The start to this year's Formula 1 championship was delayed when civil unrest in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain forced the cancellation of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Since then, a question mark has loomed over whether the round would be reinstated later in the season, and now we have our answer. In its meeting over the weekend, the FIA's World Motor Sport Council voted to bring Bahrain back into the F1 calendar on October 30.
That date was originally planned for the debut Indian Grand Prix to close the season, but in order to accommodate Bahrain's reinstatement,the Indian race has been pushed to a later date that will be combined with the FIA Annual General Assembly, where the prizes are awarded to the winners of the F1 and other FIA-sanctioned championships.
The decision to bring Bahrain back into the fold despite the country's use of lethal force against its own protesting civilians is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows, and the backlash could potentially force the FIA to reverse its decision. Red Bull driver Mark Webber was the first to speak out against the move, as did former FIA president Max Mosley. Rumors are mounting, meanwhile, that the Formula One Constructors Association – which has yet to make an official announcement on the subject – could move to boycott the event.
We suspect this isn't the last word on the subject.