Formula 1 in Bahrain
On the race in Bahrain, I am undecided. China and Turkey are countries that also don’t ‘deserve’ to host a race if you take into account their atrocious history of human rights abuses. However nobody really seems to care about those countries because you don’t really hear much about what they’re doing/not doing. The only reason people are kicking up a stink about Bahrain is because the issue is on-going and directly affecting the Formula 1 teams (both Force India and Sauber have been inadvertently involved in attacks simply by travelling between the track and their hotel rooms).
Force India did not attend FP2 yesterday because the team wanted to pack up and leave the circuit before dark in order to ensure the safety of the team members. That to me indicates there is a serious issue surrounding the F1 circus as it exists in Bahrain.
In terms of how the race can affect the issues in Bahrain: the ruling parties are keen to see it happen so they can “prove” that Bahrain is a great place to be in order to save face. The protestors are keen to see it happen, and also not keen to see it happen; firstly because they can use it as an opportunity to get international recognition (although this is unlikely) and secondly for exactly the opposite reason the ruling party wants to see the race run; they fear it is working toward legitimizing the current regime.
You have to realistically look at the protestors point of view. I mean, we aren’t really used to that form of government backlash in this country. Australians are simply too lazy to protest much of anything. Yet in Bahrain we have people risking their lives, going against the fucking military for christ sake, and what for? There must be a serious message they are trying to deliver. It’s not worth risking your life for something trivial. There is a chance they can get a slight exposure to the international community by protesting during the F1 broadcast, but seriously it’s an extremely slim chance – with the military physically blocading and protecting the circuit, the protestors would literally have to overwhelm and invade the circuit for it to be shown on the television. Even if a massive shitstorm was occuring just a few kilometres away you can be sure the cameras would do their utmost to avoid accidentally capturing any of it.