FIA reveals Ecclestone’s 11th hour attempt to save Bahrain race

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

The FIA has claimed Bernie Ecclestone was still trying to keep the Bahrain Grand Prix on the calendar as recently as yesterday.

According to a document published by the FIA today Ecclestone made a further attempt to reschedule the Bahrain Grand Prix for December 4th.

An FIA statement said: “The commercial rights holder (FOWCL) proposed to the FIA that the GP of Bahrain be rescheduled for 4 December, with the GP of India reinstated on its original date of 30 October.

“The FIA replied the same day, asking FOWCL to provide guarantees that any new date proposal is acceptable both to the teams and to the organisers in Bahrain”.

The day before Ecclestone had denied the race would take place in 2011, saying: “of course it?óÔéĽÔäós not on”.

However the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers later withdrew their efforts to hold a race.

The FIA has asked the members of the World Motor Sport Council to re-confirm the original 2011 calendar, with the Indian Grand Prix scheduled for October 30th, via a fax vote to be received on June 14th.

The FIA also revealed details of how the voting was conducted at last week’s World Motor Sport Council meeting. A “vote by a show of hands, provoking no objections or abstentions” approved the calendar changes which would have moved the Bahrain round to October 30th and the Indian round to December 11th.

Among those holding a vote on the WMSC are Bernie Ecclestone plus team principals Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari) and Vijay Mallya (Force India).

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105 comments on FIA reveals Ecclestone’s 11th hour attempt to save Bahrain race

  1. Mach1 said on 10th June 2011, 23:27

    I think Bernie has dementia and cannot remember what he is saying from one day to the next. He clearly does not even tell himself the truth these days.

    • ivz said on 11th June 2011, 0:22

      Bernie is run by greed, simple as that! I bet FOTA now wish they broke away when they had the chance. The teams don’t need to be associated with this rubbish. They have more moral and values than Bernie could ever have in a thousand life times. I don’t see what FOTA is afraid of, they stand to make a lot more money with their own series (manufacturers like BMW, Toyota and Honda would never have left). Its the cars and teams us fans go to see, not “the show”. Bernie would become a nothing and a no body if FOTA decided to leave one day.

      • Erai said on 11th June 2011, 0:39

        No surprises really. First Ecclestone wanted money from the race organizers, so he tried to reinstate the race. When it turned out that FIA (Todt) have arranged with the race officials to schedule the race in 2011 anyways (the reshuffle with the Indian GP proposal) – ie the deal was not to bring Ecclestone hard cash – he backed out. He, by joining with FOTA, opposed the race because 1) it meant money (maybe) for Todt, not himself; 2) it meant FIA was legitimized to act and put races on/off without Bernie’s authority. SO Bernie’s very very angry and goes against (successfully) the race.

        In the end, Bernie receives a call from race officials saying theyre sorry for colluding with Todt and not him (a paycheck is in order too). He tries to save the race, but fails. As a result of Todt-Bernie clash, teams win.

        (haha what an excellent conspiracy theory about inner F1 politics – might be true, who knows?)

      • Douglas 62500 said on 11th June 2011, 8:46

        Now Ecclestone must be jumping up and down at his office thinking of alternative ways to get some $$$$$ into his pocket…..

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 9:36

          You do realise that the money doesn’t go straight into Bernie’s back pocket, right? If it did, he’d be richer than Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei combined.

          • MagillaGorilla said on 11th June 2011, 12:06

            Not if F1 by his claims is only worth 5 billion dollars. Seeing all of those men are ranging from 45 billion or more.

          • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 11th June 2011, 13:00

            That’s assuming Bernie doesn’t take unofficial bribes PM. Can’t see why he wouldn’t. Sepp Blatter does.

            And if Bernie does have unofficial accounts (like masked as his niece-in-law’s account), he is richer than his official 4.5bn. But so are Gates and Carlos Slim, because im sure they find their illegal means of self-enrichment too. deals, charters, and underground moves are a normal part of the business. Esoecially with Bernie at helm.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 13:12

            That’s assuming Bernie doesn’t take unofficial bribes PM. Can’t see why he wouldn’t. Sepp Blatter does.

            So because one man is suspected of bribery and corruption, another man obviously is?

            I’m pretty sure that’s libel.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 11th June 2011, 11:56

      I was liking him for saying the race should not have gone ahead, and now I discovered he was doing the opposite of what he was saying!

  2. slr said on 10th June 2011, 23:27

    I know the race was never officially off, but all this “Bahrain is off” and “Bahrain is back on” is really starting to get annoying.

  3. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 10th June 2011, 23:42

    What an absolute shambles… Bahrain had a chance to host a grand prix in March, it (quite rightly) decided to sort out political matters and is still in the process of doing so. There is no need for all this fuss about a GP that shouldn’t happen

  4. Pink Pirelli said on 10th June 2011, 23:43

    It will not be missed. I speak of both the race, and the saga surrounding whether to have it.

  5. Dipak T said on 10th June 2011, 23:46

    This isnt incompetence. Its Todt trying to bring Bernie down, and Bernie trying to bring Todt into line. And its made them both look like a pair of immature brats.

    • Mike said on 11th June 2011, 5:51

      Bingo.

      It’s basically another fiasco waiting to happen!

      For the love of the sport! Can’ we all just get along?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 8:38

      And its made them both look like a pair of immature brats.

      If Bernie is simply trying to get Todt to behave the way an FIA President is supposed to behave, how does that make him “an immature brat”?

      All Bernie is doing is his job. He’s the one who organises he calendar, and Bahrain was interested in rejoining the championship. FOTA might have rejected the FIA’s proposal for Bahrain to be run on the weekend of October 30, but that didn’t mean they weren’t open to other suggestions. Bernie was evidently trying to find a way to get Bahrain back onto the calendar in a way that both suited and satisfied everyone. And in the meantime, he’s trying to get Todt to realise that he hasn’t exactly been a shining example of an FIA President with this whole episode. How can we criticise him for that? And to the people who still want to criticise him, what would you do differently?

      • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 11th June 2011, 9:02

        Bernie was evidently trying to find a way to get Bahrain back onto the calendar in a way that both suited and satisfied everyone

        Except the article states that he was trying to introduce it on the 4th of December, which the teams have already stated that they oppose on logistical grounds.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 9:16

          Not necessarily – the teams only shot down the idea of India on December 4. Not Bahrain. And with Bahrain being so close to Abu Dhabi, some equipment could be left there. Bernie could easily negotiate with the teams. After all, FOM fronted $10 million to each of the new teams to cover the costs of transport in their maiden season. If FOTA could work out the costs of transport as they stand now, and the costs of transport as they would be with Bahrain on December 4, and FOM was willing to pay the difference, they may have been amenable to that.

          • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 11th June 2011, 12:47

            I’m not so sure the teams would be open to that idea, even though it is no doubt easier to move from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain than it is from Abu Dhabi to India. Another problem is the dwindling off-season, and Brawn at least has stated that a December race is not acceptable for that reason.
            http://www.planet-f1.com/driver/3213/6961681/Brawn-against-December-finish

          • Solo (@solo) said on 11th June 2011, 16:39

            I have a feeling you just love to disagree just so you can get into arguments because you are too bored.
            The guy was the one who proposed the Bahrain GP getting the slot of the Indian Gp and after HIS proposal got approved he behaved like the FIA made the whole thing up and he was against it, making Todt look even more like a fool.
            So Todt decided to make it clear who makes the proposals to hit back at the little dwarf.

      • Dipak T said on 11th June 2011, 10:29

        I said its made them look like a pair of immature brats.

        If you’d bothered to actually read what I typed, It would have saved you from going all keyboard warrior on me.

        Anyway, back to the actual point, yes I agree with you – Bernie’s job was in this position to reistate the Bahrain race in a manner that suited everyone. However he should also have known that this was not achievable – Bernie isnt as thick as two planks, whatever wed like to believe – and here should have informed the Bahraini authorities that F1 could only feesably come bac in 2012. Hes also been changing his opnion on the matter day by day, from whats hes saying in public.

        Thats may be due to his trying to bring Todt into line. And Todt, apparently seeing a noose that Bernie has created for himself, is trying to get Bernie to hang – trying to prove that hes not up to it with this fiasco. Which also shows Todt having less than saintly motives either.

        Which is why I said it makes them look like a pair of immanture brats

      • Palle (@palle) said on 11th June 2011, 14:43

        What would I do differently?
        Make sure F1 races would only be held in states with true democratic elected governments, first of all.

  6. CarsVsChildren (@carsvschildren) said on 11th June 2011, 0:01

    Jeeze, my junior high school students are less bitchy than these people.

  7. infy (@infy) said on 11th June 2011, 0:07

    I cant find any records which show Stefano Domenicali is part of the WMSC.

    http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/FIA/2009/Pages/fia_world_mbrs.aspx
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIA_World_Motor_Sport_Council
    show no reference to him being part of it.

    Is there something I’m missing here?

  8. Snow Donkey said on 11th June 2011, 0:12

    I find the most interesting part of this to be that Domenicali and Mallya both cast their vote in favor of the calendar switch. It seems to me that the people representing the teams on the WMSC either did not consult with the rest of FOTA on a rather important matter, or subsequently there was a monumental flip-flop.

    Basically, Bernie I get. Simple really, $$$$.

    Todt is a bit confusing in that he claims to want to satisfy the signatories of the concorde agreement, and yet sends a shambles of a fact finding mission. Odd.

    Oddest are the teams. Domenicali and Mallya vote to go. Subsequently FOTA go on about logistics and security and basically fall over themselves to not say it’s a human rights disaster, but refuse to go. What is the motive? What’s really going on? My first reaction is that it’s possible sponsors came out and said “we do not wish to be assosciated with this”.

    We will probably never know for sure, but I for one am glad that this race will not take place. Oh and good on Mark Webber for STILL being the only one with the balls to say how he really feels.

    • Why would you be happy for not having the Bahrain GP ?

      • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 5:26

        @AlAmmari

        For one it’s the most boring race of the year.

        For two bahraini police might stop killing so many civilians now that they don’t need to have obedience at any cost within the next six months.

        • Mike said on 11th June 2011, 5:54

          Actually sadly I think it would be the other way around. At least with the F1 the government would have to be on good behavior for a week or two.

          But, I’m still happy it’s canceled. The Bahrain government doesn’t deserve it.

          • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 6:30

            Yeah i know i thought that two but i didn’t want to give em any idea’s. You know AlAmmari and LAK work for the bahraini government….or they have no lives either way don’t wana give them ideas. :P

        • What killing !!!

          I swear the opposition when some one dies from a normal death they will tell the media it was the police !

          The gov did do some mistakes at 1st but then when the gov when soft with them they started lying .

          Anyways … sooner or later it will still come back next year lol

    • Luib said on 11th June 2011, 1:03

      Good for old Ausie! Here is what he said about the matter ” It’s important we have an understanding of the places we compete at. If someone asks you an honest question on something that’s not related to tyre pressures and front wings you try to give a real response from how you’re brought up.”

    • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 5:15

      Both stefano and vijay were there representing other organisations specificly not their own teams. Vijay was voting on behalf of the indian grandprix owners as they would have had to approve the date change. Stefano I can’t remember but none the less he was *not* making a vote for ferrari.

      Both he and vijay did not have a choice in how they voted because it was quite literally not their business. Both ferrari and force india were represented in the letter from fota to the fia.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2011, 8:05

      From the interview Adam Cooper did with Martin Withmarsh (who saw a transcript of the meeing) it was not even totally clear weather they had really voted.

      FIA keeps those things secret.

      Some rumoured, that Mallya was answering the phone and not even in the room when Todt asked them to vote with sticking their hands up.

  9. LAK said on 11th June 2011, 0:25

    Nice to see that Bernie kept on trying, appreciate that, just wish it wasn’t this messy. In Bahrain the situation is calm, the FIA reported what they saw, unfortunately safety isn’t the only issue regarding Bahrain, the logistics of fitting it in were too much. While we thought we had the GP back, I even read a tweet of one of the journalists receiving an email from the BIC about suggested hotels for the media! Only to then find out that they never really had the race in hand in the first place! If it was too chaotic even for the organizers who fought really hard to get it, then it must have been bad. They thankfully stepped up and saved everyone the trouble :)

    • Disappionting really . Bahrain and its people were very happy after what they have been through , the chaos the opposition and Iran have made made Bahraini life very hard.

      Anyways wait for 2012 and it would be GREAT. I hope.

      • Mike said on 11th June 2011, 5:58

        But now it’s all nice again, Hey! with the opposition all in jails no one can make a fuss!

        Top stuff guys.

        • Have u seen all the opposition in jail ? There r only few who Encourages the chaos they have done to Manama city r the ones that were jailed.

          Im sorry but the media say so much stuff that even though I live here , and saw everything i almost believed them

    • Mach1 said on 11th June 2011, 0:48

      LAK: unfortunately safety isn’t the only issue regarding Bahrain

      So you admit that safety is an issue, even if it is not the only issue? I thought things were calm and safe?

      • flowerdew said on 11th June 2011, 1:10

        I think LAK is saying that if safety were the only issue, the race would be on, but unfortunately it was not. LAK, please correct me if I’ve misunderstood you.

      • The only thing u should care about if its safe here .

        The rest is up to us . all the problem that were made from the opposition WE will deal with it u keep ur nose off of it please

    • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 5:51

      Yeah exactly to bad about those “logistics”.

      Congratulations to your circuit owners on “speedily” fireing and tortureing 28 of their employees. Before coming to the “swift” decision that it wasn’t such a great idea to hold the race only four months after the event had been cancled. One day after it had been proven impossible to hold a race via fota objection and 1000+ injured peacefull protestors after ensuring that your bloody dynasty will be recorded in history as the butchers of bahrain. Such brilliant foresight!!!!

  10. I am from Bahrain , Im disappointed that Bahrain race will not take place , what hurts even more is that opposition in Bahrain lie so much that sooo crazy.

    Anyways here in Bah we welcome F1 anytime. its safe here now after the chaos that was made from the opposition and the interference from IRAN which was horrible !

    Thanks Eccolestone .

    • Mike said on 11th June 2011, 6:01

      Ridiculous.

    • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 6:20

      yeah they “lie so much that sooo crazy.”

      And what you just said about Iran wasn’t a lie at all I wonder what they would want there? Your countrys dwindling oil supplys maybe? which has forced bahrain to put so much investment into desperatly trying to make the rest of the world think a hole in the sand seem like the perfect holiday destination so that it actually has a financial future?

      Maybe they just wanted to watch how your government deals with protestors and get some advice from the king?

      • You live in Bahrain ?

        everyone in the GCC and Arab world know how Iran allways stick their nose in our affairs . still dreaming of making their stupid pathetic Persian Empire coz of their stupid Khomeini .

        and if ur a Bahraini then its clear what u r .

      • Patrickl said on 11th June 2011, 17:21

        What would Iran want in Bahrain? The US has it’s fleet there!

    • Charlie said on 11th June 2011, 11:18

      Are you saying the government always tells the truth? You actually believe in politicians?

      • Let me think , I live here . I saw Everything yet some people tell me that the shiite opposition are NOT lying and the gov r . Every Gov lie to look innocent and I do think our Gov is stupid in some stuff but one thing im sure they did not kill the way the opposition said so. example if where u live u attacked armem police what would happen ? would the police give him the gun and say please stop ??? that was the cause of some deaths in Bah.

        The opposition have killed more than they have gotten killed.

        Im not with anyside but specially when the protest started but after the huge lies they made i rather stand with the gov . I live 7 KM away from the roundabout and they said there were AIRSTRIKES ON THEM !! if that was true wouldnt I have realized ???

        anyway The world believes what it wants not what it should have.

        • Solo (@solo) said on 11th June 2011, 16:55

          Look no matter what you say you can’t have credibility for one and only reason. You kicked out of your country all the media. If you have nothing to hide why do that.
          If everything you say it’s true why not throw red carpets to the journalist giving them first class view and let them show to the world how right the government is and how those protesters where all wrong?
          No instead the government made everything to stop them from even being there.
          In the end you are from the elite in Bahrain so you obviously can’t see the problems. Because your life is fine and everything is good you just can’t imagine what others are complaining about. Well how about walking a mile in their shoes?

  11. Icthyes said on 11th June 2011, 0:46

    I agree with Dipak. All these statements seem like a power play between Bernie and Jean. Todt was made to look silly by Bernie’s suspect about-turn but now there more be more to that than meets the eye.

    Pretty awful that someone is using a horrible situation to play their own game, but that has Bernie written all over it.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th June 2011, 8:08

      First Bernie showing publicly he was with the teams (when doing something totally different behind the scenes, typical for his dealings), and now Todt pointing to bad guy Bernie.

      Powerstruggle alright.

  12. marc connell said on 11th June 2011, 2:09

    im confused. cant we just skip 1 race for 1 year? its sounding like if bahrain was canceled this year f1 will never return.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 5:41

      There is a chance that could happen, albeit a slim one. The provisional 2012 calendar released last week shows twenty-one races, but Jean Todt has said that only twenty will appear on the final draft. Right now, Istanbul is looking like the circuit to be dropped since they rely on the Turkish government to help pay the sanctioning fees, but Ankara are hesitating at the idea of paying $26 million to secure a second contract. However, if they find a solution to this problem (ie, the government paying their usual $13 million and a sponsor or someone frotnign up the other half), Istanbul may secure their place on the calendar once more. In such an eventuality, there is no obvious candidate to be dropped. Assuming Todt (and the teams, who don’t want too many races) maintains his “only twenty races” stance, Bahrain may be dropped because the 2011 race did not happen. They’re going to have a very hard time getting back on the calendar, because every other race is stitched up for years to come, while the Russians are waiting in the wings, the South Africans are kicking around the idea of submitting their own bid, and there are rumours that Mexico wants to return to Formula 1.

    • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 5:54

      We can only hope marc we can only hope.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 6:03

        See, this is the one thing I haven’t liked about the how Bahrain affair – fans who don’t want the race to continue at all for whatever reason, and so are using the political situation in the country as an excuse to abandon the race entirely. You don’t really care about the people of Bahrain; you’re just exploiting them for your own ends.

        • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 6:25

          yeah im exploiting them by voicing my opinion about an opressed people on a formula one forum? rather than say sending a letter to fota or the fia like many people have or doing something which might actually be viewed by someone one at some point who actually has something to do with formula one and the way it’s run rather than…..you.

          I make no bones about it the circuits boring it wouldn’t be a loss but what i said was quite clearly a joke. Not my fault the doctors obviously gave you a humorotomy.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 7:42

            im exploiting them by voicing my opinion about an opressed people on a formula one forum?

            No, you’re exploiting them by using their current situation to justify having Bahrain removed from the calendar permanently because you don’t like the circuit.

          • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 11th June 2011, 8:20

            No, you’re exploiting them by using their current situation to justify having Bahrain removed from the calendar permanently because you don’t like the circuit.

            Well that would certainly not be the case with me or a lot of other people who are actually working in the F1 world.

          • Mike said on 11th June 2011, 8:31

            In it’s original incarnation I don’t mind the track, It’s not going to put on a great race, but it’s not bad on a PC game.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 9:24

            Well that would certainly not be the case with me or a lot of other people who are actually working in the F1 world.

            True – but fans are certainly calling for it. At the very least, TheBrav3’s post implies he feels that way. marc connell posted this:

            im confused. cant we just skip 1 race for 1 year? its sounding like if bahrain was canceled this year f1 will never return.

            And TheBrav3 replied with this:

            We can only hope marc we can only hope.

            We can only hope for what, exactly?

          • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 11th June 2011, 10:07

            Nothing against the Bahrain GP as a race and that’s a good point you make. I can remember when the Hungarian GP was the dog on the calendar. At the time I was impressed with the fact that a GP was happening behind the Iron Curtain.
            It was one of my favourite races.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 3:03

    So now we’re just criticising Bernie for doing his job, are we?

    He might have said it was not going to happen, but that was just his opinion. He was obviously trying to find a way to change the situation by restoring India’s October date and moving Bahrain back to December. We’ll never know if such a scenario would have worked, since Bahrain withdrew their bid.

    • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 5:56

      I’m only criticising the bahraini propaganda squad

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 6:04

        No, you’re not – see my response to your last post for why.

        • TheBrav3 said on 11th June 2011, 6:27

          wow you really are simple. I was both agreeing with you and making a joke in the same line and neither of those things clicked in your head? Calm down monkeys the world’s not against you heck the world doesn’t care about you enough to be against you.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 8:25

            I’m not going to dignify that with a response. Except to say that I’m not going to dignify it with a response. Which I have now done. So there.

    • Bobby_B said on 11th June 2011, 9:39

      I think we can criticise how Bernie does his job?
      He is a ruthless businessman, and part of that make up is telling half truths, or abstaining a response at the right time. he is the master of that.
      However I don’t understand the team principles, they know exactly what Bernie is like, how can they take him at his word? I am sure they don’t – they just try to cover themselves within the rules of the concord agreement.
      I don’t think are strong enough collectively to challenge Bernie . . . so they have to play along with the politics. It is pretty boring I guess, but if it keeps F1 in the news papers Bernie will do, say or not say anything – to allow the media to try to figure it out, and keeps us punters interested.
      It’s just part of his game, but no one will reprimand him for it because he brings the Mula to fill everyone’s coffers.
      And like the “Great Teflon Don” that he is he’ll get away with it again and again.

  14. perhaps bahrain needs something like this to prove to the world they can be at peace,

  15. Dev said on 11th June 2011, 6:21

    given the mess around Bahrain GP, we are unlikely to see another race venue cropping up in around middle east or for that matter other place where there is potential for political or any other type of protests cropping up. the investments made by race organizations will be turned into bad assets…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th June 2011, 10:31

      we are unlikely to see another race venue cropping up in around middle east

      That’s not really an issue because there isn’t really anywhere else in the Middle East that could reasonably host a race. Nobody’s going to be mad enough to try and start a Grand Prix in Iran or Iraq, Kuwait doesn’t have the space, Yemen, Oman, Syria and Egypt don’t have the money, and there is no way a race could be held in Israel without protest from Bahrain and Abu Dhabi (though Abu Dhabi are fairly progressive and probably wouldn’t mind drivers who have competed in Israel). Lebanon and Jordan are the only real potential places that a race could reasonably happen, and that’s only on the basis that they don’t have anything that would immediately disqualify them. And even then, Jordan seems to have saved their round of the World Rally Championship at the last minute because Rally Abu Dhabi has been pushed back to 2013.

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