Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber has voiced his concerns about the FIA’s decision to re-schedule the Bahrain Grand Prix for October 30.
Bahrain was originally scheduled to be the season opener, but following civil unrest was officially ‘postponed’.
“My opinion is unchanged since I was first asked about this in late February,” said Webber.
“Even though a decision has been made, I’ll be highly surprised if the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead this year.”
Webber says the decision to race sends all the wrong messages.
“In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in hope of being able to re-schedule it in 2011,” said Webber.
“It would have sent a very clear message about F1’s position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues. It’s obvious that the parties involved have struggled to reach a decision but sadly I feel that they still haven’t made the right one.
“Like it or not, F1 and sport in general isn’t above having a social responsibility and conscience. I hope F1 is able to return to Bahrain eventually but now isn’t the right time.
Webber believes holding an F1 race in Bahrain at that time is sure to heighten tensions.
“As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country,” he said.
“I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that.”