Bahrain cites 'logistical problems' for Formula One cancellation

Bahrain International Circuit Chairman Zayed al-Zayani said the decision was taken in part to preserve the kingdom's reputation. [Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters]

Bahrain International Circuit Chairman Zayed al-Zayani said the decision was taken in part to preserve the kingdom's reputation. [Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters]

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Bahrain ended the controversy surrounding the 2011 Formula One races when officials announced that the race would be cancelled to avoid 'logistical problems'.

The Board of Directors of the Bahrain International Circuit decided on June 10th not to extend the Formula One season for the 2011 season.

Some racing teams and sponsors objected to rescheduling the race in Bahrain this year in the current political climate and cited potential problems with security and insurance.

This decision came after the General Assembly of the International Automobile Federation announced on June 3rd that it would put the Bahrain Grand Prix Race back on the Formula One schedule for October 28th-30th.

The race was originally scheduled for March, but it was canceled because of political protests that occurred in the country.

Zayed al-Zayani, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bahrain International Circuit, told Al-Shorfa that logistics were the main factor in his organization's decision.

"The primary and sole reason for the delay is due to logistics, from the difficulty of transport and freight for the participating teams, to the rising pressures on the contestants with the existence of 20 races in one season," al-Zayani told Al-Shorfa.

"In light of the difficulties faced by the rescheduling of the Bahrain Grand Prix, and taking into account long-term interests, we decided to cancel to preserve our good reputation and not insist on hosting the race during this season. There is no doubt it was a difficult decision for us."

Al-Zayani stressed that Bahrain will host the first round of the Formula One during the 2012 season on March 9th-11th but said it was premature to talk about preparations for the next race.

Bahrain has hosted World Championship Formula One races seven times beginning in 2004 when it established the Bahrain International Circuit on an area of 1.7 million square meters at a cost of $150 million. It was the first Middle Eastern country to host a Formula One race.

Businessman Yousef al-Mashaal said the cancelation will have a significant impact on the Bahraini economy this year with estimated losses at $400 million. He expected that small and medium-sized enterprises will suffer 60% of the damage as a result of the cancelation.

Al-Mashaal told Al-Shorfa‬ the event provides more than 5,000 jobs for Bahraini youth. ‬

"The government has struggled to re-schedule the event in order to reduce the losses by recent events and to raise the standard of living of its citizens," he said, pointing out that the revenues that would have been generated would have contributed to infrastructure development.

Sports analyst Khalid Jassem said, "The return of the Bahrain International Circuit on the 2011 calendar would have completed a series of successes for Bahrain in hosting eight rounds and would have proven that Bahrain is a country of security -- but the kingdom suffered from poor luck."

Jassem told Al-Shorfa the decision to cancel the event took into account the circumstances of the participating teams and drivers who have been exhausted by the 2011 season as a result of the large number of races and the demands of travel.

"Bahrain has been known as the first home of motorsports in the Middle East since 2004, and it has proven its success in hosting the Formula One and has surpassed its counterparts in regional and global circuits," Jassem said.

"The recent political crisis will not stand as an obstacle to the continuation of Bahrain's leadership in this area in the future."

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    haydar

    2011-7-26

    I am not happy with the situation in Bahrain. The current conditions are tearing apart the unity in Bahrain and giving the opportunity to many to interfere in this situation, and this is dangerous. I hope that things settle down and that the escalation by the two parties, the government and demonstrators, stops for the sake of Bahrain. If they are concerned with Bahrain, they must eliminate this intrigue, because we want to lead a quiet, stable and secure life in our country.

  • tamara

    2011-7-26

    I pray God to stabilize the situation in Bahrain forever, in order for Bahrain to enjoy safety and peace. And I pray God to put an end to this difficult situation. Thus, Bahrainis must put the interests of the country above everything else, in order to prevent the corrupt people from exploiting the situation to achieve their malicious plans and to manipulate people’s minds for the sake of sowing discord, sectarianism, and destruction. In fact, those who have inflamed the situation want to destroy the country. THowever, Bahrainis know best about their interests. That’s why they must work properly, in order to achieve stability and to avoid suffering and violence for the sake of freedom and services. They must also work on eradicating poverty, hunger, deprivation, unemployment and ignorance. In fact, they need to develop the country’s conditions in order to provide all their requirements. Thus, it is important to provide all the services for the sake of the people and the country’s stability. It is also important that the Bahraini people feel that the government is able to protect them and to provide all their requirements. Thus, the government must work properly without neglect, because it is its duty to serve people’s interest without tyranny, oppression, repression, brutality, violence and cruel dictatorship. In fact, people have the right to enjoy their freedom. Thus, we pray to God to achieve stability in Bahrain forever, for the sake of people’s calm, security, and comfort. And we pray God to protect the rights of citizens who have held demonstrations in order to call for their demands, especially since the government has neglected people’s rights in Bahrain.

  • hamzawy

    2011-7-25

    We ask God to achieve calm and stability in Bahrain so that our Bahraini brothers can enjoy security and continuous peace. And we hope that Bahrain goes back to the way it was before or even better. May God bestow them with peace and put an end to this crisis forever. This is for the sake of the country’s stability, God willing.

  • mohsin

    2011-7-23

    I pray to God for the situation to stabilize in Bahrain and for quietness to prevail once more, in order for Bahraini citizens to find all the services and requirements they are missing. I also pray for corruption and unemployment to be eradicated and for the badly needed services to be provided. I pray that Bahrain would witness a state of security and stability and that the people will sense total freedom and enjoy real democracy.

  • moona

    2011-7-22

    The cowardly, malicious acts that occurred in Bahrain were committed against innocent citizens by the security forces. However, with all that, we pray to God for the conditions to settle down in all aspects in Bahrain, and for all services to be restored as well as all that was stolen from it, and we pray that it will be a lesson for them.