Bahrain Grand Prix to Go on as Scheduled: A Fan’s Reaction

In 2011, Formula 1 was scheduled to travel to Bahrain for the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, that race had to be cancelled due to escalating violence. There had been concern over the safety of the country this season as well. However, the government of Bahrain has assured the series that there is nothing to worry about and that the violence is nothing that would endanger drivers or spectators when the Bahrain Grand Prix takes place in April. The country will not be providing extra security for the race.

Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula 1, has indicated that the race will go on as planned barring a significant and violent shift in the current situation. Though his decision is not universally loved, he appears to be standing firm on the race going on as scheduled. Other than last year, the race has been held since 2004. This would seem to be a relatively untapped market for major racing events but it may be too risky this year.

Bahrain has been going through significant upheaval in recent years. In 2011, Bahrain citizens joined other Middle Eastern citizens in revolutions against governments. Unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, the Bahrain government did not fall or change hands. Despite the violence in the past year, the government has indicated that the violence has been greatly reduced recently.

Hopefully everything will be fine. I am skeptical about taking the government of Bahrain's word on the fact that nothing will happen to foreigners attending, or participating in, the race. Although extra security is not seen as something that would be helpful, it may still be more dangerous than was expected. The last thing anyone wants is to have someone become the victim of a crime, or become injured. It seems risky and Bahrain stands to gain a lot by having the international racing series come to the country. The country would likely not take too much of a risk, but it does seem within the realm of possibility that the country may downplay the risk. Hopefully, the race will go smoothly. It would be awful if the political unrest flared again while Formula 1 was in town.

Kristin Watt has been a fan of motorsports since she was a young girl and she watched NASCAR races with her mother. That love of NASCAR quickly evolved into a great enjoyment of many different motorsports including everything from local dirt track action to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans to the adrenaline rush of the extreme motocross events. She has been following motorsports for many years.

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Updated Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012