thus far this season.

This weekend the F1 circus travels to Canada, usually one of the most entertaining races on the F1 circuit and that was before this seasons introduction of KERS, DRS and of course Pirelli’s new compound tyres.

It’s set to be a cracker, but all the build up unfortunately has concentrated on the FIA’s decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix on October 30th, after the race had previously been cancelled due to political unrest in the country.

‘Our special envoy had many meetings in Bahrain, even with the human rights people responsible, He [FIA vice-president Carlos Gracia] found a stable situation, a quiet one, and we unanimously agreed.’ FIA president Jean Todt told the BBC on Tuesday.

‘Carlos’s report was discussed by the World Council and the decision was taken to accept to re-programme the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011.

‘The messages coming out are about peace, about restoring a good situation in this part of the world. Lots of other authorities have been encouraging [things] to go back to normal. My thinking is that, as a sporting body, we must support that.’
Todt concluded.

But while Todt may think that the FIA should support it, the FIA’s decision has been widely criticised, from F1 supporters, to drivers, to media through to teams and politicians.

While the teams themselves have kept their comments private, it is believed that the Formula One Teams Association [FOTA] have sent a letter to the FIA explaining their reservations about the decision for logistical and safety reasons.

Politicians however have been more forthcoming with their views on the decision.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said: ‘Formula 1 has not done itself any good by what has been announced. The important thing is to encourage all sides to get back into a real dialogue.’

It’s now difficult to gauge where F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone stands on the situation. It would seem he would like the Indian Grand Prix to revert back to it’s original October 30th date, which would move Bahrain to the end of the season, leaving F1 open to a late decision on whether to host the race or not.

The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen.

‘Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go. If they are not, then we don’t go and there are no problems.’
he told the Times.

 

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