Paris Headquarters of the FIA

Paris Headquarters of the FIA, photo by Phanuruch Phongsutilak

The FIA after talks with the Formula One teams, at which they have supposedly all stated they are happy to race, have said that the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead.


The FIA are responsible for ensuring the safety of anyone at a Grand Prix and in their statement they included the following:


“The FIA ensures that any event forming part of an FIA World Championship is organised in compliance with the FIA Statutes and the relevant Sporting and Technical Regulations and that the safety of the public, officials, drivers and teams is secured at all times during an event”.


If there are problems and injuries occur then the blame would fall on the FIA but they seem happy with arrangements and security at the moment for the race to go ahead: so regardless of what the teams say they must be certain that the race can be run safely. Whether the race will see protests is another matter and whether the race should be run from a moral perspective is another matter; the FIA seem to only be considering security and safety.


The key information in the FIA’s statement was towards the end and read:

“Based on the current information the FIA has at this stage, it is satisfied that all the proper security measures are in place for the running of a Formula One World Championship event in Bahrain.

Therefore, the FIA confirms that the 2012 Gulf Air F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain will go ahead as scheduled.”


The mentions of ‘current information’ and ‘at this stage’ though suggests they are still monitoring things and things could change. You could also argue that if they are considering cancelling the race, but are yet to decide, the right thing is to release this statement so that speculation is put to bed and so it remains in their control rather than becoming a self fulfilling prophecy due to everyone else assuming the race will be cancelled.


The FIA have admitted that they have made their decisions based on information given by  ‘Bahraini authorities and by the Commercial Rights Holder’: this in itself may raise questions as it is in the interest of both to see the race go ahead and so the information may be biased.


The FIA also mention Jean Todt’s fact finding mission in November as a basis for their decision, when he was accompanied by Damon Hill. Since November though things have almost certianly changed and protests and violence have increased, Damon Hill who backed the race in November recently called for it to be reassessed but the FIA have obviously not taken the same view, or have reassessed it and not changed their opinions.