Bernie Ecclestone mobbed by cameras

Consider it official: There will be no Formula One race in Bahrain for the 2011 season. This news comes despite a meeting where the FIA's World Motor Sport Council voted to bring Bahrain back into the F1 calendar on October 30.

What changed? Turns out that the FIA had sent a commissioner to Bahrain to check things out. He returned with a glowing report of the country, and suggested the race be held. Open and shut, right? Apparently not. That commissioner's trip was reportedly a farce put on by the country's dictator in an effort to secure the race and show the world that the situation in Bahrain is under control.

A number of human rights organizations allege the FIA easily allowed itself be tricked, including Avaaz, which has compiled nearly half a million signatures opposing the race. Ricken Patel, executive director at Avaaz had this to say:

Reading the FIA's Bahrain report is like stepping into the Twilight Zone. While the FIA's sham report says no human rights have been violated, at least 31 Bahrain citizens have been killed and hundreds more tortured and imprisoned. Formula One must pull out of Bahrain immediately or have their reputation forever tarnished.

Eleven of the 12 F1 teams protested the event, and with no cars or drivers on hand, holding a race would be a difficult assignment. Therefore it's been officially cancelled.