The Battle for F1: behind the scenes of 2011

The Battle for F1: behind the scenes of 2011

The on-track entertainment might have finally stolen the limelight in 2011, but that didn't mean the politics behind the scenes in F1 stopped. On the contrary, various issues raised their ugly head, as Dieter Rencken recalls

When looking back on the Formula 1 year that was, a simple term springs to mind: flip-flop. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: "Never in the field of Formula 1 conflict was so much U-turned by so many for so little stability."

The first wrangle of substance to hit F1 in 2011 involved Bahrain. When the Arab Spring, which quickly spread its tentacles across the region, broke in February, it was immediately clear to all that F1 faced not only a logistics issue, but also one of ensuring the safety of personnel. Clear, that is, to all but the sport's three primary players, namely the FIA (governing body), FOM (commercial rights holder) and the FOTA teams' alliance, all of whom insisted there was no problem. Not even the cancellation of the GP2 Asia races, scheduled for less than a month before the desert kingdom's grand prix, could budge their obstinacy…

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