Bahrain Grand Prix's boss say the running of this year's race is proof that they did the right thing in pushing for the event to happen.
After huge debate over the fate of the Formula 1 race, amid intense focus on human rights and safety issues, the Bahrain GP took place without drama as Sebastian Vettel delivered his first victory of the season. Track boss Zayed Alzayani said that the hosting of the event was proof that Bahrain was right to push for the race to happen, and he hoped the media spotlight would actually act as a spur for the Gulf state's political troubles to be resolved.
"I think we have proved to the world that whatever is happening on the political scene has nothing to do with what is happening on track," Alzayani said. "Life goes on, and hopefully this will be a catalyst on the government and the opposition to sort out whatever political differences they have and move forward.
"Holding a race is not something new to us. We have done seven grands prix before this one, and I think we have been victimized over the last year. Hopefully by next year when we have the race, all of this will be behind us."
Despite a weekend when team personnel were caught up in clashes between protesters and police – and Force India did not run in second free practice because of safety fears over returning to its hotel on Friday evening – Alzayani believes that if the race had been cancelled it would have led to even more trouble for the country.
"I think it would have caused more problems in Bahrain," he said about the prospect of the race being called off. "It would have heightened tension between the government and the opposition, and it would have been a focal point for finger pointing. There would have been a blame game.
"I am glad it happened and I am glad it went well, and glad that everybody finally saw that the threats, and the talk of bombs and sabotaging the race, did not happen."
Alzayani said after the events of this weekend there was no question in his head of the race taking place in 2013.
"I never had doubts this year, so why would I have doubts next year?" he said. "There was all the criticism that was out there, all the anti-race feelings from people because they said it would have this or that, but the race went on.
"Life goes on in Bahrain. I don't see why next year there should be a question. Hopefully by next year we have sorted out whatever differences there were.
"Maybe the solution takes a long time, and maybe it is a painful solution, but if we have to go through the pain to get the gains then it is worth it. We should think of a better solution for the next generation."