Lewis Hamilton at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix
Finally, the bullet seems to have been bitten and the civil unrest in Bahrain seems to taken it’s first big casualty, the 2011 Formula1 Grand Prix of Bahrain. The organizers of the 2011 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix have called off this year’s event with a terse statement stating that the Grand Prix will have to be held at a later date that is more conducive to holding the F1 racing spectacle.
All along, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone were putting brave faces to hold the Grand Prix as scheduled on March 13th but the ground situation in Bahrain has deteriorated to such an extent that the safety of the F1 teams and fans will be under peril due to which the organizers have chosen to play it safe.
Even as you read this, internet in Bahrain has been cut off and the outside world still continues to largely remain in the dark about most of the events unfolding in Bahrain as pro-democracy protests continue to rock the Gulf nation. Media also has been restrained from entering the country and the situation remains tense. Meanwhile, here is an official statement from Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
(The country) focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of Bahrain’s Formula One race to a later date.
All said, the middle east is in a definitive state of turmoil with pro-democracy and anti-regime protests now spreading into Yemen and Kuwait even as the United States watches the situation closely. The second race of the 2011 Formula1 Season will be held as per schedule on 25th=27th March at Australia. Also, the Bahrain Grand Prix could be rescheduled to November 6th, 2011.