• Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain confident 2012 race will be a success

ESPNF1 Staff
June 23, 2011 « Taxpayers sue over USGP funding | »
F1 will return to Bahrain in 2012 © Sutton Images

Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix are confident the event will make a successful return to the Formula One calendar in 2012.

The 2011 event was postponed due to political unrest in the state and eventually cancelled when the FIA, FOM and the F1 teams could not agree on how to fit it back into the calendar.

"We are looking forward to having a very successful race in 2012," circuit CEO Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa told the Gulf Daily News. "It was very disappointing not to have it but I'm always optimistic that for every delay we can do a better job next year and hopefully you will all enjoy it and come back and say it was better than any year."

He said that the right decision had been made over the 2011 race, but added that Bahrain would have gone ahead had there not been a dispute over the date.

"Nothing to do with Bahrain, but there was an internal battle as well between the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone and the international media obviously played a part," Shaikh Salman said. "Bahrain took a decision that it is better to wait until next year and I personally agree with that and look forward to having everyone here next year."

He also underlined the importance of the race for the Bahraini economy.

"F1 showcases Bahrain and the region and when we started in 2004 it wasn't just for Bahrain, but after 9/11 we needed to give positive messages. It's about boosting tourism and attracting investments. Any other motorsport is a hobby but F1 is a business platform."