Hill: Racing in Bahrain ‘Could create more problems than it solves’

F1 Fanatic round-up

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004In the round-up: Damon Hill raises concerns over F1 racing in Bahrain.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Damon Hill voices fresh concern over staging Bahrain Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“It would be a bad state of affairs, and bad for Formula One, to be seen to be enforcing martial law in order to hold the race. That is not what this sport should be about. Looking at it today you’d have to say that [the race] could be creating more problems than it’s solving.”

Vettel does not regret Karthikeyan outburst (The Telegraph)

“Sometimes you let some emotion show, and I don’t think someone should be ashamed about that.”

Mark Webber on F1′s balancing act (BBC)

“There are one or two guys on the grid who are slightly freer spirits, though – Jenson Button, for example, likes being in Japan and Hawaii so he uses the opportunity of the long-haul races to go out there when he can.”

Romain Grosjean: “I hope we can achieve the good result we are capable of” (Lotus)

“The first two races were tough and we didn?t get a result. On the other hand I know that we can do some great things in the future races. My season starts properly in China.”

Williams via Twitter

“With Frank’s 70th birthday fast approaching (16th April) we are giving our fans the opportunity to send in their birthday messages! Tell us your favourite Williams memory, why Frank is an inspiration to you or simply say happy birthday! Email: fanvideos@williamsf1.com

Sergio Perez introduces his F1 team (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

Comment of the day

Plutoniumhunter on Ferrari’s bizarre rear wing from 30 years ago:

If that was what Mercedes? new wing looked like, I?d have no qualms about Red Bull?s complaints at all.

Plutoniumhunter

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Nigel Mansell extended his advantage in the 1992 drivers’ championship with his third win out of three in Brazil.

McLaren brought forward the introduction of their new car in a bid to halt Williams’ dominant start to the season but it was no use: Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger were out within 17 laps.

Riccardo Patrese completed a Williams one-two ahead of Michael Schumacher, whose battle with Senna in the early stages can be seen in this video:

Image ?? Bryn Williams/Crash.Net

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95 comments on Hill: Racing in Bahrain ‘Could create more problems than it solves’

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 0:34

    Damon Hill voices fresh concern over staging Bahrain Grand Prix

    Wasn’t Hill saying that Formula 1 could return to Bahrain “with a clear conscience” just ten days ago?

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 5th April 2012, 0:45

      In his defense, things do change (and have changed) quickly in that type of situation. That said, these comments certainly make his previous comments look pretty disingenuous. That was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read this headline.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 0:49

        Reading the article in its entirety, it’s not the first time Hill has done this. He supported the race last year, and then opposed it at the start of 2012. Then he said the sport could return “with a clear conscience”, before changing his mind again.

      • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 5th April 2012, 3:40

        these comments certainly make his previous comments look pretty disingenuous. That was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read this headline

        Me too. He´s flip flopping like… erm… a pair of flip flops

        • rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 5th April 2012, 8:49

          The reason Damon Hill seems to flip-flop on this is the same reason why most people in F1 either do not say a word on the matter or else repeat the FIA and FOM position: there are political realities within F1 that must be adhered to if you want to remain in the sport. Hill is unusual in that he at least expresses himself with less regard for the omerta that keeps most people in F1 quiet. He’s a very decent bloke.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 5th April 2012, 0:48

      It was just one line in a very long article.

      You never know how fair a representation that quote is. Or even if he actually said it.

      • Mopatop (@mopatop) said on 5th April 2012, 1:49

        If you read the article is position is quiet clear:

        “Promoting the race as ‘Uniting Bahrain’, whilst a laudable ambition, might be elevating F1 beyond even its own prodigious powers. I’m just saying we have to tread carefully. I hope the FIA are considering the implications of this fully and that events in Bahrain are not seen as they are often sold, as a bunch of yobs throwing Molotov cocktails, because that’s a gross simplification. If they believe that, they ought be more wary. You don’t get 100,000 people risking their lives in protest for nothing.”

    • Michel S. (@hircus) said on 5th April 2012, 3:36

      Damon Hill — he was for it before he was against it :p

    • Aficion said on 5th April 2012, 6:14

      I’m not sure why people are so often against someone changing their mind. When you get new information, only someone stubborn would continue to keep their prior opinion. Personally, I respect people who are open-minded enough to change their stance as situations change also!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th April 2012, 7:11

        Indeed, I for one am glad Hill did change his mind and publicly stated so in this case.

      • Spot on, took courage to speak outside the BE Party Line. I so wish the Guardian article writer had quoted what Joe Saward a week or so ago wrote: “It is just a shame that the final doubts about the place were not swept away with invitations to the event for Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the two major human rights organisations in the world. If they had come to the party and said that all was well, then no-one would have any worries.”.
        So why does Bahrain not invite these groups if all’s well? and yet they do invite F1. And F1 agrees to go? When most would agree the chances of increased bloodshed will be greater as a consequence.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 5th April 2012, 7:41

      Morals apart, it’s just not adequate to race in Bahrain when some civilian movements have publicly voiced their will to demonstrate their anger using a Formula 1 GP as the stage. We all know how this movements can be kept away from the circuit, it will be through brutal force because Bahraini authorities are not usually docile with opposition. It’s unnecessary to make F1 part of this equation, nothing against Bahrain but if this mess was happening in Belgium or Britain I would say the same: CANCEL THE EVENT.

    • Ilanin said on 5th April 2012, 11:50

      Ten days ago, the race wasn’t being explicitly targeted. That’s a pretty major difference. Formula 1 can try to claim that it’s apolitical, but that’s no longer possible in a situation where one side of a political dispute opposes a race and one side supports it. F1 has been made political – racing (and not racing) are now both political actions.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 5th April 2012, 15:06

      If you read the article PM by Gary Meenaghan (that you have a link to and was written 10 days ago), no where does it mention that Hill said those things 10 days ago. Read the following:

      Damon Hill, the former F1 champion, said F1 can return to Bahrain “with a clear conscience” after he visited the country alongside Jean Todt, the FIA president, in late December.

      In fact it was reported that Hill made these comments as far back as the 18th January (link)

      We all know where you stand on this issue, so I hope this was just an innocent oversight on your part.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 5th April 2012, 15:10

        Apologies PM, I’m actually not sure where you stand on this… making a presumption. Perhaps you’ve changed your mind since I last read your comments on whether the race should go ahead or not.

        From my point of view, I don’t think it should. Please don’t bash Hill though ;)

  2. Mike (@mike) said on 5th April 2012, 0:57

    I’m genuinely concerned for peoples safety if this goes ahead.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 5th April 2012, 2:34

      that ^

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 5th April 2012, 6:24

      I’d be very surprised if it does, but yes, if it does we should all be worried for them.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 7:45

        Part of me actually thinks the people might be safer than they have been for the past year if the race goes ahead. The Bahraini government wants the race to go ahead. They want to use it to show that law and order have been restored to the country. And with the eyes of the world focused squarely on them, they’re going to be very careful to make sure nothing happens. All it will take is one slip, and their credibility is gone.

        At the same time, the protestors will be careful not to provoke the government. They want the world to hear their cause, and they would know that an aggressive display at the race might make the world sympathetic to the government. So we’d likely see a peaceful protest and a conservative approach from the government, because neither side will want to be the one to start the fighting.

        Ultiamtely, though, Bahrain is not safe for the teams and drivers, and so they should not go in the first place.

        • George (@george) said on 5th April 2012, 18:15

          At the same time, the protestors will be careful not to provoke the government. They want the world to hear their cause, and they would know that an aggressive display at the race might make the world sympathetic to the government.

          I think you probably give them too much credit, protest groups aren’t generally known for their discipline.

    • S.J.M (@sjm) said on 5th April 2012, 9:48

      Agree completely @Mike

      Im actually worried that something is going to happen, I fear that the more heavy handed the authorities are during the race weekend, the louder and more desperate the protesters will become.

  3. Tom Bisset (@pianoshizzle) said on 5th April 2012, 1:31

    I think the fact we are questioning whether or not to go to Bahrain for various reasons is enough for the race to be cancelled. If Formula 1 is so consicous of it’s squeaky clean image, why is it wanting to stage a grand prix in a country with obvious internal conflicts which has resulted in the deaths of many innocent people? It seems as though Bernie/F1 Organisers + Bahrain government are in denial about the whole situation. There are plenty of other circuits and countries that are willing/ready to host an F1 grand prix.

    Also, the racing itself at the Bahrain track has never been…well….exhilerating.

    Hence:
    Why on earth are traditional European tracks which produce decent racing and which the fans WANT to go to being threatened from being pulled/put on alternative years, yet countries like Bahrain which have 0% F1 history are being defended by Bernie and the hierarchy….Oh wait, because they can pay big bucks (so that Bernie can fund his daughter’s lifestyle- slightly below the belt and not 100% true, but worth a shot).

    I certaintly DO NOT agree with the Bahrain GP and is the dark side to F1 that I really despise.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 1:50

      Why on earth are traditional European tracks which produce decent racing and which the fans WANT to go to being threatened from being pulled/put on alternative years, yet countries like Bahrain which have 0% F1 history are being defended by Bernie and the hierarchy

      Because the races in Europe depend on government money. And with the European economy being so shaky at the moment – even if the worst of it is over for now – governments are being very conservative in how they spend their money. The price of holding a race was never a problem until the recession and the European soverign debt crisis reared their ugly little heads. And once Europe stabilises itself, the price of holding a race will not be a problem again.

      What the fans want doesn’t come into it, because what the fans want isn’t tangible.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 5th April 2012, 2:55

        I agree. Obviously it’s all about the money. I believe this is why Bernie is insistent on keeping the Bahrain race – it draws an enormous amount of interest and subsequently cash flow from the wealthy middle eastern community and individuals in the region.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 4:40

          Sorry, @maksutov, but I’m not convinced that Bernie is only seeing dollar signs. Ever since Bahrain joined the calendar, we’ve seen a massive expansion in the calendar – China, Turkey, Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, South Korea, India, the United States, Russia and New Jeresy have all joined, while Argentina and France both claim they will be back next year as well. And that’s without mentioning all of the countries that have expressed various degrees of interest, including Mexico, South Africa and even Vietnam. So if returning to Bahrain was really only about the money, why would Bernie go out of his way to go back there when he could just find someone else to hold a race in their place? He’s gone on the record as saying that once Russia is ready, the next country on his list is South Africa. And with New Jersey able to organise an event in just eighteen months, the South Africans could probably have done the same in time for a 2012 start when Bahrain was cancelled the first time.

          So I don’t think this is about money at all.

          • me262 said on 5th April 2012, 5:08

            Its probably not just about the money…but which pocket the money is allocated to. A Russian or South African GP will not yield money in Bahrainy pockets. Bernie has interests vested in Bahrain GP relationship since 2004. I’d say they’re in each others pockets, so to speak

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 7:37

            Russia might not have the oil reserves of the Middle East, but what it lacks in oil, it makes up for in some of the richest natural gas fields in the world. It produces twice as much natural gas as anyone else.

            As for South Africa, well, they don’t have much in the way of oil or natural gas. But that is no barrier to entry – Bernie doesn’t charge Bahrain extra just because they have more money to spend. I’m pretty sure the Bahrain Grand Prix costs about the same as any other race on the calendar. When the race was cancelled last year, Bernie admitted that the race organisers had still paid their sanctioning fee, and I seem to recall a figure of $20 million being mentioned. When Turkey lost their race, it was because they couldn’t/didn’t want to pay the $26 million asking price. We know that the race fee doubles for the first year of the second contract, and Bahrain’s new contract came into effect for the 2011 race, while Turkey’s was supposed to come into effect for 2012. So Bahrain certainly isn’t paying more simply because Bernie can charge them more.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 5th April 2012, 9:31

            I’m pretty sure the Bahrain Grand Prix costs about the same as any other race on the calendar.

            I can’t recall figures but I know that to be incorrect. In general the newer circuits are paying much more.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 9:56

            Maybe they are, but Bahrain isn’t being charged twice as much as the other races simply because they have more money to spend. Like I said, Turkey was being charged $26 million while Bahrain was being charged somewhere around $20-25 million.

          • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 5th April 2012, 15:29

            @prisoner-monkeys

            Well.. frankly , then it doesn’t make sense why Bernie continues to downplay the risk and insists on maintaining the Bahrain race. Everything suggests that it is something along the lines of what me262 says “…they’re in each other’s pockets…”. If it’s not something like this, or if it’s not the money, then what is it?

      • The Limit said on 5th April 2012, 14:09

        ‘What the fans want isn’t tangible’. Seeing as it is the ‘fans’ that keep the sport going I would say that what the fans want should be ‘tangible.’ You cannot treat the very people who keep you in business in such a way and expect to get away with it.
        Ofcourse the economy has hurt F1, its hurt everybody, but F1 has treated its fanbase with contempt for years and the majority of the blame lies on Ecclestone’s shoulders. Is it ‘tangible’ to send 50 to 100,000 race fans into a country that is a potential volcano waiting to blow? Ofcourse it is not, and Damon Hill is right to voice his concerns.
        I laugh when I hear Bernie Ecclestone try and convince us that the Bahrain event is ‘worth saving’. An event that does not sell out unlike Silverstone, a track Ecclestone wanted to drop only a few years ago. How selective some of us are with our memories!
        As for Vettel, I have no problem with emotion. I said last year I would like to see how Sebastien handled himself when things started to go wrong. We have seen tantrums before from him, but on a positive note, it only confirms the stance that he wants to win and in a sportsman that is paramount. In an ideal world one would like to see more grace and dignity, but we have seen great champions behave like infants before when they come unstuck. Remember Fernando’s tantrum in Abu Dhabi in 2010 after being stuck behind Vitaly Petrov, or Michael Schumacher at Spa in 1998 after crashing into Coulthard. Its all too easy when you are winning to play at being Mr Nice Guy, but when you are not and the media ask why its a different story.
        If I were Christian Horner I would be praying that this is just a flash in the pan and nothing more. How Vettel responds from this is important. We all saw how the media sank their teeth into Lewis Hamilton last year when he started to make mistakes, and they will not hesitate to do the same with Sebastien. That is the price you pay for being successfull in any sport, just ask Tiger Woods!

  4. Matt (@agentmulder) said on 5th April 2012, 3:53

    What I really don’t understand is, why Bahrain? What about that country makes Bernie go through Hell and high water to keep a race scheduled? He could have another race in the Mideast, like a race through the streets of Dubai, or something in Saudi, and not have to deal with an unstable population.

    Bahrain is now in a state of flux, where one day things can be pretty much kosher, and the next the riots are everywhere. F1 could go there and run into no problems whatsoever, or it could arrive to a sea of Molotovs and tear gas. This uncertainty should be reason enough to cancel the event.

    Say what you will about Bernie, the old guy is a crafty one. After canceling the race last year he could have worked something out with another country and organized a street track, something quick to assemble while maintaining F1′s presence in the area, but he didn’t. So I ask again, out of all the wealthy Middle Eastern nations, why is Bernie so insistent Bahrain must go through?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 4:31

      @agentmulder

      What I really don’t understand is, why Bahrain? What about that country makes Bernie go through Hell and high water to keep a race scheduled? He could have another race in the Mideast, like a race through the streets of Dubai, or something in Saudi, and not have to deal with an unstable population.

      Back when the race was established in 2004, I think Bahrain was one of only two or three Middle-Eastern nations that could reasonably host a Grand Prix, the other two being the United Arab Emirates and possibly Qatar. Not only was it rich enough to host a race, but it was stable enough (unlike, say Iraq) and moderate enough (as opposed to somewhere like Iran) to host one. Most major international sporting events have avoided the Middle East; aside from their two Grands Prix, the Qatar MotoGP race and Qatar’s 2022 bid for the FIFA World Cup, I can’t really name any sport that has had a presence in the region. And, like I said the other day, Bahrain was the first race in an unprecedented expansion of the calendar. Since it joined in 2004, we have had – on average – one new Grand Prix a year.

      The siutation in Bahrain has deteriorated since then, but I think some people like Bernie are willing to tolerate the situation a little more than they might normally because of what Bahrain represents: international sport’s first long-term foray into the Middle East, and the starting point for Formula 1′s rapid expansion.

      • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 5th April 2012, 10:08

        So let’s go to Doha and have this madness over.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 5th April 2012, 15:42

        @prisoner-monkeys

        I think some people like Bernie are willing to tolerate the situation a little more than they might normally because of what Bahrain represents: international sport’s first long-term foray into the Middle East, and the starting point for Formula 1′s rapid expansion.

        I don’t think this is sufficient reason to insist on keeping the Bahrain Race. Bernie doesn’t have all the facts and he cannot possibly conclude, nor guarantee, with 100% certainty that the Bahrain race will be safe or free from public interference or escalation of protest. There already is one race in this region “Abu Dhabi “, and I believe this is enough to maintain the international F1 expansion interest.

        People of Bahrain are obviously not happy about something and the kingdom or its rulers need to acknowledge that. Ignoring it will just make it worse.

    • Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 5th April 2012, 7:49

      I think Kuwait would be a decent choice. They are a fairly stable government/country and have a rapidly growing automobile/racing culture.

    • Mark said on 5th April 2012, 9:58

      “Bahrain is now in a state of flux, where one day things can be pretty much kosher, and the next the riots are everywhere”

      Kosher in an islamic state now thats put a smile on my face !

      • sozavele (@formula-1) said on 5th April 2012, 11:55

        @Mark I am Muslim and I can tell you that what you are refering to is Halal food which is almost treated the same as Kosher Food (Jewish), I don’t see how you can put that into context in a sentence like that, explain.

        • Mark said on 12th April 2012, 10:09

          @sozavelle. That was my point @ Matt who made the statement. Why would you say things are Kosher in Bahrain ? I was not making any referall to anything other than I would not have used that term in that sentance.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th April 2012, 7:16

    A good turn of birthdays today. Happy birthday to @red-andy and @matt88, curious name that by the way: Andy Mail :-)

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 5th April 2012, 7:47

    Turns out I share a birthday with Sir Frank, cool!

    Third time lucky for Grosjean, eh? ;)

  7. MW (@) said on 5th April 2012, 8:19

    Did anyone else read the title of this article as “Hill-Racing in Bahrain…” and think..

    That’s exactly what that track needs!!!

  8. necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 5th April 2012, 8:22

    And here I was, thinking Seb was mature. Yes, sometimes emotions can get the better of you and yes, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apologize for it afterwards when it was inappropriate, which it clearly was.

    • MW (@) said on 5th April 2012, 8:36

      @necrodethmortem do you really want to watch a sport where everybody watches there Ps&Qs?
      I think it’s nice to know that drivers aren’t robots that are programmed to mention their sponsor 5 times a minute.
      Lets face it the sport can feel sterile and contrived enough at times..

      • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 5th April 2012, 9:04

        @mw No, of course not. Like I said, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about; drivers should speak their minds. But Seb went way out of line and an apology is due. Simple.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 5th April 2012, 9:36

          Well said @necrodethmortem, we should understand when drivers are agitated after a bad race (though some manage to pull themselves together, see Button), but if they go to far they should also have maturity to apologise (like HAM in Monaco 2011, way too far, but he apologised same day) don’t think Vettel needs to be hounded for weeks by fans and media @mw, but a decent apology between adults should be possible.

          • MW (@) said on 5th April 2012, 10:00

            I can see your point @bosyber but I think I could tolerate some gesturing and minor insults between drivers.. Anything that shows a passion for the sport.
            When have we last seen something like Schumacher marching into Coulthards garage or the Prost/Senna battle on and off the track?

            I don’t want things to degenerate into a crude reality TV show slagging match but outbursts of emotion surely don’t have to be appologised for.. Just my opinion!

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 5th April 2012, 10:36

            Well @mw, in general I think we do tend to overreact a bit when, for example Alonso waves his hand after a difficult overtake. But Vettel repeated the “cucumber”/”idiot” to at least two tv stations, and should be willing to admit it was rash and unprofessional. There’s a difference between showing frustration, which should be allowed, and being insulting without apologising after you cooled down.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th April 2012, 9:29

        He didn’t need to watch his words at the time (I don’t think anyone needs to in the heat of the moment), but two weeks later, to be towing the same ‘his fault, not mine, he’s a waste of space, I’m innocent’ line shows he’s either total absolved of reality or common decency (I guess this isn’t unusual for an F1 driver).

        That, or he’s being insulated from speaking out by team management, because admission of fault doesn’t seem to be the Red Bull way.

        • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 5th April 2012, 10:16

          Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t find bad-mouthing and fist-fighting a relevant element of F1. People tend to get out of control under pressure and nobody expects them to be robotic emotionless entities, but time has passed and apology is due. It’s certainly long enough to cool down and straighten up things which need to be straighten.

          Usually we can forgive such behavior because we find evidence that the person in question would not behave like that under normal circumstances and what the person said or did back then was not what he or she really thinks or wants to do.
          If weeks after the incident Vettel still sticks to his words, then it’s just disturbing. It may indicate that what he have on our hands is a guy who REALLY thinks everyone who is slower than him and doesn’t pull over begging for mercy is an idiot.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 5th April 2012, 10:39

          The latter fits with my perception of the Red Bull F1 team @optimaximal (no surprise I am not really a big fan of theirs then, I suppose), far removed from the fun they were when they were still getting to the top (Lotus are more like that now – some issues with weird things said, but great PR to make them seem a fun team).

          I guess it got serious for RBR, and they forgot to know how to appear really laid back.

          • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 5th April 2012, 10:47

            Maybe their entire management team is contractually obliged to drink the product, meaning they’re all in a permanently highly-strung state.

    • 1 of the 3 said on 5th April 2012, 11:32

      You make a fair measured point, yet I’m just put off at the moment by so much Vettel bashing going around on the internet. I think it’s way out of line, even if he himself was out of line. It seems to me that many people were just waiting for Vettel to do something like this to prove their pathetic point about how it was the car all along.

      I believe Vettel really understands contemporary F1 and that is his edge. He has no nostalgia like Hamilton or Webber do for the 80s. He’s Sebastian Vettel and not Senna or anyone else and I for one like that about him.

  9. rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 5th April 2012, 8:56

    Imagine it is April 1938. Should there be a Grand Prix in Germany?

    Imagine it is an April in the 1970s or 1980s. Should there be a GP in South Africa?

    Obviously no sport can weigh every country’s human rights record with every other competing interest. But while there may sometimes be hard cases and F1 is the wrong side of a blurry line, there are also instances where there should be no problem in seeing the wood for the trees.

    The difficult question for F1 is why are they going to Bahrain? It looks for all the world as if the reason is purely financial. Not exactly what you’d call honourable.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 5th April 2012, 9:33

      Agreed! Well said!

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 5th April 2012, 10:52

      Sorry, I think you’re a bit naive. Have you forgotten the 1936 Summer Olympics?

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 5th April 2012, 18:20

        @phildick But I don’t think sporting events were as much to do with financial gains as they were about… well, sport, back then! Bernie and the Kingdom of Bahrain are going to make money out of it, and not only that, it will instill faith in the country and everyone will think it’s fine over there at the moment. Win-win for Bernie and the Bahrain government, but it’s certainly not good for the people of Bahrain so I can’t say it’s good for Bahrain. If the race was cancelled, it would send a strong message to the world. If it goes ahead, it will also send a strong message to the world. Only problem with the latter is that citizens are more likely to continue being tortured, arrested, and in some cases, killed.

        Sure, the protesters aren’t going about it in the best way with all of the violence, but I seem to recall none of those youths in the UK last year being captured and tortured.

    • Ilanin said on 5th April 2012, 12:04

      F1 raced at Kyalami every year from 1967 to 1985. So regardless of whether or not there should have been a Grand Prix in South Africa, there was. F1 did not respect the Gleneagles Agreement (of course, that was an agreement between Commonwealth countries, and F1 is not exclusively a Commonwealth concern, so there was no reason it had to).

      It may also be worth pointing out that Nazi Germany hosted the Olympic Games. International sports have never been particularly bothered by the politics of host governments.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th April 2012, 14:44

      Ehm, @rsp123, you do realize there was a German GP on July 24th of 1938?

      It was won by R. Seaman from a couple of German drivers, in Mercedes cars.

    • rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 5th April 2012, 14:56

      I’m well aware that there were GPs in 1930s Germany and 1980s South Africa. The point is: *should* there have been?

      International sport is almost always political to some extent. F1 is being used here.

  10. There are many reasons that f1 not go ahead in this tiny island , and the main cause is that royal family their try to used money and oil to show the world how the country is stable and we crackdown the democracy movement , but the reality is totally different ! we have voiced to prevent this hosting because FIA should put the sport away from political and respect human rights and also send a message to the regime their to enhance democratic rule where people can elect their government and change the prime minister who still on his position since 1973 , where now passed over 40y .. etc

  11. plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 5th April 2012, 9:26

    Thank you @keithcollantine for the COTD! Was kind of unexpected, though.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th April 2012, 9:39

    I don’t know if this has been posted – it’s a month old – but I just found this article from The Daily Mail on filming of Ron Howard’s RUSH. I’m not the Mail‘s biggest fan, but there’s some fantastic photos in here, showing Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in-character as James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Bruhl in Lauda’s post-accident make-up looks particularly striking.

  13. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 5th April 2012, 10:40

    If you want to steal a car, break into a house in can be done, regardless of the amount of alarms you have. If the protestors wish to cause a havoc they will! What we don’t know is how against this race they are, hopefully it’s only a minority, as nobody’s life is worth the risk, why not run a race in Bali if this is the mentality of the FIA

    • infy (@infy) said on 6th April 2012, 0:33

      Oh please… you say it as if the protesters are not real people, but instead just a collective bunch of criminals.

      Protesters who turn to rioting are nothing but a large group or terrorists.

      • infy (@infy) said on 6th April 2012, 0:34

        And the police will treat them like terrorists, and rightfully so.

        • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 6th April 2012, 1:56

          @infy, your point doesn’t make sense, are you for or against protesters? This issue is not ours, therefore i’m not judging anyone. I am simply making the point that if lives are in danger (outside of racing), the event should not be held

          • infy (@infy) said on 6th April 2012, 2:21

            My point is that the only people who’s lives are in danger are the people who are “protesting” aka “terrorising”. When the police step in to protect innocent bystanders, the terrorists get aggressive in order to make a scene and as a result, those same terrorists are hurt, and some times even killed. It was however their own fault and the poor terrorists innocence is often the message put across by the main media establishments. Meanwhile the only innocent party is that which is just trying to protect its citizens and restore order.

            Now to not host any events because there is risk involved is stupid. It would effectively leave the country paralysed with no hope of recovering. A state stuck in limbo, to scared to poke its head out to see where it stands. For all Bahrain government knows, the sects are happy enough with what ever progress or reforms that have been happening over the past two years in order to address the feeling of equality.

            A successfully run event which demonstrates that the fears were nothing more than over-hyped propaganda would stop future protests and the violence attached to them. Without actually hosting such an event, this would never be realised.

            Of course those who are pro-democracy might feel the violence is an acceptable means to an end. I on the other hand feel that if a protester thinks his life is so worthless that he is willing to risk it for nothing more than the illusion of equality (which lets face it, not even the most established democracies have it), then said protester should take his sorry ass over the boarder to a country where he can live in a democracy while not placing other peoples lives in danger.

          • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 6th April 2012, 4:18

            My comments are not aimed at the safety of the protesters, they choose their own fate. I care for the people attending the event, from Charlie Whiting down the 4yr old who is attending his 1st race. My point being if the event is not in a safe environment and the safety of the patrons is not guaranteed, it should not go ahead. In saying that I agree with your above comment regarding a positive event my turn the protests in a different direction.

  14. mole (@mole) said on 5th April 2012, 12:35

    Perez speaks italian…. looking more and more like the Ferrari driver a lot of us want him to be :P

  15. ozzy (@ozzy) said on 5th April 2012, 19:37

    Boycott Bahrain?
    Yes.
    I will not be watching any transmission broadcast from that country, having watched many videos and being more aware than most petrol heads I cannot turn my back on fellow humans living a life of suppression. Bernie is a disgrace and it is absolutely immoral to support a government that punishes doctors for healing the injured citizens. I find it unbelievable that there is even a question or a choice in this matter. Only in a money driven society would this be even a choice, I detest and denounce anyone who supports Formula One in Bahrain until the current government led by a Imperialistic Ruler steps down and gives in to Democracy. Obviously that is what the people want, and if people are thoughts are suppressed that is criminal. Bernie is a well known fascist, but for people to support his view is unthinkable for me considering we are in 2012 not 1912. Wake Up.

    • infy (@infy) said on 6th April 2012, 0:31

      Your loss.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th April 2012, 2:14

      @ozzy

      Bernie is a well known fascist

      See, it’s statements like this that just annihilate your credibility. Do you even know what facism is? You obviously don’t, since if you did, you would know that facism is an ultra-nationalist political ideology that tries to create a national identity through genetic superiority and aspires to a state of autarky (being totally self-sufficient). I wouldn’t use any of those words to describe Bernie.

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