The question of whether or not the 2012 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead, has taken a new twist today, with reports that the teams are keen for the FIA to either postpone it or cancel it altogether.
The race is due to take place following this coming weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, but with continuing unrest in the Gulf State, the viability of the event on April 22 remains the subject of intense speculation. Now one team boss, who did not wish to be named, but who has been described as a 'leading member of the twelve teams', has spoken out in an interview with British broadsheet newspaper, The Guardian
. The 'paper adds that his views are 'representative' of the other teams.
“I feel very uncomfortable about going to Bahrain,” the team principal said. “If I'm brutally frank, the only way they can pull this race off without incident is to have a complete military lock-down there. And I think that would be unacceptable, both for F1 and for Bahrain. But I don't see any other way they can do it.
“We're all hoping the FIA calls it off. From a purely legal point of view, in terms of insurance and government advice, we are clear to go. But what we find worrying is that there are issues happening every day.
“I saw an interview with a human rights activist on BBC World, and he said that there would be demonstrations and that they would be peaceful. But that is the way all demonstrations start off.
“Other team principals are going through the same worries. I spent all last week making sure the insurances are right so I can reassure the teams. I've sent out an email to our legal department to make sure all our employees are covered for acts of terrorism and civil disorder while travelling to, during and coming back from the Bahrain GP.
“We have a lot of people. Our first and foremost priority has to be our employees. And their families. That's what concerns us most, even though we've not said anything about it. It seems to me that while there has been some political progress in Bahrain they're not quite ready. The best thing would be for the race to be postponed until later in the year, or even cancelled.
“But that is a decision that must be made by the FIA, FOM [Formula One Management] and the commercial rights holder.
“I never anticipated a decision being made until the week before China. I believe Jean Todt is in China, which is interesting.”