Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has been urged not to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix to the World Championship calendar until the Gulf State's political situation has returned to normal.
With ongoing conflict between the authorities and pro-democracy activists, and the island under a State of Emergency, there already appears little chance of this year's Bahrain GP getting rescheduled. However, race organizers still have until May 1 to inform the FIA whether or not they want the race reinstated on this year's calendar, following the cancellation of the season-opener on the eve of the campaign because of political trouble.
With that deadline now less than one week away, political activists have written to Ecclestone, asking him to hold back on bringing F1 back to Bahrain until the current situation has improved.
In an open letter to Ecclestone, published as part of a campaign on Facebook, the "Youth of the February 14 Revolution" wrote: "We are addressing to you this open letter publicly regarding the organization of Bahrain Grand Prix, and we, citizens of Bahrain, and human rights supporters of the world, are asking you to consider the challenges to organize what should be a happy sporting event in the middle of a country under siege and martial law, surrounded by tanks and military forces, while the population is being reduced to silence, killed, tortured, etc...
"Not mentioning the difficult climatic conditions, and the fact that organizing a motorsport festival in the middle of a despotic crackdown on the population, wouldn't be well understood and accepted worldwide.
"Also, in support of the population of Bahrain, we're asking you to reconsider hosting Grand Prix of Bahrain until basic human rights and freedom are restored, and, if you wish, to issue a letter stating that the Grand Prix cannot, and will not, be organized in Bahrain until basic human rights and freedom are restored, and the repression is over. With your permission, we will display this letter of support on Facebook and other networks to show the solidarity of the Formula 1 sporting industry with the democratic and freedom aspirations of the Bahraini people!
"We thank you very much for your support and wish to see the Grand Prix in Bahrain soon, in a free and democratic atmosphere to which you would have contributed."
F1 teams have deliberately stayed out of the situation regarding Bahrain, and are awaiting news from both Ecclestone and the FIA about the future plans for the race.