After the Gulf state of Bahrain declared a three-month state of emergency on Tuesday, March 15, it appears that the nation’s hopes of staging Formula One action this year have all but diminished.
The Sakhir event was postponed after a political uprising in the country, though Formula One Management and the sport’s governing body have held out hope of returning to Bahrain later in the year with the season now set to start in Melbourne later this month.
Organisers of the Bahrain grand prix were given until May 1 to decide whether or not they will be able to stage the race later in the 2011 calendar, though fresh protests and the new state of emergency deems this highly unlikely, particularly as FIA president Jean Todt implied on Tuesday that the deadline for a decision would not be extended.
A statement from FIA president Jean Todt on Tuesday, read:“As you all know, on advice from the Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) we have had to skip the inaugural grand prix in that country due to severe social unrest.
“We have asked our Bahraini colleagues to inform us by May 1 on whether the race can take place. We wish them well in their ongoing attempts to resolve their issues.”
On Monday, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were called in to help restore order in Bahrain and guard key facilities after more political protests erupted.