are failing to tackle Gulf’s sportswashing and holding 2023 season opener in Bahrain is not helping situation

THIS year’s Formula One season kicks off on Sunday in Bahrain, a venue that polarises opinion as the opening race for such a global sport. Even less so given it is rumoured the race — which had a record attendance of just 35,000 last year — pays F1 around £37.6m a season for the rights to host a grand prix. Oh, and last year it agreed a contract with F1 that remains in place until 2036, albeit not always as the opening race. Bahrain, for instance, has been accused by activist group Human Rights Watch of having a “dismal” record on the issue. The first Bahrain race was held in 2004 and I am not too sure what has been done to address those issues in the years since.

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