• Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain confident of delivering problem-free event

ESPNF1 Staff
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Circuit chairman Zayed Al-Zayani: "I don't think anything drastic will happen. It's not Syria or Afghanistan" © Sutton Images

Bahrain International Circuit's chairman Zayed Al-Zayani has reassured F1 personnel that this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead without major incident and insists the organisers made a "calculated decision" before pressing ahead with the race.

The FIA confirmed last Friday that the Bahrain Grand Prix would go ahead next weekend despite concerns over the security situation in the country. Both the Bahraini authorities and Bernie Ecclestone have said the political unrest will not affect the race and Al-Zayani is confident F1 has made the right decision by going ahead with the event.

"We've been in Formula One for seven years and we will be in it for much longer than that," Alzayani was quoted by PA. "We wouldn't take a decision on a gamble. But it's a calculated decision, we've weighed up our options and we are committed to the grand prix and to its success."

Pro-democracy protestors have said they will target the build-up of the race to gain publicity for their cause, but Al-Zayani does not believe it will affect the running of the event.

"I don't think anything drastic will happen. It's not Syria or Afghanistan. I don't see why anything should happen this year that hasn't happened in the previous years. I don't see any benefit for anyone personally attacking the media or the teams or anything.

"Even those who are protesting weaken their message if they do so. Why would you go and attack the media? I think they will probably look out for the media to try and get their message abroad, which is fine. Let them express their opinion."

Al-Zayani said that no event anywhere in the world could be completely safe from attack, but is confident any members of the F1 paddock with fears about this weekend's race will soon change their mind when they arrive in the country.

"It [a terrorist attack] could happen in any country in the world," he added. "Why is it any different here? Look at what happened in London when we had a guy jump into the Thames and stop the Boat Race.

"Do you want to tell me there is no threat on the Olympics in London? Should we should stop the Olympics? What's the difference? There are idiots everywhere in the world. Does that mean we just sit at home and lock ourselves up? So let's have the event, I'm sure it will be a good event, a safe event.

"I can assure you most of the people who are hesitant or reluctant about Bahrain will change their perception within the first day of being here. We've seen it, and people who have already been to Bahrain and were worried and everything like that, they left with a different perception."