Bahrain cancellation raises bigger issues
Both the Bahrain Royal Family and Formula 1 had no choice but to call off the season's opening race in the kingdom on 13 March.
With blood already spilled and no sign of the anti-government protests on the streets of Manama ending, it would have been wholly inappropriate if the sport had tried to carry on as if it was business as usual.
Formula 1 is often accused of being out of touch with reality and of living in its own bubble.
And while the decision was ultimately one for the country's crown prince - Bernie Ecclestone risked costing the sport almost £40m in lost staging fees if he had pulled the plug - F1 will be relieved it has averted a crisis which would have, once again, called into question the judgment of its rulers.
Despite that F1 will feel the impact of the decision less severely than the Bahrain government who have invested so much in bringing the sport to their country.
It also raises issues about sport's move into the Middle East and other emerging countries.
Predicting where next for the protests, which have already led to regime change in Tunisia and Egypt and which are now sweeping through Bahrain, Yemen and Libya, is clearly not a matter for the sports editor.
But there will be plenty of sports eyeing developments in the region nervously.
The Middle East has become a major player in sport in the last decade with the European Golf Tour now ending its season in Dubai, major tennis tournaments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and, of course, football's 2022 World Cup now headed for Qatar.
All these countries have used international sport to not only promote themselves as tourist destinations and emerging economies but also to legitimise their regimes in the eyes of the rest of the world.
For sport the attractions are obvious. Money - lots of it - and the chance to break into new markets.
But where should sport draw the line? Should it be oblivious to questions of human rights and politics?
In the case of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the International Olympic Committee argued taking the Games there would open up China's authoritarian communist regime.
It may still be too soon to judge the IOC on that but early evidence does not suggest an awakening of democratic principles on the back of Usain Bolt's lightning fast performances in the Bird's Nest.
The strong likelihood is the F1 roadshow will roll back into Bahrain before the year is out or in time for the start of the 2012 season.
But Monday's decision shows sport's ambition to break into new territories cannot ignore the risks of the real world.