Demonstrations in Bahrain

Politics and racing don't go together. Whether it's former FIA president Max Mosley's fascist sympathies or the dispute over Cyprus being played out on the podium of the Turkish Grand Prix, there's just no place for it in motorsports. But with political unrest spreading across the Arab world, it looks like revolution has gotten in the way of racing once again.

On the back of successful regime change in both Tunisia and Egypt, protestors have been taking to the streets across the Middle East in an effort to overthrow corrupt regimes in their respective countries. Little of this has anything to do with racing, except in Bahrain. The Gulf state is home to the Sakhir circuit that hosts, among other events, the Bahrain Grand Prix that was originally set to kick off the Formula One season in just a few weeks. Now, however, track organizers have confirmed that Bahrain Grand Prix will not be held. "We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest," said Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

Organizers have already had to call off the GP2 Asia Series race that was supposed to take place there this weekend, and are being forced to do the same with the F1 pre-season test that was due to follow. This cancellation means that the 2011 Formula 1 season will now start on March 27 in Australia.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Hassan Ammar/AP]