As in the words of the Crown Prince, to have cancelled the race this year would have only empowered extremists, so we've seen the race start about 25 minutes ago without a hitch and we hope to have a successful race this year.
– Sheikh Abdulaziz, a spokesman for the Government speaking to BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend
Well actually we've always said that there were going to be pockets of violence around the country. We've had endorsement from the main Shia opposition party, who think also that the race was vital to Bahrain's economy and a forum for people to come together. Whether it was music or sport, I think these are great forums for people to sit side by side