The FIA announced today that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been reinstated onto the 2011 calendar after a meeting of the World Motorsport Council.
Originally planned as the opening round of the season the race was postponed due to the political unrest that gripped the Middle-East at the start of the year. The race was expected to be a casualty of this unrest and there was little or no support amongst the teams to reschedule the race.
Mercedes team-principal, Ross Brawn, gave a clear indication of the dissatisfaction of the teams with this announcement:
“I think it is unacceptable and we’ve told Bernie that and he knows our opinion,” said Brawn. “If we continue to take those sort of approaches then we will run into problems because our people cannot be expected to work in that environment and situation, so I think it is totally unacceptable.”
Reigning world constructors champion Red Bull also released a statement in which the Milton Keyes based squad said:
“We will go through the correct channels and discuss this decision within the appropriate forum with the other F1 teams and our fellow FOTA members.”
The decision by the WMSC has led to a calendar shake up that will see India become the final race of the season on December 11, the latest finish to a season since 1962, when South Africa closed the season on December 29.
Bahrain will take place two weeks after the Korean Grand Prix, the original date for India. The Bahrain organisers were obviously thrilled at the news with the news. The Bahrain International Circuit released a statement saying:
“As a country we have faced a difficult time, but stability has returned; with businesses operating close to normal, the State of National Safety lifted and countries removing travel restrictions.
“Collectively, we are in the process of addressing issues of national and international concern, and learning lessons from the recent past. By the time the Grand Prix arrives we will be able to remind the world about Bahrain at its best.
Obviously teams are less positive and it remains to be seen whether they will actually accept the season running deep into December effectively eliminating any opportunity for them to rest following what was already planned to be the longest season in Formula 1 history.
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