We should point out at the beginning: the case of the Bahrain Grand Prix is not a moral question on behalf of the FIA, it never has been. If it was a moral issue, then F1 wouldn't have gone there, or Hungary, or China, or South Africa for decades for that matter.
The Bahrain case is a primarily safety problem (still on behalf F1) which is unfortunately heavily rooted in moral matters. F1 has stayed out of politics so far (quite wisely) and it was words of wisdom cancelling the event from the calendar at the beginning of the year due to the Arab Spring and the unstable situation.
The FIA forcing the series to return to Bahrain later this year however broke that barrier and stepped to a yet uncharted and controversial area. Any move from now on will be examined through a magnifying glass.
First of all, no one wishes to go there. Neither the teams or the drivers, and supposedly their sponsors would stay out of controversy, too.
If a race to be held then FIA should risk the followings, for example:
- general safety hazard (á la US GP, 2001)
- self-proclaimed protesters on and off track (á la German GP, 2000)
- boycotts from teams, suppliers (á la US GP, 2005) [this could lead to highly dangerous outcomes on behalf of a disappointed audience]
- sponsors leaving, avoiding controversy (á la post-Singapore GP, 2008 case reveal)
- long-term reputation loss for the sport
...and the list could go on endlessly. Even if a race could be pulled off without any setbacks, F1 would still be accused of intervening domestic affairs of a country. The problem is, FIA had already trespassed that line.
The only reasonable solution would be to back off ASAP.
Agree? Disagree? Share your view!