Should Bahrain be back on the calendar in 2013?


After all the uncertainties, worries, fears, tension and doubts, the Bahrain Grand Prix went ahead after all - and without any incidents to disrupt the on-track action itself.

Did F1 just get lucky this time around? Should it put itself in the same situation again in 12 months time, if the unrest persists?

There was certainly a storm of criticism about how F1 was being used as a political prop by the Bahraini Government in their ongoing confrontation with civil rights protestors in the country, asking whether F1 - or any international sporting event - should be seen in such close proximity to the sort of street demonstrations and riots in evidence over the last week in Bahrain, in which at least one protestor was reportedly shot dead.

Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt, along with the Crown Prince of Bahrain, all insisted that F1 was doing good by coming to Bahrain, that the violence had been overplayed by the media and that the local population was overwhelmingly in favour of the Grand Prix going ahead. That left F1 having to make a judgement call - if not indeed a moral one - about which side of the fence to stand. It was uncomfortable for all concerned.

While the on-track action went ahead, it was hardly unaffected given Force India's decision to pull out of the second Friday practice session following an early brush with violence mid-week. The Sauber team also got uncomfortably close to being caught up in a separate incident, while another team reported that a protestor had gained access to their hotel during the run-up to the race. Even the impregnable security of the Bahrain International Circuit itself was breached on race day, albeit in a non-violent manner when two female demonstrators were arrested and manhandled away by the security services.

So at the end of the week, was it all worth it - should F1 put itself in the same polarising situation again next year and return once more to Bahrain, or should it decide to stick to the safe, familiar circuits nearer home in future?

Bernie Ecclestone's made up his mind and said Bahrain has a place on the schedule for as long as it wants to be a part of the F1 travelling circus. But do Crash.net readers think he's right?

Should Bahrain be back on the calendar in 2013?







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