Sir, As we move from reviewing the last season to previewing the next, I think we must consider again whether motor sport’s association with
Bahrain is appropriate. Although it has slipped from the mainstream news, it seems precious little progress has been made to improve human rights in the country.
As well as the human rights concerns I think we need to ask why the Bahraini ruling family has so much influence with the FIA. There is no motor racing tradition in the country and I doubt any sponsors would have significant interest going there, because only about 500,000 people live in Bahrain — the vast majority of them in poverty. We all know that Formula 1 is run solely for the benefit of its shareholders (and would not expect any decisions concerning the series to be made for reasons other than financial gain), but the FIA is supposed to be a non-profit organisation. Why, then, is Bahrain routinely awarded world championship events? I really do think our sport’s continued relationship with this regime does it nothing but a disservice, and only reinforces the impression that it is morally bankrupt, with no consideration for anything other than dollars. Mark Bowley, Whitwick, Coal ville, Leicestershire