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F1 ready for Bahrain GP

2013-04-13 21:05

READY FOR ACTION: The F1 teams are set to please the crowds at the Bahrain GP amid political tensions in the country. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Formula One is bracing for its return to Bahrain next week amid fresh protests about the staging of the Grand Prix in a country still riven by sectarian and political divisions.

The protests may not be as intense as those of the previous two years which caused the race's cancellation in 2011 race and involved widespread security measures to allow the 2012 GP to proceed but thousands still demonstrated on Friday against the race to be held April 21.

Organisers of the protests said more demonstrations were planned.

KEEPING MUM

The FIA, the governing body of F1, and FOM, which runs the commercial side of the sport, have been largely silent on the political protests in the run-up  to the 2013 event but Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said on Friday (April 12) it was "very important" the GP should go ahead.

"I don't see any problems going to Bahrain, like it was 2012," Tost said. "I'm looking forward to going there. F1 is entertainment. We should not be involved in politics. We should go there, do our race, we should be concentrated there and the political side and the political topics should be solved by somebody else."

Rights groups say Bahrain security forces have expanded arrests and crackdowns near the Sakhir circuit. Friday's protest, authorised by the government, included a line of marchers more than two kilometres long.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the 2012 Bahrain GP.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.
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Read more on:    franz tost  |  fia  |  toro rosso

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