Bahrain International Circuit chairman, Zayed R Alzayani is adamant the race will be a good for the Gulf State, despite continuing unrest in the Kingdom.
His comments come in the wake of confirmation that the FIA is in 'daily touch with the highest authorities' in Bahrain and is 'constantly monitoring and evaluating the situation' [see separate story - HERE
“It is very sad what has happened, but we cannot go back and change history,” the BIC boss told BBC Radio 4's
Today Programme. “We have to learn from it and move on. I think the grand prix is required for Bahrain because we need to get started back on track. The country has suffered, the economy has suffered.”
Alzayani also dismissed suggestions the event is being used as a political tool by the governing elite: “I don't think so, I disagree,” he added. “The race is not taking place for the authorities, the race is taking place because Bahrain has been the home of motorsport in the Middle East. We have hosted seven previous grand's prix and a majority of the attendance is not the authorities or the royal family, it is fans of F1 and motorsport in general.
“We have a regional event, so quite a few spectators come from neighbouring countries, and it would not be right to deprive them of this event. I don't know why we are being dragged into the politics of the event. We are a social event, we are a sports event and we would like it to stay that way.”
Meanwhile, on the events official website today, organisers said they are getting all 'geared up' to host the 2012 event: “Over the past several weeks, BIC staff members have been hard at work taking care of all the necessary preparations ahead of the F1 extravaganza. One of the most important areas of work is the maintenance of all facilities, especially following the harsh weather conditions that have battered the Kingdom recently.
“Maintenance has been going on daily at the iconic Sakhir Tower as well as at each of the circuit's 47 luxury suites, where many high-ranking VIPs will be hosted during the course of the F1 weekend. Also being readied are the circuit's various grandstands, which can accommodate up to 45,000 people in total on any single day. Furthermore, work has been done at each of the team buildings along the BIC paddock, which can host up to 18 international racing squads....
“Meanwhile, work out on the race track has been carried out as well, including the repainting of some of the run-off areas and the beautification of the desert landscape. Most importantly, complete safety checks on all tyre barriers and other parts of the track have also been conducted by BIC officials.
“Outside of the circuit, the public parking lot has also undergone extensive maintenance work. The lot can host 19,000 cars at a single time. Further, some parts of the roads leading up to the circuit have been revamped in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic to the upcoming mega event.
“All this and plenty more is being done at BIC to ensure that it is fully ready to stage the biggest and most happening occasion in the region this year, which is now only 11 days away.”