At least two teams have reported encounters on the road between the circuit and the capital city of Manama, where the teams are based this week. On Wednesday night, a vehicle carrying personnel from the Force India team passed through an area where Molotov cocktails and debris were thrown. According to the BBC, a tear-gas canister fired by the police entered the vehicle. Two Force India employees elected to leave Bahrain ahead of Sunday’s race. Speaking afterward about the incident, the team driver Nico Hulkenberg questioned the decision of Formula One authorities to race in such a volatile climate, saying that teams “shouldn’t have been put in this position.”
Force India elected to forgo the second practice session on Friday rather than risk driving back to Manama in the dark.
On Thursday night, en route to Manama after a practice session, Sauber mechanics encountered flaming debris in the middle of the road. Their shuttle bus was able to drive to the right of the debris, the team noted in a statement.
Bahrain’s crown prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, said Friday at a news conference that canceling the race for a second consecutive year would empower “extremists.”Protest at F1 Headquarters