The Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled for April 22, but for the first time, a team principal is calling for the race to be postponed.
London’s Guardian newspaper quoted ‘a leading member of the 12 team principals’ as saying he would “feel very uncomfortable going to Bahrain.” The principal, who asked not to be identified, but said his views were representative, told the paper that the Bahrain GP could be run was ‘a complete military lockdown.’ The article goes on to say that all the teams are hoping “FIA calls it off.’
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Meanwhile, there are reports that Formula One teams are issuing engineers, mechanics and others involved in the race two sets of tickets after this Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai: one set goes to Bahrain; one set goes to Europe. The move is a precautionary measure in case the Bahraini race is called off for the second year in a row.
Last week, former world driving champion Damon Hill called for FIA to rethink going to Bahrain. Hill added that F1 chiefs ‘must not act like they do no care.’
Members of Parliament have also expressed concern over jailed activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who has been on a hunger strike for two months. He continues to languish in a military hospital.
Formula One racing teams are asking the sport’s governing body to skip the Bahrain Grand Prix because of ongoing unrest in the country. One team principal says teams are hoping FIA ‘calls it off’ because a ‘complete military lockdown’ is the only way to stage the race. Meanwhile hunger striker Abdulhadi Al Khawaja languishes in a military hospital.
David Byrd is a journalist, writer, video editor and photographer. He is also the host of VOA's American Cafe, a weekly show covering life and culture in the United States.