The FIA has dismissed the latest rumours about next month’s Bahrain grand prix. Some publications this week said F1’s governing body was in the process of drafting a statement announcing that the Sakhir race has been cancelled due to security concerns.
But the FIA’s director of communications Norman Howell angrily denied those reports.
At the same time, Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s motor racing federation chief and also an FIA world council member, admitted he could not guarantee the safety of F1’s travelling personnel next month.
“There are no guarantees in this world,” he is quoted by PA Sport, after admitting “disturbances” in Bahrain are still taking place. You could be (in danger) anywhere, even Silverstone.
“All I can guarantee you is you will be as safe as at any other grand prix.”
Asked if there will be extra security measures in place, Khalifa answered: “No, absolutely not. It will be life as normal.
“We’ve never had any violence towards foreigners simply because they are foreigners or in F1.”
F1 industry monitor Formula Money has found that the Bahrain grand prix is more commercially successful for teams and trackside advertisers even than Monaco, Spa and Monza. The publication also said that if the 2012 race is cancelled, “the teams could lose $44.7m of prize money”.