THIS year’s Formula 1 curtain raiser, the Bahrain Grand Prix, has been cancelled. This is because of the bloody and ongoing civil unrest that has swept Bahrain and the rest of the Arab world.
So far (according to Wikipedia) seven people have been killed during the anti-government protests in Bahrain’s capital Manama. The protesters said that they would target the race in order to gain global publicity for their cause.
This sparked the cancellation of the GP2 Asian Series test session and races, and calls for the F1 test session at the Sakhir circuit and the race on 13 March to be called off as well.
The F1 test session and race were both rightly cancelled on Monday 21 February. This means that there will be only 19 races this season and not the record 20 that Bernie Ecclestone wanted. The 2011 F1 season will now start on 27 March in Australia, which is where I think the season should start every year.
To me, the cancellation of any Grand Prix is sad, but in the face of anti-government protests all across the Arab world, rolling in with all the fanfare of the opening race of the F1 season would just seem wrong.
But at least it’s only the Bahrain Grand Prix that has been called off. Let’s face facts; it isn’t the best race on the calendar (in fact if you ask me it is one of the worst). I won’t miss it; I’ll quite happily wait the extra two weeks for Australia.
I think the awfulness of the Sakhir track is reason enough to call the race off anyway.