The FIA has broken its silence on the Bahrain GP matter by issuing a short statement tonight, with no sign of any quotes from the organisation’s President, Jean Todt.
This has clearly been an awkward situation for the Frenchman. As noted here previously, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Motor Federation, was one of Todt’s key allies in his election campaign, helping to pull in votes from the Middle East. He was also invited to host one of the first WMSC meetings under the new president, in March 2010. He is a member of the WMSC, and is in charge of the CIK, the karting arm of the FIA.
Inevitably the FIA has had to tread a difficult path, and Todt seemingly decided that keeping a low profile was the best option. However in the release the FIA is keen to trumpet its role in proceedings.
The statement reads: “The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile supports the decision of the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit to postpone the scheduled first Grand Prix of the 2011 season due to be held in the Kingdom of Bahrain on March 11-13.
“This decision is the outcome of the close co-operation between the FIA, Formula One Management, the Bahrain Motor Federation and the Bahrain International Circuit.”
It then reminded us that :”The FIA is Formula One’s governing body and is responsible for the international calendar as well as all matters of safety relating to the stakeholders involved in Grand Prix racing.”