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Looking outwards - The Bahrain Grand Prix and pre-season F1 test are thrown into doubt

Published by Christine

The Bahrain Grand Prix and pre-season F1 test are thrown into doubt
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The upcoming four-day test in Bahrain, plus the season-opening Grand Prix itself, may not take place after protesters targeted the high-profile event as a way of getting their message across. Political tensions in the country have been rising steadily over the past few days, with protesters gathering in their thousands to make their voices heard.

The Grand Prix is due to take place in mid-March and is one of the country's big attempts to make themselves known in the wider world. Looking outwards is a big part of the Bahraini royal family's plans for the future of the country, and they have always been very welcoming to the sport.

For now, though, the future looks uncertain. The most recent update sees CEO of the Bahrain International Circuit, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa unsure of their plans: "The safety of all Bahraini nationals, expats and overseas visitors is a priority at all times in the kingdom and, at the Bahrain International Circuit, our focus at the present time is on delivering another successful event in the form of the 2011 Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

"We are monitoring the situation very closely indeed in association with the relevant authorities, and will respond appropriately to any further developments."