Ecclestone says Bahrain race won’t happen in 2011

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

Bernie Ecclestone has told the BBC the Bahrain Grand Prix will not happen this year.

Ecclestone said: “Of course it’s not on”.

He added: “The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants – they’re the facts”.

Yesterday Max Mosley warned the FIA’s plan to hold the race in October, announced on Friday, would have to be given unanimous approval by the teams.

Following that the teams told the FIA, FOM and Bahrain International Circuit they did not think it was feasible to hold the race this year.

Ecclestone added he hoped the race might be held in the future.

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86 comments on Ecclestone says Bahrain race won’t happen in 2011

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 11:15

    The important thing is that the race will be abandoned because of logistical issues rather than someone trying to make a political statement. Formula 1′s integrity is intact.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2011, 11:19

      Be wary of assuming the teams, or at least some people within them, would not disguise their true motives and concerns.

      Explaining it away on the grounds of logistics alone may help give them legal cover.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 11:29

        But even if they’re simply inventing excuses, it doesn’t have the same effect as if they were making an actual political statement. And any attempt to change their tune at a later date will only blunt the effect that an open political statement would have.

        Even then, logistics makes sense. The final away leg takes in six races. With the time taken to turn around the teams after India being a total unknown, the teams would likely have all their equipment shipped from India to England and have a second shipment waiting for them in Abu Dhabi. But by having Bahrain on October 30, teams would have to change that entirely – because Abu Dhabi and Bahrain are close together geographically, the teams would likely send their equipment from Korea to England and have the second set waiting for them in Bahrain. They’d then have to do four races with that load, starting in Bahrain and ending in India. The point is that rearranging shipments to be the most efficent and efective system would be a complex and difficult task.

        • Movement (@movement) said on 8th June 2011, 11:46

          PM you really need o get down off your high horse. They want to keep F1 from being a political tool. So they dont go. If they make an open announcement, with political content, they ruin that. simple.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 11:50

            So they make a political statement by not making a political statement?

            Maybe it’s just me tending to take what people say at face value, but that’s the most ridiculous argument I’ve heard from anti-Bahrain lobby, and you guys have pumped out some pretty poor ones in the past. Like, for example, Formula 1 being able to say “We’re not going to race in Bahrain because of their human rights violations, but we are going to race in China in spite of their human rights violations”.

          • @PM
            Considering whats been said previously thats a pair of intensly irritaiting posts. Just because it’s a new thread doesn’t mean all previous arguments have disapeared

            Apart from anything else, F1 has integrity? We race in China, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain for money and money alone, we all know the sport has no moral conscience but a lot of the people on this forum feel that saying F1 shouldn’t be political is a noble sentiment but impossible considering the global standing of the sport.

            If F1 wasn’t political we’d race on private tracks only, there would not be an astronomical fee to secure the circus, we’d be racing in Argentina and the USA as motorsport heartlands, there would be no threat to Australia or Turkey as well loved tracks. Silverstone, whatever the BRDC’s flaws, along with Monza and Intergalos would have been assisted in upgrading their facilities, improving the astheics of tracks the F1 fraternity just doesn’t want to loose.

            The fact is the way races are procured, and the elevator on the price of retaining them makes having an F1 race, outside of Europe an the US as politically important to a nationion in a way comparable to the Olympics or the World Cup. I’m sorry but it’s time this ridiculous pretense that Bahrains race, whatever their domestic situation, isn’t political is dropped.

            Saying we must go to Bahrain next year as that’s keeping politics out of F1 is putting your head in the sand. As is racing in China and Abu Dhabi, that is the way F1, or rather FOM, chooses to be unfortunatley, but let no one say that those nations don’t veiw F1 as an entirly political investment.

          • infy (@infy) said on 8th June 2011, 13:10

            “So they make a political statement by not making a political statement?”.

            Simply? No.

            By not making a political statement, they are giving other people (read: the media) the opportunity to decide what the statement is. The blank cheque.

            The key though, is that F1 itself did not make a statement, the media did. So if anyone ever says to them “you agree that the terrorists must remove the government”, FIA/FOM simply say “no – we are not a political tool – we have no view or opinion”.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th June 2011, 13:17

          It doesn’t have the same effects certainly. If the teams would reply mainly because of the political situation, the FIA and Bernie would have to argue with them for the sake of definding their “no politics” ideals.

          Making it less usefull to reach the target the teams wanted to acheive.

          • Leon said on 8th June 2011, 14:44

            ‘Kettles and Fishes’

            ‘Biting the hand that feeds’

            ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’

            ‘Don’t listen to what people say…watch what they do !’

            Politics…Schmolitics !

      • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 8th June 2011, 12:03

        Yep F1′s integrity in doing anything to still make money despite what it looks like to the rest of the world.

        Lets be frank here the only reason the GP got the go ahead was so they wouldn’t have to pay penalty fees to Bahrain and/or upset a family with a ton of money tied up in the sport.

        If this level of unrest happened in Turkey or Hungary the GP would have been cancelled NEVER to see the light of day again.

    • Maciek (@maciek) said on 8th June 2011, 12:24

      That’s a pretty contorted view of integrity.

      From Oxford dictionaries:

      integrity
      Pronunciation:/ɪnˈtɛgrɪti/
      noun
      1 the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

      http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/integrity

      That’s more like I usually think of it.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 9th June 2011, 12:44

      I’m thrilled! This means I don’t have to boycott the rest of the season.

      It was to be a personal statement.

  2. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 8th June 2011, 11:16

    wait.. bernie’s actually interested if the teams turn up? pigs do fly..

  3. So is this an official “no race in Bahrain in 2011″ or something more like “yeah, it’s 99% not gonna happen but we need to get it in writing” sort of thing?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2011, 11:35

      It’s not “official” until the FIA says so. But the current situation looks untenable.

      • mike77 (@mike77) said on 8th June 2011, 11:55

        Yep. There will be no Bahrain grand prix in 2011 – you heard it here first.

      • Thanks Keith.

        For those interested in the posters (which is why I’m looking for signs of Bahrain confirmation in the first place) I’ve already covered both bases, should Bahrain go ahead and India be race 20, or should it not and India be #17.

        You can take a look at the Bahrain poster here, though I’ll probably not sell it regardless (did it more to keep my design set up to date): http://www.pjtierney.net/2011/06/bahrain-grand-prix-poster.html

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th June 2011, 12:25

          Bound to become a highly valued collectors item now PJ!

          • Haha, Limited Edition prints maybe. I’m just gonna wait until this whole mess is sorted out before deciding on anything, I’ve already stopped taking orders for the time being.

        • verstappen said on 8th June 2011, 12:42

          Is it meant to be symbolic, with the car going down in front of the flag?

          I do like your designs!

          • In hindsight I guess you could say that, but to be honest it was a re-imagining of my original concept (back when the March date was “still on”) which has been improved from the things I learned making the other 19. I did want to keep the car black though for this remake, as that colour does give off the impression that this was a “black mark” for F1.

          • mike77 (@mike77) said on 8th June 2011, 13:13

            According to the BBC, the Bahrain Grand Prix is DEFINITELY OFF

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 8th June 2011, 11:31

    Ecclestone says Bahrain race won’t happen in 2011

    Good.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 11:41

      Good.

      No, it’s not. Not the way you want it to be. If the race is cancelled for logistical reasons, or because the teams do not want the championship to run into December, then it is not the humanitarian victory that people are demanding – and you can’t claim it as such.

      • magon4 (@magon4) said on 8th June 2011, 11:49

        We don’t need to claim it as such. F1 doesn’t have to get involved in this, and it really shouldn’t.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 8th June 2011, 11:51

        I don’t care why it’s cancelled (if it finally has been). In my view it needed to be cancelled because of far more important reasons than logistics and ability to comply. I don’t care about some petty personal victory like you seem to. I care about what I think is the correct decision being made and it finally seems like it might be. That’s victory enough for me.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 8th June 2011, 11:55

          And that concludes part 14, Icthyes. ;)

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th June 2011, 12:19

          Exactly.
          The reason officially given for not reinstating this race, does not matter a lot to me.
          We can all interpret the reasons as we like. Fact is, this race is off at least for this season (or at least this seems to be at time of writing).

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 12:39

          I care about what I think is the correct decision being made and it finally seems like it might be.

          Decisions are made for reasons. You cannot claim that Formula 1 is not going to Bahrain for one reason when another is clearly being given. The decision not to go is obviously being made for one set of reasons that do not translate into the decision you think ought to be made.

          • Charlie said on 8th June 2011, 12:51

            So?

          • bosyber said on 8th June 2011, 13:23

            Well, sure, decisions are made for reasons.

            Often in the real world, we don’t hear (all) the real reasons for a decision from a press announcement. Partly because the reasons are hard to defend, difficult to explain in soundbites, or a whole host of other reasons, including wanting to help a friend (or benefactor) who you don’t want to involve.

            Wikileaks showed, for example, some embarrassing and hypocritical reasoning. I really doubt anyone was really surprised at them, the embarrassing thing was mostly that everyone already suspected and said those were the real reasons, but they weren’t the acknowledged reasons.

          • Ben Curly said on 8th June 2011, 14:22

            @PM

            Formula one is not going there. That’s what matters. It won’t be used as a political tool for the Bahrain government.

            Saying it’s for logistical reasons is a diplomatic way to deal with the situation. We get it. But please, don’t say that the pressure of F1 fans had nothing to do with it.

            Lack of support for a regime is what we wanted and that is exactly what we get. That’s what matters. Mission accomplished.

      • No, it’s not.

        Errr. Yes it is. The race shouldn’t be on for an absolute plethora of different reasons, the race not being on is basic common sense, an when F1 exhibits common sense it can only be a good thing. Claiming this isn’t a good thing is borderline trolling. Feeding this because I’m bored before work.

        then it is not the humanitarian victory that people are demanding – and you can’t claim it as such.

        Again, just what is your problem? Apart from anything else no one’s really claimed this as a humanitarian victory as we’re going back next year. If your arguments the political integrity of F1 I’ll point you to my above post. The only integrity F1 has is financial integrity.

        • Bigbaddeboom said on 8th June 2011, 15:49

          Agrred Scribe, many reasons to cancel, a few poorly disguised, mostly financial ones to go ahead with it.
          The fact remains that for all the reasoning and all the various motivs and commercial driving factors, it’s simple easier not to push on with it. Personally I feel it’s a good thing, but not as a political or humanitarian stance (as Scribes states, there will be a race there within 7-8 months of the proposed new date) I sit much better with cancelling it simply because it would make life too difficult for the teams. I wouldn’t want this decision to be promoted as a humantarian victory anymore than if it was held would I want F1 used as a promotional tool of peace in Bahrain. The right thing is not to go, the reason given must not be politically motivated.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 8th June 2011, 16:47

        Yes it is.

      • Hewis Lamilton said on 8th June 2011, 21:23

        Let me ask, why did the race in Bahrain not take place on the original scheduled date for 2011?

        Was it because of logistics? F1 would never allow politics to enter into the decision making process so anything political wouldn’t have a bearing on the decision making for Bahrain.

        I think politics definately played a part in the Bahrain decisions. (plural)

  5. Will said on 8th June 2011, 11:33

    One word for all this.

    MESS.

  6. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 8th June 2011, 11:37

    *Groan* Such a mess

  7. graham228221 said on 8th June 2011, 11:37

    How can the FIA continually forget the regulations around consulting teams on changes to the championship? The exact same thing happened with Bernie’s medals fiasco.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 11:43

      How can the FIA continually forget the regulations around consulting teams on changes to the championship?
      Who said they forgot? If a race is to be reinstated to the calendar, the teams do need to be consulted about it – but before that can happen, the FIA needs to vote to reinstate it. It’s the way the whole thing works: the FIA need to decide on their position before approaching the teams. Their position is that the race should go ahead on October 30, with India moved back to December. How can the teams vote for or against such a proposal if the FIA do not decide among themselves what their position should be first?

      • Jarred Walmsley said on 8th June 2011, 11:48

        So just to clarify; to decide on an issue, first the FIA must vote it through then it must be voted through by the teams?

        • graham228221 said on 8th June 2011, 11:52

          only if the change affects the current season. before making a change like this the FIA have to give the teams a certain amount of notice (something like 12 weeks before the beginning of the championship). So on this issue, I think the teams would have the right to veto a change.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 12:41

          So just to clarify; to decide on an issue, first the FIA must vote it through then it must be voted through by the teams?

          Pretty much. In order for the teams to agree to a proposal, the proposal has to be put forward first which is why the FIA decide first. It is, after all, the FIA who run the sport – not the teams.

      • graham228221 said on 8th June 2011, 11:49

        From the official FIA press release:

        The Bahrain Grand Prix will take place on 30 October, replacing the Indian Grand Prix, which will now become the final round of the 2011 Championship, combined with the FIA Annual General Assembly and Prize-Giving Gala.

        Sounds pretty final to me. No mention of any need to consult with anyone, the race will take place – end of.

        • VXR said on 8th June 2011, 12:23

          They forget to ask the teams if it was OK to change the race calendar. Mr Mosley pointed this out too, just the other day. Bernie also makes reference to it in his latest statement.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th June 2011, 12:42

            They forget to ask the teams if it was OK to change the race calendar.

            No they didn’t. The teams cannot vote on an issue if there is no proposal before them. That’s what the FIA created when they voted to go back to Bahrain: a proposal. They didn’t “forget” to ask the teams; they simply didn’t mention the need for the teams to vote when they announced their decision.

          • graham228221 said on 8th June 2011, 13:05

            They didn’t “forget” to ask the teams; they simply didn’t mention the need for the teams to vote when they announced their decision.

            Well that’s a pretty dumb way to make an official statement. If they didn’t forget that other stakeholders need to be consulted, then basically saying “IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, WE HAVE UNAMINOUSLY DECIDED THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN” is a pretty surefire way to make themselves look like total novices. No doubt people, local authorities and sponsors had already started spending lots of money based on the fact that the Indian GP was announced as moving and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the Bahrain GP is confirmed – the language used IN THIS OFFICIAL STATEMENT is absolutely clear that there is no further consultation needed. Note that this is in contrast to the announcements further down the page on the 2012 calendar and the 2013 regulations, both which are subject to confirmation/further consultation.

            And, PM, please don’t give me your usual “well, actually i’m right and you’re wrong” brushoff because it’s pretty obvious that they were, in fact, not aware that this would be subject to consultation with anyone.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th June 2011, 13:30

            As mentioned yesterday, I think this was all cooked up on beforehand.

            The FIA please their strong backer as the “fact finding” shows it all fine to go. No one objects directly. They move India into December to have Bahrain in October, full well knowing that the teams will not have that.
            Bernie changes mind over the weekend, Max poinst out Jean did not ask the teams and the teams do their job of confirming they just will not go for a December race and want India back where it was on the confirmed calendar.

  8. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 8th June 2011, 11:46

    You’ve got to love Bernie, one waggle of his chin and its all off. This is just going to be a big political arm wrestle (read measuring contest) between Bernie and the FIA and, as always, the sport is the loser.

  9. magon4 (@magon4) said on 8th June 2011, 11:51

    All in all, of it is not politically feasable to have the race, then the race should not happen. But it’s not about taking a stand or anything, it’s more about getting out of the way. And that’s a good decision, it doesn’t have to be a humanitarian mark.

  10. Sherlock said on 8th June 2011, 12:06

    Ecclestone is playing on both sides – in the end he can loose both.

    Though i agree that India GP shouldn’t be move as India definitely spent resources to prepare events for inaugural GP.

    So Bahrain could be moved to December.

  11. Hamish said on 8th June 2011, 12:16

    Logistics, political tool – who cares. We’ve gone from Bahrain being the only possible loser a week ago to the image of the sport yet again being damaged.

  12. Dan Selby said on 8th June 2011, 12:16

    First Lotus Vs. Lotus, now this.

    Anyone a bit bored? When does that racing thing happen?

  13. JohnBt said on 8th June 2011, 12:26

    Thank you.

  14. DavidS (@davids) said on 8th June 2011, 12:41

    How long until the next Jean Todt Approval Poll.
    I’m guessing it will be brutal.

  15. Maciek (@maciek) said on 8th June 2011, 12:54

    Ecclestone: “Everything is fine in Bahrain”
    Everybody: “But is it really, Bernie?”
    Ecclestone: “Of course it’s not! who told you that?”

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