The FIA’s decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP is receiving plenty of criticism and apprehension from the teams and drivers. Some are worried about the safety situation, others are concerned about the issue of human rights. Faced with protests, the government has been reported to use heavy handed tactics to break up protests, injuring and killing protesters.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber was one of the first to voice his concerns. “When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let’s hope the right decision is made,” he tweeted on the eve of FIA’s meeting to decide the outcome.

“In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in hope of being able to re-schedule it in 2011. It would have sent a very clear message about F1’s position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues,” he added on his website.

“As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country. I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that,” the Aussie said.

Rubens Barrichello, head of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, focused on safety. “I would like to make it clear that I love the track and the event itself. Therefore, I want to be sure that we will be safe there. In the GPDA meetings, all of the drivers showed concern and demanded safety to race in Bahrain. For us, the drivers, what really matters is safety. The rest is not important.”

Like Webber, ex-FIA president Max Mosley warns that by racing in Bahrain, F1 is supporting the violence. “Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions,” Mosley wrote in the his Daily Telegraph column. “If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If F1 allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalise unarmed protesters,” he warned.