Why the Bahrain debate is different this time

Why the Bahrain debate is different this time

The Bahrain Grand Prix is F1's problem child: In view of the Kingdom's ongoing unrest, should the race be cancelled again? If so, when? And what are the alternatives? Dieter Rencken analyses the issues surrounding the race and reaches a shock conclusion

Let's not kid ourselves: motorsport's major players, particularly those in Formula 1, have long permitted the sport to be used for political propaganda purposes, and any pretence to the contrary is disingenuous.

Forget Hitler's races, for proof look no further than apartheid South Africa. For many years F1, then effectively ruled by a Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone-dominated FOCA, was the only world sport to venture on the country's soil. The repressive government offered 'export marketing' (double) tax breaks to entities prepared to publicise the country, which were exploited then by sponsors and race promoters alike.

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?

AUTOSPORT+

from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just

$1