The season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix could become the target of anti-government protests on the island state, a local campaign group has warned.
In the wake of ongoing protests in Bahrain this week urging the government to consider political reform, fears are growing that the opening Formula 1 race of the season could be hit. Nabeel Rajab, vice president of campaign group Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said on Tuesday that the grand prix was being viewed as an opportunity for protesters to publicize their cause.
"For sure, F1 is not going to be peaceful this time," Rajab told Arabian Business. "There'll be lots of journalists, a lot of people looking and [the government] will react in a stupid manner, as they did today and yesterday. And that will be bloody, but will be more publicized."
Riot police have been out in force in Bahrain, and tensions are high in the state after a man was killed at a funeral being held for a protester who died in clashes with security forces on Monday.
Bahrain is due to hold the second round of the GP2 Asia Series this weekend, while F1 testing is due to begin on March 3.