Mark Webber has loudly criticised the decision made by the FIA over the weekend to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The country has been rocked this year by pro-democracy protests and the grand prix, which was due to be the opening event of the season, was postponed over security concerns.
But with some stability having returned to the kingdom, the WMSC council decided late last Friday to run the race on October 30, with the inaugural Indian Grand Prix to be run later in the year.
However, with concerns over human rights still paramount, a number of prominent F1 people have criticised that move, including ex-FIA President Max Mosley. Webber today added his opinion on his personal website, saying that sport had to set an example.
“In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in hope of being able to re-schedule it in 2011,” Webber said.
“It would have sent a very clear message about F1’s position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues.
“It’s obvious that the parties involved have struggled to reach a decision but sadly I feel that they still haven’t made the right one. Like it or not, F1 and sport in general isn’t above having a social responsibility and conscience. I hope F1 is able to return to Bahrain eventually but now isn’t the right time.”
The Red Bull man said that he thought F1’s visit would make the situation worse.
“As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country,” he said.
“I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that.”