Legend has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul to Satan at a Mississippi crossroads in the 1920s in return for his great talent at blues guitar. Almost 100 years later, the FIA and FOM have sold their souls to Bahrain for money.
The FIA shall refrain from manifesting racial, political or
religious discrimination in the course of its activities and
from taking any action in this respect.
-FIA Statutes, Article 1
Bahrain has politicized the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Bahrain by utilizing the UniF1ed campaign surrounding the race. The government of Bahrain is trying to use the race to present to the world that the country is unified after a period of strife when if you watch TV or read the newspapers it is not. It may or may not be as bad is it was in 2011 depending upon whom you wish to believe, but things certainly don’t seem to be unified. By allowing Bahrain to use F1 in it’s slogan and by going ahead with the race, the FIA and FOM, Bernie Ecclestone in particular, have allowed F1 to become politicized, they are allowing F1 to be used as a political tool. It seems to me that this is in violation of Article 1 of their statute above.
In allowing Bahrain to use the race as a symbol of unification and include their trademarked “F1” in the UniF1ed campaign, the FIA and FOM allowed the race and themselves to be politicized. Doing so made the race and F1 a target for the opposition; now the opposition may find itself in a position where it must act against the race to maintain or enhance it’s profile and respectability amongst it’s supporters. The whole situation has practically invited the opposition to act or attack in some form. It puts all those surrounding F1 at risk when they go to the race in Bahrain and that is why the decision not to go to Bahrain should have been made. Instead, because of all the monetary support that flows into F1 from Bahrain, they have chosen to sell their souls and go.
Personally I will not watch any of the practice, qualifying, or race sessions from Bahrain as my personal form of protest. I realize that at the end of the day it will not make a difference but what else can I do? As much as I love F1 racing, to watch any of the sessions would be supporting something that I do not and cannot support. Instead, I will pray for the safety and security of all those involved in with F1 and the supporting races and wish the best for them. I sincerely hope that all of this turns out to be a tempest in a teapot and the Grand Prix of Bahrain comes off with no incidents, violence, or tragedy.