The third leg of the 2012 Formula One season in Bahrain will go ahead despite driver protests regarding the civil unrest in the Kingdom.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone announced on Thursday that the race, to be held in a week and half’s time, would not be cancelled.
Australia’s top F1 driver Mark Webber, of Red Bull, opened his pre-race press conference for today’s grand prix event in China by pre-empting media queries by asking, “So. Bahrain?”
Webber chose not to make too much noise about the issue and told reporters that the F1 circuit is fairly meaningless in the context of world events, referring to the bloody anti-government protests of recent times.
The race was cancelled last year when more than 30 people died in Bahrain protesting their lack of voice in government rule.
“Ultimately it is a car race. There are a hell of a lot of people in the world who don’t have a clue there is a Grand Prix in Bahrain next weekend so let’s not get too wrapped up in our own bubble about how important it is,” said Webber.
Webber brought up issues surrounding moral and safety issues, not just for the drivers and teams, but also for the staff, reporters and fans. Protestors have said they will target the race and will likely use its international recognition to gain more support for their cause.
A bomb attack wounded seven policemen on Monday making the Bahrain race the most contentious issue in racing at the moment.