|Copyright (c) 2011 Google - Imagery (c) 2011 DigitalGlobe Cnes/Spot Image, GeoEye|
The opening race for the 2011 season of Formula 1 was supposed to kick off the weekend of March 11/12/13 with the race in Bahrain. That race has, at this point, been canceled.
Certainly no one should blame them for canceling the race. With the civil unrest as it is it would hardly have been appropriate to hold a major sporting event such as this in the country. Formula 1 has over the years been accused of being in its own little world, oblivious of the wider world around it. Holding the race when there was so much tension and political unrest would have been not only a PR nightmare for the teams having to explain why they are playing while others are dieing, but it would have been unsafe for the members of the teams who were trying to race while trying desperately to neither support nor get involved in the overall political situation.
Do I care about political unrest? Well, yes, in that a country's people should not be suppressed. But at the same time when I go to a race (or on those rare occasions when the opportunity presents itself, compete), I am really focused more on the subject of racing, than politics. This is where the impression can start that sports people don't care, or that they live in their own worlds; they are focused on the task at hand, in this case racing. You can't win if you aren't paying attention, and the events going on outside the circuit are important, but not if you want to win the race. It would have been a bad situation all around. With teams concerned for security and unrest while trying to run such a major race; the result would have been lacking, at best.
So, doing the proper thing, the season opening race has been canceled, and the start of the 2011 Formula 1 season will come to us on the weekend of March 25/26/27 from Melbourne, Australia.