First we were unclear whether the Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled or postponed, then it was definitely back on, and now it’s what can only be described as ‘back off’.
It was impossible to be enthusiastic about Bahrain’s reappearance at the tail end of the competition calendar, bumping the inaugural Indian GP to 11 December, when you consider the colossal political upheaval taking place in the country and across the Middle East.
Bernie Ecclestone confirmed that the race would only go ahead because the government - and, by implication, the country - wanted it to. And the FIA voted (unanimously, apparently) on Friday for the race to go ahead.
In his interview with CNN, Bernie also confirmed that the F1 teams were keen for the race to go ahead. It’s this part of the situation where there have been ‘developments’. It seems that not only did some team members have reservations, along with many F1 fans, as details of the political unrest became clearer, but many of them also objected to the disruption to their lives - and holidays - resulting from an ‘extra’ event at the end of the season.
Article 66 of the FIA’s code states that no amendments can be made without the agreement of everyone involved. "Hopefully we can return in the future, but of course it's not on," Ecclestone told the BBC this morning. "The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants. They're the facts."
The balance of these two arguments will stay under wraps for some time, I suspect, and we’ll hear more about people’s kinship with the citizens of Bahrain. But for now it’s reassuring to find that common sense has prevailed, in the result if not the methodology.