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April 23, 2012

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Gary Patrick

Disappointed to hear you decided to skip this race. Bahrain surely isn't Disneyland, but there are things that the governments of ANY country that hosts an F1 race (including our own) do that could be considered objectionable. F1 being there or not did not materially alter the life of the average Bahraini. It was a non-political sporting event.

bradman

Kudos for boycotting the Bahrain F1 race, P-dog. I did likewise. A "non-political sporting event"...sure.

GeorgeK

I applaud your decision not to watch on a personal level. I would hasten to ask what difference it made?

And I can no longer fully buy into the fact that a small minority of people who object to certain activities (racing) should hold the power of influencing those decisions. Whatever internal problems exist within that country can be solved without threatening a sporting event that economically benefits the entire country.

We are all glad that the race was not the focus of violence and blood shed.

Gary Patrick

For those that abstained and/or think the race shouldn't have been run, what is the line that is crossed in this situation that hasn't been crossed in China?

Leigh O'Gorman

@Gary
Actually, the answer to that is very simple.

The organisers of the Bahrain GP deliberately politicised the race by claiming in print (both posters and in articles) that the race will be a key in unifying the country.

In fact, the advert for the Grand Prix was even called "UniF1ed: One Nation in Celebration" - an act that is in direct contravention of the FIA Statutes.
That the FIA failed to act upon this has rendered the trust shaken in a way not seen since the Mosley days.

The politicisation of the race, however, was key. Attempting to use the race to falsely unify the country was crass and poorly framed.

On the other hand, China have never at any stage done this.
If China dropped the race tomorrow, it is doubtful the wider nation or even the wider city of Shanghai would notice.
China have never outwardly politicised this event. They simply don't need to.
It's China - Formula 1 races in China, because the Chinese let them.

For Bahrain, this is one of the country's main events and is key to their tourism campaign.
Beyond that, the island really doesn't have a huge amount going for it outside banking (Bahrain has little in the way of oil).
There's a celebratory golf tournament, international business conferences and a few other bits and bobs, but not much else.

The human rights argument in the case of the Bahrain GP simply didn't, doesn't and will never matter.
Why would it? By this time next week, many of us will have forgotten that Bahrain even exists - such is the way of modern life.

If we were to decide what events take place based on human rights rankings, then a number of entertainment calendars would be pretty bare.

jdh417

The protesters you're supporting pretty much have "destory Western civilization" on their "To Do" list once in power. Ask Israel about Eygpt's Arab Spring or Iranians about running out the Shah in their "democracy" movement.

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