Bahrain opposition movement issues F1 warning

F1 Fanatic round-up

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004In the round-up: Bahrain’s February 14th Youth Coalition says it cannot “ensure the safety” of F1 participants during the forthcoming race weekend.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bahrain youth group targets Formula 1 (FT, registration required)

“The February 14th Youth Coalition, an online organising body for anti-regime protests, said it would not be able to ??ensure the safety?? of Formula 1 participants amid popular anger that would be triggered by the race going ahead.”

Mark Gallagher via Twitter

“The single (daft) protester who interrupted yesterday’s Boat Race makes you realise what several determined activists could achieve in Bahrain.”

Cartoon ?ǣ King Hamad, Bernie Ecclestone and F1 in Bahrain (Latuff Cartoons)

Another view on the Bahrain situation.

Ten alternatives to watching F1 highlights (Motorsport Musings)

“I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend my money on going to a circuit to see racing in the flesh – while inhaling the smell of burnt rubber and topping up my vitamin D levels – than I would on an expensive subscription to Sky.”

What?s the fuss over Sky?s Formula One rights deal? (Mancunian Matters)

“Whilst events on the track have been a cause for celebration for British fans, for many of the viewers at home it has been a cause for commiseration as they saw another of the jewels of live terrestrial sport begin to slip away.”

HRT asks FIA to probe Caterham (ESPN)

HRT has put the complaint in motion since it could stand to gain an estimated $26m in prize money by taking over Caterham’s championship position if the team is retrospectively removed from the standings.”

Comment of the day

Molino recalls hearing Gilles Villeneuve had died:

There is one thing I remember very well in 82, is the radio flying across the living room because of one my uncle who had heard enough when it said “the number 27 driver Gilles Villeneuve has been ejected of his cockpit and is laying unconsciously on the other side of the track after being involved in a crash with the car number 17″.

Both of my uncles got into F1 in ’77, and lost all interest after that day. I still don’t know what they admired the most in Gilles.

We lived one hour away his home town in Quebec and they never got to meet him in person. But they watched the entire race on the Jacques-Cartier bridge in ’78 because they couldn?t afford admission tickets.
Molino

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to 1997 world championship Jacques Villeneuve who is 40 today.

Today is also 90 years since former FISA president Jean-Marie Balestre was born. Balestre died in 2008.

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133 comments on Bahrain opposition movement issues F1 warning

  1. Dev (@dev) said on 9th April 2012, 3:06

    If Team Ferenandes have been found using illegal methods & breaching FIA rules; they should be stripped off their 10th position & all of the prize money, also need to be fined for being so dumb. why would anyone attempt something after McLaren penalty.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th April 2012, 3:38

      @dev – I believe the issue stems from the way Fernandes recruited Mike Gascoyne. Gascoyne was working for Force India until 2008. When he left the team, he joined Litespeed F3, who were bidding for an entry into Formula 1 for 2010 under the Team Lotus name (though it probably would have been known as “Litespeed Lotus”). They were unsuccessful – Manor, Campos and USF1 were accepted to the grid – but Gascoyne kept working on his design. But then BMW announced that they were pulling out, and Fernandes saw the opportunity to bring Lotus back into the sport. He recruited Gascoyne, using the completed design Gascoyne had been working on to create the Lotus T127.

      Force India’s case is that when Gascoyne was working on the Litespeed design, he used parts that had originally been developed for them. When he was recruited by Fernandes, those parts wound up on the T127. So what this case hinges on is exactly what Gascoyne owned when he built the T127.

      • Dev (@dev) said on 9th April 2012, 6:18

        @prisoner-monkeys – so he is likely to get banned for 5 years from the sport then. T127 had unfair advantage over HRT & Virgin. This for me is enough for FIA to give serious though for a massive penalty to Caterham & Mike Gascoyne.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th April 2012, 6:31

          @dev – Not so fast. It would need to be proven that Mike Gascoyne did not own the parts in question. It would also need to be proven knew that he was using parts that he did not own when he worked them into the T127, and that they offered a significant performance advantage. And that’s going to be very difficult to prove, because the Virgin VR01 and HRT F110 had very difficult development cycles. The VR01 was designed with computational fluid dynamics, which the team admitted had been the wrong approach. The F110 was designed by Dallara, who basically stopped work on it when the team did not pay them, and then rushed the final build of it when Hispania bought the team. The T127′s performance advantage over Virgin and Hispania can easily be explained by flawed development of the cars.

          It’s also questionable as to the nature of what found its way onto the T127. Unlike the McLaren-Ferrari debacle in 2007, the Lotus T127 did not use current-specification parts. Force India maintain that Gascoyne took knowledge of their 2009 car when he left the team in 2008, but the T127 was not raced until 2010. So anything that was used on the T127 was at least a year out of date. And it’s possible that anything Gascoyne used was further developed to the point where it bore only minimal resemblance to its original design.

          But the really hard thing to prove would be Gascoyne’s knowledge of the ownership of those parts before time.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th April 2012, 10:16

            As you say @prisoner-monkeys, there’s quite a lot of ifs in this case. The court seemed to judge the infringement from the side of TeamLotus/Caterham having been only to have unknowingly been using parts that were made using some templates originating from the data built up for FI.
            Therefore its doubtfull that the FIA would go anywhere even close to such drastic measures as @dev proposes.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th April 2012, 13:13

            The court seemed to judge the infringement from the side of TeamLotus/Caterham having been only to have unknowingly been using parts that were made using some templates originating from the data built up for FI.

            But with McLaren was there any proof that anybody other than Coughlan had been knowingly using Ferrari design info? It sounds like if they define the parts to be belonging to Force India, and the ones used by Lotus were similar, then it is very similar to the McLaren case in terms of how the team was benefited (obviously the execution is quite different, as having a huge dossier is clearly worse than carrying over what you believe to be your own intellectual property). So it seems to me that if thy are found guilty, it would be very inconsistent not to apply a large fine and possible disqualification.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th April 2012, 16:29

            @matt90 the big turnaround in the case against McLaren came about when we/the FIA learnt that a lot more people had known about inside info from Ferrari than previously acknowledged by the team. At first the sentence was far more moderate, but after this got out, the FIA had to show that it would not let anyone get away with lying to them in an investigation (and off course the fact Mosley and Bernie really did not like Ron).

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th April 2012, 16:37

            @bascb I know that intel such as pit strategy at the Australian GP was shared, but did they ever find out how widely the Ferrari document was shared? Or if any specific parts made their way into the McLaren during the season?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th April 2012, 17:03

            @matt90, the discussion in the now infamous e-mails between De la Rosa and Alonso was certainly a clear indication that knowledge had gotten into McLaren to a far greater extent than McLaren had been claiming up to then.

            But there was no concrete evidence of the actual use of Ferrari intellectual property on the McLaren car, although their design routes taken could have been influenced by having knowledge of what worked or did not work for Ferrari, that was the reasoning for McLaren having to stop some development routes for a couple of years and let the FIA scrutineer their 2008 car before the start of the season.

  2. Dev (@dev) said on 9th April 2012, 3:06

    If Team Ferenandes have been found using illegal methods & breaching FIA rules; they should be stripped off their 10th position & all of the prize money, also need to be fined for being so dumb. why would anyone attempt something like this after McLaren penalty.

  3. HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th April 2012, 3:13

    It doesn’t matter to Bernie whether anyone actually attends the race, he still gets his money from the TV coverage and if he does not provide a contracted race he may lose money ( although he probably has escape clauses such as ” civil unrest” ). My bet is it will go ahead, the King/Emir can afford an empty grandstand or two and much as I support democracy and hate religous influence there is no real comparison with the events in Syria despite the brutal overreaction to mostly peaceful protests that took place last year.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th April 2012, 1:17

      LAK, I read your post in full today, I apologise if I have the ” mostly peaceful ” bit wrong, the imprisonment of medicos who treated protesters was what I had in mind.

  4. The Limit said on 9th April 2012, 3:50

    The longer this drags on, the more I am convinced this farce of a grands prix will be scrapped. The teams, the fans, they will decide on whether this race happens and I doubt that they will risk spending the weekend dodging bullets just so Bernie Ecclestone can collect his cut! As others have already suggested, why is Ecclestone so determined to have this grands prix when he doesn’t care about venues the fans actually like? The answer is simple, cash and lots of it.
    Its not going to happen, and lets face it, if I lived in that part of the world I would go to the one in Abu Dhabi anyway. They must be rubbing their hands with glee right now!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th April 2012, 3:59

      The teams, the fans, they will decide on whether this race happens and I doubt that they will risk spending the weekend dodging bullets just so Bernie Ecclestone can collect his cut!

      The teams have very little power to decide whether or not a race goes ahead. The most they can do is refuse to enter, but even then, the FIA can just throw the rule book at them the way they did at Indy 2005 – there is a procedure for withdrawing from a race, but the teams didn’t follow it.

      The fans have absolutely no power to decide whether or not a race goes ahead. I don’t know why you seem to think they do.

      As others have already suggested, why is Ecclestone so determined to have this grands prix when he doesn’t care about venues the fans actually like? The answer is simple, cash and lots of it.

      Wrong. There are half a dozen other countries – Argentina, Mexico, Russia, etc. – who are all chomping at the bit to get onto the calendar. If going back to Bahrain was exclusively about money, Bernie could easily find another venue to fill in the empty calendar slot and save a whole lot of time, effort and money.

      I’d say it’s more likely that he’s waiting for the Bahrainis to admit that the race cannot go ahead in order to keep the race apolitical.

  5. JustinF1 (@justinf1) said on 9th April 2012, 4:17

    If it is unsafe, don’t race for God sake !!

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 9th April 2012, 11:23

    I had no idea about the Caterham and Force India copyright infringement. It will be interesting to see how/if it develops.

    How did Caterham come to acquire that information?

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 9th April 2012, 12:47

      The Aerolab facility Force India left with bills unpaid, and thus stuff on computer @andrewtanner, see above post by @bascb: some (plans for) templates of model parts left in the computers used to get design for T127 started quickly, it seems. No big things, no fault of the team/MG (court decided), so it probably won’t be a big deal.

  7. me262 said on 9th April 2012, 11:55

    ‘Bahrain, the first Middle Eastern country to host a Formula One race, has a strong presence in the sport. Sheikh Abdulla bin Isa al-Khalifa sits on the FIA’s decision-making motor sport council while Bahrain also owns 50 percent of McLaren.’

    wow thats news to me….im now connecting Bernie’s dots…

  8. DB Cooper said on 9th April 2012, 12:53

    Beside the democracy demonstrations by the young protesters; so far all the Gulf states are de facto anti-democratic, anti-western, and islamistic. That is a fact. Do we really want, or need, to go there racing? In the future, if they have progressed to more democratic states that repect all people, maybe even allow tiny bikinis instead of “burkinis”, beer and mojitos not just in enclosed tourist farms, and you know that degenerative kind of fun called pop music, then and only then will the Gulf states be a tru tourist destination. Allowing these degenerative behavious only inside tourist farms really is not what I see as free and democratic. I will not spend my $$$ anywhere near these destinations. And I have been to a number of F1 races around the world and spent nice money on the local economies while enjoying myself with the best racing in the world.

    • Maciek (@maciek) said on 9th April 2012, 14:09

      all the Gulf states are de facto anti-democratic, anti-western, and islamistic. That is a fact.

      Fact like fact. That they’re non-democratic is one thing, but that they’re anti-Western (whatever that really means) is hardly different than Westerners being anti-Eastern and their being ‘islamistic’ (whatever that really means) is hardly different than religious fundamentalism elsewhere – fundamentalists just happen to have more political say in the region; that was how Europe worked for over a millennium and it could well happen again, too. I wouldn’t go spend my money there either, but a little perspective is in order when talking about ‘facts’.

  9. John H (@john-h) said on 9th April 2012, 13:06

    I don’t have all the facts and never will, but from what I’ve read it does not seem safe enough for all of the F1 staff to travel to Bahrain at the moment. It baffles me that some think so differently to be honest on this thread, but perhaps they will have to eat humble pie if we go to Bahrain and there are problems.

  10. JCost (@jcost) said on 9th April 2012, 14:17

    @damonsmedley seems that @prisoner-monkeys is either in denial or just doesn’t have a clue about how dictators rule. Calling young protesters “mob” is quite unreal, he even sounds like a dictator himself.

    I understand FIA is in difficult position once it’s not the UN to require a meeting with representatives of protesting movements, but they should employ or hire independent institutions to assess the situation on the ground and make their own decisions based on sound independent reports instead of relying on a biased opinion of race organizers.

  11. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 9th April 2012, 23:58

    We shouldnt have to stop a FORMULA 1 RACE. Or Bernie could do somthing else about it stop being a clown and take the track of the calender. they(Bahrain) bring nothing to formula 1. just alot of sand and some run off for vettel. No Offence about the sand its just not good.

  12. markp said on 10th April 2012, 0:30

    Can anyone explain after last year why there was no backup plan? Anyone else think if it’s called off again we will go through this debacle again next year?

      • DB Cooper said on 10th April 2012, 22:04

        And to prevent that farce next year; bring in Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, or even Moscov to replace Bahrain. Dont think Bernie would stand like a clown without alternative countries and racetracks, they will be bangning on the door to come in. And frankly, you know the Formula 1 athmosphere have always had a mix of party, music, scantily clad models, champagne and glamour. Not burkas, burkinis, rosewater, and minaret chanting. The faster Bernie realises we should get out of the Gulf states, the better for Formula 1. But that is probably impossible, we have reached the point of no return since the Gulf states already have invested in Mercedes, Maclaren, Ferrari, most of the western banks, central real estate, and blue chip stocks. They own us, so prepare for rosewater and burkinis, yipii, 4 thumbs up…

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