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DATE News (chronologically)
02/22/11
f1
Unpopular Bahrain race need not return
So the Bahrain GP is cancelled, on a day when two separate stories on the front page of Planet-F1 had more to link them than first met the eye.

The first story connected the political unrest on the streets of Bahrain to the grand prix. The second showed what happens when people get tired of staging a grand prix in a free and fair democracy.

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix has been postponed, but in this correspondent's opinion it should never come back. There has never been much enthusiasm for the race from the people of Bahrain since it started up in 2004 and the visiting crowds have been meager. Nobody much cares about F1 across Bahrain and now we can all see why.

As our story ran: 'The event brings worldwide attention to Bahrain thanks to F1's enormous popularity, but it costs millions of dollars to put on in a country with a big gap between rich and poor.

"The race has been the prince's dream since he was a child," Hasan Dhani, a 23-year-old protester, said. "He wants to negotiate (with protesters) so he can fulfill this dream, and it makes me sad that his dream is more dear to him than the needs of his people. There is a big connection between (the uprising) and Formula 1."'

So, there you have it. The view from the street is that the Bahrain GP is a massive Scalextric set for Crown Prince Al-Khalifa, and Bernie is the equivalent of Hamleys. He has been happy to oblige because the high hosting fee continues to be paid, despite little being recouped in terms of spectator attendance.

Given that's the situation, it's likely that the race will continue to be seen as the Crown Prince's indulgence and will never get the backing of the people. F1 needs to lose races for 2012 - this is an easy one. More at Planet F1

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