Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix

A Formula for Unrest

The fourth meeting of 2013 F1 season takes place in Bahrain, an event that in recent years has been overshadowed by political protests.

The Bahrain Grand Prix launched successfully in 2004 when the country appeared set on a programme of progress and reform, yet since it has become a catalyst for confrontation and violence.

This Sunday’s race is the biggest event in the country’s calendar and both ends of the political spectrum, the Sunni-ruled kingdom and the Shiite majority, are more determined than ever to make the most of this propaganda opportunity.

For the government and its supporters, holding the F1 race demonstrates that after two years of unrest the kingdom is stable and back on track, justifying their keenness for the race to go ahead despite heavy opposition from British MPs and those inside the sport.

Opposition groups such as The February 14 Youth Coalition argue that the government has failed to deliver on promises of democratic reform and have already initiated their week-long campaign entitled ‘volcanic flame’.

A group of British MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Bahrain weighed in to the debate with a request to cancel the Grand Prix as they believe it’s likely to attract as much negative publicity as last year.

This would mirror scenes from 2011 when The Bahrain Grand Prix was postponed and later cancelled after month-long pro-democracy protests were crushed and at least 35 people died.

Last year’s race went ahead once Ecclestone and governing body the FIA said they had been assured the kingdom was safe for F1 personnel.

This assurance didn’t prevent disruption as before the race Force India mechanics were caught up in an incident in which a petrol bomb bounced off the roof of their car as protestors battled with police on the main highway from the circuit into Manama.

Meanwhile, president of the FIA Jean Todt has broken his silence and come out in support of the event declaring his belief that the grand prix can have a positive and healing effect on the conflict.

Pro-democracy campaigners will continue to lobby the Formula 1’s presence in a country that is amidst atrocious human rights violations, but at this late stage the show must go on.

The Drivers

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (2/1) produced a dominant performance to clinch victory in China and his Championship bid has been further endorsed by Lewis Hamilton this week, the Mercedes driver stating, ‘The best driver has got the quickest car at the moment, so that is going to be tough to beat’.

Hamilton (10/1) finished third after starting on pole and it seems his Mercedes team don’t have the pace to compete with Ferrari and Lotus.

Kimi Raikkonen (7/2) will be looking to build on an impressive start to the season with his Lotus sitting just 3 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel (13/5) finished fourth in China and will be looking to reproduce last year’s winning performance in Bahrain after a close thought battle with Kimi Raikkonen.

Amidst talk of a conspiracy against Mark Webber (14/1) at Red Bull after a fuel shortage in qualifying sent him to the back of grid in China, the Aussie will have a three place penalty to contend with in Bahrain after causing a collision with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne last week. Not the best present when registering your 200th career Grand Prix.

More news More news
Share this article:

Sportsbooks

SportsbookBodogIntertops Ladbrokes Online Sportsbook

Related Posts