F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says “If the teams don’t want to go [to Bahrain], then we cannot make them”.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“Mr Ecclestone said he sympathised with the teams’ anxieties. ‘If the teams don’t want to go, then we cannot make them,’ he said.”
“I feel very uncomfortable about going to Bahrain. If I’m brutally frank, the only way they can pull this race off without incident is to have a complete military lock-down there. And I think that would be unacceptable, both for Formula One and for Bahrain. But I don’t see any other way they can do it.”
“Seven Bahraini policemen were wounded, three of them seriously, when a home-made bomb exploded on Monday, an Interior Ministry spokesman said, during a protest near the capital calling for the release of an activist on a two-month hunger strike.”
“We, the undersigned, call on the government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release leading human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, whose life is now in grave danger as he enters the 61st day of his hunger strike, begun in protest at his detention and treatment.”
Al-Wefaq (Bahrain opposition party) leader Khalil al-Marzuk: “It is unlikely that the race will be held if Abdel Hadi Khawaja or Hassan Mashaima is harmed.”
Bahrain Interior Ministry advisor John Yates: “It’s a really important event for this country. It’s hugely important for the economy. There is nothing that in any way warrants for the race to be postponed.”
Human Rights Watch spokesman Joe Stork: “On the ground we see an increasing number of deaths, and serious injuries from tear gas and beatings.”
“The Bahrain Grand Prix… is clearly being used by the ruling family as a way to try to solve its political problems; or at least to show off to the world that despite the uprising, Bahrain is one nation, and life is back to normal. The organizations have created the following slogan for the race to state that fact: ‘Unif1ed — One Nation in Celebration.’ How does that differ from the Turkish podium heist?”
“In March, racing promoter Tavo Hellmund filed a lawsuit against investors Bobby Epstein and Red McCombs and other individuals and companies linked to Circuit of the Americas, the $300 million racetrack in southeastern Travis County scheduled to host a Formula One Grand Prix in November. The courts are now deciding what — if any — portion of that dispute will be made public.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of covering all 37 Long Beach GPs, starting with the inaugural F5000 race, and have many fond memories of the place. But none can exceed the sparkle of our old friend and hero Gilles Villeneuve in action through the California streets in Long Beach’s heyday as a Formula One race.”
Comment of the day
Is Paul Ricard’s distinctive striped run-off really that good at slowing cars down? StefMeister has doubts:
I’d go with 1A. Closest to the original F1 layout and a pretty fast, flowing layout which when used in other categories has produced some decent racing.
Just a shame Paul Ricard is now such an ugly track to watch racing on because of the striped tarmac run-off. Tarmac run-off that clearly works brilliantly to slow the cars down:
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Happy birthday to Roberttty!
On this day in F1
Sebastian Vettel claimed his fourth consecutive win with victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix a year ago today.
It remains his longest consecutive streak of victories.
Jenson Button finished second ahead of Nick Heidfeld.