Hit or Miss?: Formula 1 runs into controversy at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Grid locked: One of the more controversial Formula 1 races of recent times was held in Bahrain amid street clashes between 7,000 protesters and police, and an activist was found shot dead.

Formula 1: runs into controversy at the Bahrain Grand Prix (Getty Images)
Formula 1: runs into controversy at the Bahrain Grand Prix (Getty Images)

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone brushed off criticism of his determination to continue, saying there was 'no such thing as bad publicity'. The race went ahead, despite the withdrawal of the Force India team from a practice session on safety grounds.



The Formula 1 circus was a perfect story with rich imagery. However, the race didn't reflect well on F1 among the wider public.

I don't think Bernie Ecclestone being his usual flippant self and dismissing events as nonsense did him or the sport any good. He only stoked the animosity with the media. He pushed the fact that he and the FIA (the governing body for F1) had no power to cancel the race under the contract with Bahraini authorities. That may be true, but it might be time to think about an ethically more ambitious route.

While sport doesn't want to be seen to be motivated by politics, it is totally unrealistic to expect the two to be disassociated. If F1 plans to go back to Bahrain next year, it needs to look at the situation and potentially reconsider if the situation worsens.


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