x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

From Argentina to South Korea, there have been problems

The sport has been dogged by delay and controversy in history and Bahrain is not alone.

The postponement of the Bahrain Grand Prix next month came as little surprise to those working close to the decision makers, yet the history books show Formula One is no stranger to controversy when it comes to hosting races at inopportune times. The South African Grand Prix in 1985 was held during the apartheid era, much to the displeasure of several race teams who decided to boycott the event after coming under intense international pressure from governments and the media.

The Kyalami circuit was removed from the calendar the following year and did not return until 1992 following the end of apartheid.

Likewise, Argentina hosted its first race in 1953 and remained on the calendar throughout the years that preceded and followed the violent military coup of 1955, before eventually disappearing from the schedule in 1961 for more than a decade.

The Argentinian Grand Prix, having returned in the 1970s before being removed again in 1982, was a high-profile addition to the 1994 calendar after the track was purchased by a private consortium who promised to renovate and improve the "Autodromo".

However, scheduled for an October 16 race, Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 supremo, announced in June of that year that the ongoing modernisation was not going to be finished in time and "it would be stupid to rush things".

The race was instead moved to Jerez in Spain to become the European Grand Prix.

In more recent times, new races in South Korea and India have raised concerns regarding whether each circuit would be operationally ready.

South Korea held its first grand prix last season and - while the track itself was finished - several visiting members of the press complained that the infrastructure surrounding the track was "unfinished".

One British journalist even claimed he had been advised by F1 officials before arriving to "make sure you take your wellies because the paths will be like mud baths".

India, following homologation, is due to host its inaugural race on October 30, two weeks before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit is still under construction but is believed to be on schedule.