London: Former FIA president Max Mosley says the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix will "cost Formula One dear".
Mosley, who held the post in the motorsport's top governing body from 1993 to 2009, feels the FIA played into the hands of the Bahrain government, who according to him, wants to "clean up" its image in front of the world post the anti-government protests in the Gulf nation.
The FIA's World Motor Sport Council met in Barcelona on Friday and accommodated the Bahrain race in October, pushing the inaugural Indian Grand Prix towards the season finale in December.
"It is worth remembering that the trouble in Bahrain began with a peaceful protest. The crowds were not seeking the removal of the ruling family, merely a move towards democracy and rights for the Shia majority comparable to those enjoyed by the Sunni elite," Mosley wrote in his column for The Telegraph on Saturday.
"These modest demands were soon met with brutal repression. Demonstrators were shot dead. Protesters were imprisoned and, according to credible reports, hideously mistreated, even tortured and killed."
"Having carried out these horrific acts, the Bahrain government wants to clean up its image. That is where the Grand Prix comes in. By running the race they hope to show the world the troubles were just a small, temporary difficulty and everything is now back to normal."
Mosley admitted that sport can be used as an instrument of peace in most cases but by agreeing to conduct a race in Bahrain, the FIA has ended up complying with the "repressive" local government.
"By agreeing to race there, Formula One becomes complicit in what has happened. It becomes one of the Bahrain government's instruments of repression. The decision to hold the race is a mistake which will not be forgotten and, if not reversed, will eventually cost Formula One dear," said 71-year-old Mosley.