Bahrain news agency reported this morning that “Formula One personnel who already arrived in Bahrain said they have so far been untroubled” and that there was no safety concerns. This statement comes as two Force India members are to fly home after four of their team members were caught amid clashes between dissident groups and police in Manama on Wednesday night.
The incident happened on the main motorway. The vehicle transporting members of the Force India team was caught amid fierce clashes between protesters and police which forced the driver to pull over. Shortly after, Molotov cocktail exploded near their vehicle.
Following an afternoon protest dispersed by police forces with stun grenades in Manama, clashes erupted between dissident groups and police in 15 different towns and villages including in Manama.
Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani attempted to minimize the incident saying that no request would be made to reinforce security. "It was an isolated incident, and my wife was involved too [...] The protestors were not targeting the cars, they just happened to be there. Nobody was injured,” autosport quoted Alzayani as saying.
Despite evident growing violence, Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss, decided to go ahead with the race. The Al-Wefaq society, the main opposition group in Bahrain, organised a whole week of demonstrations, which started on Monday, to demand the cancellation of the race and an end to Khalifa's regime. This morning Bahrain's Ministry of interior said in a tweet that today's rally was illegal.