• Bahrain Grand Prix

FIA urged to drop Bahrain

ESPNF1 Staff
February 9, 2012 « Rosberg keeps 2011 Mercedes on top | Bianchi apologises for shunt as Force India calls it a day »
The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix was eventually cancelled over the political unrest in the country © Getty Images

Members of the House of Lords have urged the FIA to drop the Bahrain Grand Prix after a British man lost two fingers in a sword attack in Karranah.

Lord Ahmad Of Wimbledon, Lord Ahmed Of Rotherham, Lord Alton, Lord Avebury, Baroness Falkner Of Margravine, Lord Hylton, Caroline Lucas and Lord Boswell wrote an open letter to The Times describing the situation as "dire" and saying that they "do not believe that the time is right for Formula One to return to Bahrain".

Continuing unrest in the island state has previously led to calls from human rights groups for the teams to boycott the race, but team members have backed the FIA to make a decision. The letter comes after Gulf News Daily reported that Peter Morrissey was awaiting surgery to reattach his fingers after being attacked in Karrana near Manama.

The full letter reads:

'Sir, We note with concern the decision by Formula One to go ahead with the race in Bahrain scheduled for April. The continued political crisis in Bahrain is a troubling source of instability in the Gulf region, and the lack of any move towards political reconciliation concerns those who wish to see Bahrain move in the direction of greater democratic accountability.

'It was hoped that the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) would provide a starting point for political reform which both government and opposition forces could agree upon. However, two months on we see an entrenchment of the positions of both sides which risks letting more extreme voices dictate the progress of the conflict. Given the current dire situation, with daily street protests and the deaths of more civilians, we do not believe that the time is right for Formula One to return to Bahrain.

'Bahrain is a major trading hub and financial centre in the Middle East but this brings greater responsibility. Human rights and economic stability go hand in hand and the government of Bahrain must do more to persuade international events and corporations that Bahrain is a stable place to do business. Until it takes concerted measures to reform the electoral, penal and judicial processes, international observers as well as ordinary Bahrainis can have little confidence that Bahrain is on the path to reform and political stability. We urge the FIA to reconsider its decision to continue with the race.'