The political unrest in the Middle East has been building and building over the past few months. It is a time of revolution and rebirth, and probably one of the most important periods of rebellion in modern times. The riots, protests and indignation at the behaviour of the governments could spell a time of freedom and democracy, although it probably won’t be as easy as simply flicking the switch.
Of course, in addition to the real issues, there are a few side stories that are getting media coverage. One of these is a particular worry for the automotive world, because it looks like, no matter what the outcome of the riots, the start of the 2011 Grand Prix season may be delayed. If nothing else it is almost inevitable that the testing, which was due to start in Bahrain on the 3rd of March, will be at the very least pushed back. The way things are going at the moment it looks, in fact, like the Bahrain Grand Prix, if and when it happens, will be after the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 27th March.
Of course what is essentially just a car race pales in importance when compared to something that could so change the political face of many nations. However, it would be nice to see it go ahead, as a sort of symbol of the things to come. If not, however, we will survive, and will just have to wait for the Melbourne Grand Prix instead!
Update: As if on command, the powers that be have announced that the Bahrain Grand Prix will be called off, meaning that the Formula One season starts in Melbourne as per usual. “We must focus on immediate issues of national interest and leave the hosting of the race to a later date,” are the exact words of Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. See the BBC news site for more info.
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