Posted by Carrot on February 22, 2011 | No Comments
The season opener to the Formula 1 2011 season will be cancelled due to the ongoing political unrest in the country it emerged today. The season will therefore begin at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 27th of March. It is the first Formula 1 event to be cancelled since the 1995 Pacific Grand Prix in Japan, which was cancelled due to a major earthquake in the region.
The decision came from the highest levels of the country, the Royal Family. The final pre-season test in Bahrain was understandably also cancelled at the same time. There is already talk from certain members of the Bahrain Auto-mobile Association that the race could be rescheduled for later in the calender, it is understood that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is already working under the assumption that the political situation in the kingdom will resolve to allow the race to take place later this year.
The problem with rescheduling the race is when it could occur. It could certainly take India’s place should their circuit not be complete, but news from the subcontinent is that the circuit is already well ahead of schedule. An obvious hole in the calender is the three week break in September, but with this year’s massive calender the mechanics will be needing time off and putting a race in their only real holiday would be unfortunate. The weather in Bahrain would also render any race at that time extremely difficult due to the summer heat of the region. The only real option would be to put it back to back with Abu Dhabi at the end of the year, but this would mean pushing the season finale in Brazil back into December. If Bernie wants Bahrain back in 2011 there’s going to have be a lot of behind the scenes deals made to compensate Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
There has been support for the cancellation from the F1 world. “It’s obviously a great shame for Bahrain but totally understandable with the problems they face,” said Red Bull team principle Christian Horner, whilst Williams chairman Adam Parr was quoted as saying that holding the date would be “inappropriate given the current circumstances.”
The final test has been replaced with another session in Barcelona before the season’s opener in Australia. Fans will have to wait another two weeks for racing to begin, but the news will be greeted warmly by designers that will have extra time to refine their 2011 cars.