Worsening political tensions over the kingdom’s – some feel despotic – rule by its long-time government spilling over into escalating violence between pro-government and anti-government groups, the season-opening round of the 2011 Formula 1 championship was postponed from its mid-March date.
Subsequently, the FIA has issued a May 1 deadline by which point a decision as to whether to reschedule the race to a later date must be made.
And with the international media still reporting that the anti-government violence is still continuing, key figures are of the belief that a Grand Prix in Bahrain would do long-term damage to the sport.
But it would seem that the Sakhir circuit’s boss, Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa – the country’s Crown Prince and hair apparent to the throne, it must be noted – is possibly in denial about the international reports, and offers a conflicting view that it is now time to consider a new date for the race.
“Now that security has prevailed and normal life has returned to Bahrain, thanks to the wise leadership, we are stepping up contacts to host the race anew,” he told the state-controlled Bahrain News Agency.
[Original image via Flickr]