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Bahrain, for the record - The official Sidepodcast stance on the troubled race of 2011

Published by Mr. C

A rough ride lies ahead
A rough ride lies aheadCredit: GP2 Series

Here at Sidepodcast, Christine and I had written off any chance of Formula 1 returning to Bahrain in 2011 way back in February of this year. The fact that the FIA repeatedly gave the country an ever more elastic deadline to sort out their affairs was the source of a certain amount of concern but we assumed (wrongly) that common sense would prevail and that the 2011 F1 season would comprise just 19 races.

Our season calendar page has reflected this fact all season and currently remains unchanged despite the FIA's recent u-turn, which saw Bahrain return to the calendar this year.

Events appear to be unfolding within the inner-circles of the sport that give us hope a sensible decision will eventually be made, and Bahrain will not, in fact, feature on this year's F1 calendar. Whatever the final decision, whatever future deadlines come and go, we would like to state for the record that Sidepodcast will be boycotting any Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011.

There will be no coverage on this domain whatsoever of any sessions, there will be no reports, no results and no post-race discussion. From a technical standpoint, the championship standings will likely have to be fudged to match the total at the end of the season, although an alternate championship table doesn't seem out of the question either.

It should be noted that this choice isn't in and of itself a tricky one for us to make. Neither Christine nor I derive any income from the sport or this site, nor do we have any paddock passes to lose in the process. But for what it's worth you will not find any promotion of such an event on this domain, should it ever go ahead.

A secondary question, which at present doesn't appear to being asked anywhere near enough, is what to do about a Grand Prix at the same venue for 2012. As it currently stands as the season opener for next year, it seems unlikely that the country's situation will have materially changed in the interim, and if so, our stance should remain the same.

The timing of this post follows suggestions earlier today that F1 bloggers were not doing enough to make their opinions clear. Our opinions have not changed in the slightest since the beginning of the season, we offer this post only as clarification.