F1 world champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel
have both said that they would be happy to go to Bahrain for this month's fourth grand prix of the season should the race be given the go-ahead.
A surprise inclusion on the 2012 schedule for some, the Bahrain race continues to be dogged by protests from opposition groups that see it as a symbol of the ruling party they are trying to overthrow. The 2011 grand prix was eventually called after being on hiatus for eight months and, although F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone and various team bosses last week came out in support of the event, ongoing unrest that has been overshadowed by even more violent events in the likes of Syria has resurfaced, with the reported death of a protestor over the weekend.
While the situation continues to cast a cloud over the Bahrain race, and teams apparently plan alternative strategies to get home from the Chinese round that precedes it, both Schumacher and Vettel have lent their support to the country.
''From our perspective, we're going to be very well looked after because they might foresee whatever," the seven-time champion was quoted by Britain's Daily Telegraph
at the weekend, ''I've a few good friends over there, and I'm pretty sure that, for them, it's a very important event, and they just want to make everybody happy. 'If you look around the world, you will find in other places the possibility to think about similar things, but we don't. 'At the end of the day, I'm pretty certain they're going to do their utmost and we'll be okay.''
Reigning champion Vettel was of a simialr mind, happy to put his faith in the decision taken by others, but outwardly unconcerned about heading to a troubled region.
''There are a lot of people who have to make a decision as to whether it's safe or not and, if they decide it's safe, then we shouldn't worry, so I'm happy to go to Bahrain," the Red Bull
driver insisted, ''Of course, it was a shame the race didn't happen last year, but I think ultimately it was the right call. 'It's not really our business, and we'll see what happens, but I am quite confident we'll be all right.''
The Bahrain Grand Prix
is scheduled to take place over the weekend of 20-22 April, and is the final 'flyaway' event before F1 returns to Europe for May's Spanish GP.