After last year's event was postponed, reinstated and then cancelled for good, few expected Bahrain to feature on the 2012 F1 calendar.
When it did, questions were again raised about the viablility of the race actually taking place, given that the unrest that unsettled the F1 fraternity in 2011 continued to exist, albeit replaced in global news headlines by the eruption of anti-government protests, and subsequent retaliation, in Syria.
Last week's tete-a-tete
between Bernie Ecclestone, team bosses, Pirelli and representatives of the Bahrain International Circuit
produced the expected platitudes about safety and commitment to a country that took a risk by joining the F1 circus back in 2004, but only appeared to inflame the disquiet, not only in the capital Manama, but also in outlying villages, resulting in the death of a young protestor.
While the decision at the moment appears to be to continue with the race, the teams are understood to be forming contingency plans lest Bahrain be cancelled as late as during the preceding Chinese GP, prompting the question as to whether all are behind the return to Sakhir.
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