The Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit has reassured F1 teams and fans that all measures will be taken to ensure that the race, which will take place on 22nd April 2012, Will be a safe one.
In a statement on Wednesday, Sheik Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa said that Bahrain was now a safe country. He said Bahrain was ready to hold the race, as it has done since 2004, except for last year.
Last year, The race was postponed and eventually cancelled after protest’s across the country turned violent and the country was unstable. On top of this, most medical personal that would be needed at the track travelled to the protests to help the injured civilians and many were arrested.
“The country has moved on and we are on the path of reconciliation,” Sheik Salman said in a phone interview to “The Times of India”. A “global event with so much exposure” will benefit Bahrain economically and politically.
“There will be so much good with Formula One back in Bahrain. I am confident that all measures will be taken to ensure the safety of the teams and fans.” He added no additional security measures will be in place for the race on April 22 despite the ongoing political strife in Bahrain.
“To be honest, every year the standard of security is high, not just in the Formula One race, but for any sporting event like this,” Salman said. “Our country has always handled well events of this nature.”
Human rights groups have criticized the decision of the world racing body to reinstate the Bahrain race this year. Bahrain’s Shiite majority is demanding more rights and opportunities, equal to the Sunni minority that rules Bahrain.
In February, an opposition group that has been the driving force of the yearlong uprising wrote to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone demanding that the race be canceled.
The letter by the Coalition Youth of the 14 Feb Revolution said “organizing an F1 race in Bahrain at a time when children are being killed in the streets at the hands of the regime mercenaries will haunt the F1 reputation forever and will imprint it with the image of death and human rights violations.”
The Bahrain Grand Prix will take place on April 20-22 2012.