Date: 16th February 2011 at 3:52pm
Written by:

Political unrest in the Middle East is threatening to disrupt the opening race of the 2011 Formula One season.

Pro-democracy protests have recently swept through several Arabian counties.

The Tunisian and Egyptian presidents have both resigned following days of protests and protests have also taken place in Libya, Iran and Bahrain.

Unsurprisingly protesters in Bahrain have threatened to target next months Formula One Grand Prix, targeting such a world wide event is the easiest way to raise awareness for your cause.

But despite the growing unrest in the region, race officials remain optimistic that the curtain raiser to the Formula One season will go ahead on schedule.

‘The safety of all Bahraini nationals, expats and overseas visitors is a priority at all times in the Kingdom and, at the Bahrain International Circuit, our focus at the present time is on delivering another successful event in the form of the 2011 Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix. Bahrain International Circuit CEO, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, said before concluding: ‘We are monitoring the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities, and will respond appropriately to any further developments.’

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said: ‘We’re watching events closely. We’ll rely on what they think the right thing to do is.

Formula One teams are scheduled to begin testing at the track in just two weeks time. While the opening race weekend begins March 11th.