Bahrain ready to host F1 Grand Prix next year
By Rizwan Khatik - Sat Nov 12, 2:06 pm
The race was cancelled this year following unrest in the country.
“The people of Bahrain want it, the government want it and we have over 15,000 Bahrainis who have signed they want the race to be back in the kingdom,” Sheikh Salman told reporters during a visit to the Media Centre at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday.
“Just like any other country that’s faced troubles in the past, we will move beyond it, we will learn from it and we will grow,” said Sheikh Salman.
“This sport has a great following. You saw our marshals in India and the courage with which they carried themselves and I would be very sad to let them down, as well as the Bahraini and Gulf fans. We’re doing all that we can to make the race – our race – a great success. It’s a tribute to everyone involved and the people of Bahrain that we see this magnificent institution in place next April,” he said.
Making a passionate plea to F1 teams to support their race, Sheikh Salman said the F1 Grand Prix is a symbol of Bahrain’s national unity.
“On Friday, we had a soccer game and everyone was cheering for the same flag and that’s what we want to do – we want to bring back to the forefront our spirit of nationalism, which is there and is strong. This race is part of our passion, so we look forward to it.”
Bahrain’s Crown Prince added it would also help build bridges in the island nation.
“It is seen as the prime symbol of moderation of the country. Anyone with a moderate, global agenda knows that that race is what ties Bahrain to the world. Extremists on either side might disagree. But, there’s always going to be (opposition) – there’s going to be a Green Party somewhere in Europe that is opposed to a race. But, the majority of people, especially those that love their country and want it to be a part of the world, support it and they will have my support for that.”
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone also confirmed that the race is scheduled for April 20 to 22 in the calendar.