Todt: Situation now stable in Bahrain

FIA President Jean Todt has revealed that a detailed report played a fundamental role in the decision to put Bahrain back on the 2011 Formula 1 calendar, with the current situation throughout the country being described as ‘stable and quiet’. Vice President Carlos Gracia visited the Gulf State to meet with local people and assess any potential dangers, reporting back to Todt before the FIA gave its verdict last Friday.

"Our special envoy had many meetings in Bahrain, even with the human rights people responsible," Todt told the BBC. "He found a stable situation, a quiet one, and we unanimously agreed. Carlos's report was discussed by the World Council and the decision was taken to accept to re-program the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011.

"We got a request from the opposition to the government to run the event and Carlos met with many people, including those working on the circuit, those in all the suburbs of the capital, and the report came back after that. The messages coming out are about peace, about restoring a good situation in this part of the world.

"Lots of other authorities have been encouraging (things) to go back to normal. My thinking is that, as a sporting body, we must support that."

However, international campaigning organization Avaaz believes the FIA’s outlook on the situation is immoral, explaining that violence is still rife in the country.

"Claims that calm has been restored and life is back to normal in Bahrain are completely untrue," said Campaign Director Alex Wilks. "In the last week the police have continued to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to break up peaceful marches, killing and injuring dozens of people."

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