The Associated Press is reporting that an attack on the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix was foiled. The AP says that Bahrain's Interior Ministry said that a weapons cache was found in a warehouse prior to Sunday's race. More than 1,000 firebombs were found in the cache. The AP also reported that two girls were arrested for "allegedly plotting to carry out an attack."
Bahrain has been dealing with violent protests for the last two years. The Muslim Shiite are the majority of the country's population, but the government is run by Sunni Muslims. The Shiites have been protesting the government since the start of the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East two years ago.
When it comes time for the Formula One race each year, the protests seem to get worse. This race has been scrutinized every year since the Arab Spring started.
In 2011 the race was canceled out of fear for the safety of the teams, drivers, and fans who would dare to show up. 2012 saw a full month of protests leading up to the race, but the FIA decided to run the race anyway.
This year it didn't seem like the protests were all that severe compared to last year. Many were calling for the race to be canceled again last season because the protests were that intense, but no one was calling for it this year.
A normal person would see that this race has been heavily protested for three straight years and think "Is it worth coming back here every year?" And the answer to that question, from a normal person, would be no.
It's not like the Bahrain GP, a Herman Tilke designed track, puts on one of the best races in Formula One every year. To be honest, it puts on one of the worst races of the year.
But is it worth it to the FIA and Formula One Management? The promoters for these races pay big bucks to get a race on the Formula One calendar.
Depending on the deal, some races pay the FIA around $15 million. Some pay even more than that. So for the head honchos of Formula One, it's worth it.
Credit: Associated Press for quotes