Bahrain pushes ahead amid 2012 race return controversy

Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix are pushing ahead with preparations for April’s race.

Last year’s pre-season test and race at the Sakhir circuit were cancelled amid the civil uprising within the troubled island Kingdom. F1 has scheduled to return to Bahrain this year but reports of strife persist, amid claims from human rights groups that the sport’s participants should boycott the April 22 event.

But a spokesman for the circuit says Bahrain has taken strides forward with the independent report into the unrest, insisting the government has subsequently reacted “swiftly and convincingly”.

“It is supported by an overwhelming majority of people from all sections of society in Bahrain and represents a symbol of national unity,” he is quoted by The National newspaper.

The Daily Mail quotes him adding: “The independent report was a milestone for Bahrain and we will now work tirelessly to ensure the race is a great success.”