It had been reported on 12 January on the online publication arabianbusiness.com that the owners of the Bahrain International Circuit was to reinstate every one of the 29 people that had participated in anti-government protests last year as a reconciliatory gesture. However, the same publication is now reporting that only three of the 29 staff members that had been sacked have been re-instated at their previous positions at the circuit that is owned by the royal family of the Bahrain kingdom.
Human rights groups in the region have continued to lobby to Formula One teams to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix, that is scheduled to be the fourth round of this year's F1 world championship. A twist has been added to the ongoing saga surrounding the future of the GP with 1996 world champion Damon Hill being quoted in The Times newspaper as saying that F1 could go to Bahrain in 2012 with a "clean conscience". The comments came following a visit by Hill and International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt to the country.
The race is currently scheduled to take place on 22 April and was last staged as the first round of the F1 championship in 2010.