The 2011 Formula 1 season gets underway two weeks later than planned following the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“Sport should not be involved with politics”
The two have never been too far apart in Formula 1, but Jean Todt’s words spoke volumes ahead of the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix, given the well-publicised Arab Springs uprising. Despite assurances from the sport’s higher-ups and circuit officials that the race would go ahead, disquiet amongst the teams and ongoing concerns about safety meant the plug was pulled on the 2011 F1 season opener at the 11th hour. Plans to re-instate the race later in the year eventually dropped off the map too.
Even as the F1 circus prepared to return to Sakhir for the 2012 race, human rights activists called for the race’s cancellation once again owing to ‘increasing safety concerns amid ongoing protests in the kingdom’. Military lockdown was even hinted to make sure the race went off without a hitch. In the end, Sebastien Vettel took his first of two victories at the circuit after dominating on the Grand Prix configuration, which made its return after a one-year run on the Endurance circuit layout in 2010.
With that context, the circuit’s first ever F1 night race in 2014 should be a doddle.
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