FIA insist Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004The FIA has insisted next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as planned despite security concerns in the area.

The sport’s governing body issued the following statement:

The FIA is the governing body of motor sport and therefore of Formula One. As such, it sets the season?s calendars following the proposal of the commercial rights holder (CRH) in accordance with the local national authorities in all matters relating to safety.

Within that context, the FIA ensures that any event forming part of an FIA world championship is organised in compliance with the FIA Statutes and the relevant Sporting and Technical Regulations and that the safety of the public, officials, drivers and teams is secured at all times during an event.

The FIA must make rational decisions based on the information provided to us by the Bahraini authorities and by the commercial rights holder. In addition we have endeavoured to assess the ongoing situation in Bahrain.

President Jean Todt led a fact-finding mission to the Kingdom in November 2011, meeting a large number of decision-makers and opinion formers, including elected Shia members of parliament, the president of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, ambassadors from the European Union countries, the crown prince, the interior minister and many members of the business community.

All expressed their wish for the Grand Prix to go ahead in 2012, and since then, the FIA has kept in close touch with all these stakeholders. Away from the public eye, the FIA has received regular security briefings from the most senior diplomatic officials based in the Kingdom as well as from other independent experts.

The 2012 calendar, as presented by the CRH, was ratified by the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in September 2011. Since then no request from the F1 Commission or the CRH has been made to the WMSC to either postpone or cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Based on the current information the FIA has at this stage, it is satisfied that all the proper security measures are in place for the running of a Formula One World Championship event in Bahrain.

Therefore, the FIA confirms that the 2012 Gulf Air F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain will go ahead as scheduled.

Commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone was due to meet the teams today to discuss the race.

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111 comments on FIA insist Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 13th April 2012, 2:56

    oh dear.

  2. Glenn (@glenn) said on 13th April 2012, 2:59

    If something goes wrong. This Press Release will be forever etched into everyone’s memory that the FIA have made a very poor decision with the lives of all that are involved with F1.

    Interesting to see the reaction from the F1 community from the teams to all of the Journos…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th April 2012, 6:00

      The worst thing is, the FIA does not even say its decided on anything, just that they did not receive a request to postpone or cancel from Bernie or the teams (who are represented on the F1 Commission). At the same time hinting the Bahraini themselves are responsible for the security briefs, and no doubt for anything that might go wrong.

      Pass on responsibility, and again, and again. Then stick head deep into the desert sand. Done, dusted. Dammned.

      • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 13th April 2012, 9:07

        the FIA ensures that any event forming part of an FIA world championship is organised in compliance with the FIA Statutes and the relevant Sporting and Technical Regulations and that the safety of the public, officials, drivers and teams is secured at all times during an event

        I read that to mean that they’re responsbile for the safety of everyone, and I’m sure a Lawyer would too, @BasCB

        • Glenn (@glenn) said on 13th April 2012, 14:22

          “during an event” is key.. What is the definition of an Event? Only the happenings at the track? From Monday/ Tuesday when the teams/staff/journos arrive? Or only from First practice on?

          Will the teams and drivers stay at the track for the remainder of the weekend? Surely they must leave the confines of the track to a hotel to sleep. Will the FIA be responsible for their safety there?

  3. Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 13th April 2012, 3:00

    Checked today’s date twice to see if it was still April 1st

  4. xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 13th April 2012, 3:06

    If nothing else, they’ve at least made a decision now.

  5. tokyospark (@tokyospark) said on 13th April 2012, 3:19

    Isn’t the FIA actually just saying they’re not the ones who are going to cancel it? Deferring the blame? The circle is complete now. Although, with Bernie saying he can’t force anyone to go it might be a good opportunity for some of the financially struggling teams to call his bluff and skip the race. Using the time for car development instead.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 4:02

      @tokyospark

      it might be a good opportunity for some of the financially struggling teams to call his bluff and skip the race

      Bernie is saying he can’t force the teams to go. There are others, however, who can. Like the FIA, who would probably suspend a team for two or three races for failing to follow procedure in withdrawing from the race.

      And with the bans on in-season testing, the best way to develop the car is to go to the races and gather data in practice sessions. It would actually be in the interests of smaller teams to go.

    • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 13th April 2012, 4:44

      Could be, they’ve just passed the burden of cancellation to the race organizers. Just like last year.

      Personally, I’d like the event to be canceled as I can’t watch qualifying live :P

    • FlyingLobster27 said on 13th April 2012, 8:10

      Financially struggling teams will not skip Bahrain even if it is cancelled. There were reports that some teams had bought two plane tickets, one from China to the Middle East, and another from China to Europe just in case, but the smaller teams said that they couldn’t afford that.

  6. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 13th April 2012, 3:24

    “meeting a large number of decision-makers and opinion formers, including elected Shia members of parliament, the president of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, ambassadors from the European Union countries, the crown prince, the interior minister and many members of the business community.

    All expressed their wish for the Grand Prix to go ahead in 2012″

    I’m sorry, but I read this as, “All members who have a significant financial stake in this event express their wish for the Grand Prix to go ahead.”

    I wish the public could write an official press release back at the FIA saying “NO DUH.”

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 3:43

      So you don’t find it significant that the Shia members of parliament want the race to happen? After all, the entire conflict has been based on a Sunni minority ruling over the Shi’ite majority. It stands to reason that the Shia members of parliament would side with their own on this issue.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 13th April 2012, 4:17

        So you don’t find it significant that the “Shia” members of the closely controlled government are on the Monarchy’s side?

        It stands to reason that if the government’s “Shia” members, were under the thumb, willingly or not, of the ruling authority, then they would back them regardless of their own opinions.

      • Nixon (@nixon) said on 13th April 2012, 11:16

        @prisoner-monkeys I think you mean that the Shia are the minority and the Sunni are the majority.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2012, 4:52

      I’m sorry, but I read this as, “All members who have a significant financial stake in this event express their wish for the Grand Prix to go ahead.”

      It really couldn’t be more one-sided, could it?

      • Andy said on 13th April 2012, 9:34

        Wait, how about this one:

        The FIA must make rational decisions based on the information provided to us by the Bahraini authorities and by the commercial rights holder. In addition we have endeavoured to assess the ongoing situation in Bahrain.

        So they make decisions based on the persons who stamp down any protest? Really rational!

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 3:27

    I’m going to say it: I think the FIA made the right choice. There have been multiple sources reporting that Bahrain is safe – Lotus sent people to appraise the situation, while John Yates, the former Assisstant Commissioner of the Metropolitain Police prepared a briefing for the FIA and the teams – and there are currently no travel restrictions in place from the Foreign Office.

    Furthermore, I think it would be inappropriate for the FIA and Formula 1 to bow to the demands of the public and make some kind of political or moral statement. That is for the diplomatic community to do, not sport.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th April 2012, 3:43

      Did you read the article in the SMH today, now Sunni mobs are attacking Shia villages, like it or not the Grand Prix is being used by both sides to promote violence and repression and we know how that ends in the middle east.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 13th April 2012, 4:19

      You are blind or trolling if you still bring out the, F1 shouldn’t be political line. Going to Bahrain, despite the massive problems, is a rather large political statement backing the Monarchy’s legitimacy and actions.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2012, 4:56

      @prisoner-monkeys Whether F1 races in Bahrain or not is a political statement – as you yourself admit.

      F1 is making a political statement by racing there, and that statement is as follows:

      ‘We don’t care how many pro-democracy protesters the Al-Khalifas imprison and torture, we want their money. Even if it means sending hundreds of F1 staff over there with targets on their backs.’

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:06

        @keithcollantine – And by not going, they say the following:

        “We endorse the actions of protesters, who have resorted to Molotov cocktails, arson attacks on elementary schools and home-made bombs as ‘protest’.”

        Formula 1 can take place in Bahrain without making a political statement. They can either plan to go to the race and wait for the organisers to admit that the race cannot go ahead (basically playing chicken with them) or hold the race and then impose sanctions afterwards for politicalisation, the way they did the Turks that one time.

        I also dispute the idea that there will be intense danger to all team personnel. Although the protests have recently taken a violent turn, the protesters themselves will not want to be seen endangering the lives of outsiders. What goodwill they have with the rest of the world will vanish in an instant if anything should happen. Furthermore, if the Bahraini government wants the race to happen, then they are obviously going to take pains to make sure it goes smoothly. If the worst should happen and someone is injured or killed after the government gave their word that the country was safe, the Bahrainis would lose their race forever – and they’ll know that well in advance of the race. And, in the event that the race was cancelled because the sport sided with the protesters, the government will not admit fault and introduce speedy democratic reform. They will simply blame the protesters, and how do you think that will end? It’s in the interests of both sides to see that things go smoothly.

        And, of course, my usual boilerplate: if Formula 1 goes making political/moral/ethical statements about the way a country is run, then they need to make political/moral/ethical statements about the way every host nation is run.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2012, 5:31

          @prisoner-monkeys

          Formula 1 can take place in Bahrain without making a political statement

          Under the current circumstance it clearly cannot.

          Pretending otherwise is as naive and self-serving as tarring all the protesters with the same brush in order to pretend they are merely a violent mob, rather than a group of people who simply want the same rights you and I enjoy.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:34

            @keithcollantine – But it’s okay to tar all the politicians with the same brush? After all you said this above:

            I’m sorry, but I read this as, “All members who have a significant financial stake in this event express their wish for the Grand Prix to go ahead.”

            It really couldn’t be more one-sided, could it?

            Why is it okay to assume that all of the polticians are equally corrupt, but it is not okay to describe all the protesters as having resorted to violent tactics?

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2012, 5:40

            @prisoner-monkeys

            Why is it okay to assume that all of the polticians are equally corrupt

            I never accused anyone of being “corrupt”. Your word, not mine.

            I agreed with someone else’s point that the FIA only listened to those who had a vested interest in the race going ahead.

            Deliberately misinterpreting what I say in a transparent attempt to make me seem unreasonable will not get you very far with me, as you should know by now.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:45

            @keithcollantine – Believe me, there was no deliberate misinterpretation of your comments. If there was any misinterpretation, it was genuine.

            And the corruption insinuation was in Joey Poey’s comments about only those with a financial stake being represented.

        • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 13th April 2012, 5:31

          Freedom isn’t handed to you if you ask for it. Human history is full of examples of violent struggles against oppression, my own country included. Its going to be a mess of a weekend. Bahrain needs help, not an F1 race. I look forward to your feelings on all the people killed or injured during the protest. I won’t be watching the race.

        • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 13th April 2012, 5:37

          @prisoner-monkeys

          “We endorse the actions of protesters, who have resorted to Molotov cocktails, arson attacks on elementary schools and home-made bombs as ‘protest’.”

          I wish to justify no violence, make no mistake about that, but if I remember clearly, those protests started quite peacefully in February last year and it was the police who resorted first to excessive force. If whichever decision the FIA makes is a political statement, why stick to the one that’s going to attract bad publicity towards the sport? Even if the protesters do not attack F1-related people as you put it, going there for the sake of the money is simply not worth the risk.

          They could have dropped the even altogether – or at least issued a heavy fine and a reprimand – when the Bahrainis came up with the “unif1ed” campaign (which shows just how valuable F1 is as a political tool), but instead the FIA seems absolutely happy with its main series being used as a political slogan, which is quite a different approach to the Turkish podium debacle…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:41

            @guilherme

            why stick to the one that’s going to attract bad publicity towards the sport?

            Why do you assume it’s as simple as that?

            Say Formula 1 sides with the protesters and pulls out of Bahrain. No bad publicity. But then, let’s say that the next race is in China. I guaratnee you that there will be some activist somewhere who says “Well, you pulled out of Bahrain for ethical reasons … how can you race in China, when Beijing would rather let Tibetian monks set themselves on fire than introduce political reform?” What would be your reaction to that?

            Formula 1 cannot afford to go making moral statements. As soon as they do it for one race, they have to do it for every race.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:44

            if I remember clearly, those protests started quite peacefully in February last year and it was the police who resorted first to excessive force

            Also, “they started it first!” is not an acceptable excuse for violence.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th April 2012, 6:05

      Ehm, @prisoner-monkeys, pray tell, what did the FIA decide?

      To me this press release just means that the FIA did not decide anything, but to pass on responsibility towards Bernie (CRH), the track and the teams (represented in the F1 Comission) and the Bahraini’s themselves (giving both security briefs, and telling everything is alright).

    • joetoml1n (@joetoml1n) said on 13th April 2012, 8:22

      100% the right decision!
      I can’t wait until next Sunday evening, when we’ll all be discussing the race, and not this situation again and again..

    • Andy said on 13th April 2012, 13:34

      Prisoner monkey, I agree with your point that not going would outright blame the government there; however such a statement might not be wrong. A government must always be responsible for problems like social unrest and must take the right steps to be sure that matters are settled. They clearly did not made the right steps and although some of the violence is not directly to blame for them, their actions did provoke those or gave a reason to some radical people to be violent. Therefore by not going and making a statement why, the f1 can point to the fact that the government IS responsible for the malcontent of its citizens.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 13th April 2012, 16:03

      I agree. Also, as @lak said in the Forums, I don’t think every day there are bombings and shootings all over Bahrain, it’s clear the protests are not so fierce and not so often seen. Also, I don’t think the Bahrainis would want to injure anyone of the F1 community, be it a driver or a press officer. If they are fighting for freedom, they should be the “good” ones and won’t harm anyone on purpose – and that means the government will have no one to battle. And they wouldn’t anyway risk of showing their actions on worldwide TV.

  8. Tomcat173 (@tomcat173) said on 13th April 2012, 3:51

    Who knows what the actual situation is like on the ground, but surely this has alot to do with money. No party wants to make the call to cancel the race because they screw themselves as a result.

    The race organiser wont cancel because they’ll pay many millions for a race that they dont get to hold. Bernie wont cancel because he wont receive millions if he decides to cancel. The teams arent going to cancel because they’ll lose out to any teams that do end up going. That leaves the FIA to make a logical decision!

  9. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 13th April 2012, 3:52

    Although I thought this would happen, I feel this will be an inviting oportunety for the opposition (or the general public who are protesting against the regime) to do something. They are continued to be ignored.

    I do agree with the Human Right Watch:

    “Human Rights Watch has warned Formula 1 that by holding next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix, it will be endorsing the kingdom’s regime despite claims that sport and politics don’t mix.”

    Also, if the GP goes ahead it will probably be under the influence of heavy police and/or possibally military around the area. Which is not a good idea.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 4:00

      @maksutov – Has anyone told Human Rights Watch that by not going to Bahrain, Formula 1 will be endorsing the protesters, despite claims that sport and poltiics do not mix?

      Of course not. HRW want to use the Grand Prix as a political tool just as much as the government does.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 13th April 2012, 4:24

        HRW want to use the Grand Prix as a political tool just as much as the government does.

        Well, I’d first warn you against attacking human rights groups, as their motives usually are quite, well… Attacking them looks bad for your argument.

        Secondly, this contradicts your claim that F1 shouldn’t be political. Pick an opinion one way or the other.

        I think it would be inappropriate for the FIA and Formula 1 to bow to the demands of the public and make some kind of political or moral statement.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 4:29

          So I’m supposed to ignore their political agenda because it’s more noble than someone else’s? Even though my stance is that there should be no politicalisation of the sport at all?

          • John H (@john-h) said on 13th April 2012, 21:32

            Even though my stance is that there should be no politicalisation of the sport at all?

            It’s such a naive stance though – it’s just dreamland. I must have read over 100 comments by you in the last week, some that make good sense but the ones that claim that we should go to Bahrain because sport and politics should be separate (but its ok if no-one is in danger) are just silly.

            Is your stance that we should have been racing in South Africa in 1986 then because sport should be separate from politics?

          • What exactly do you think “their political agenda” is????

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 13th April 2012, 4:24

        @prisoner-monkeys

        That is fair enough, and of course I somewhat understand why FIA has made the decission, but it is still a risky decision to make. I agree that it would be inappropriate for the FIA and Formula 1 to bow to the demands and threats. But can (and should they) the afford to ingnore it? I think this has gone pass the politics. The FIA should have made the decision not merely based on concern and risk to the sport, but also the staff and the overall F1 community who will arrive to watch in and outside of the track. Why take the risk.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 4:33

          The FIA should have made the decision not merely based on concern and risk to the sport, but also the staff and the overall F1 community who will arrive to watch in and outside of the track.

          Did you read John Yates’ comments from his briefing? He characterised the protests as small scuffles in outlying areas, far removed from anything Formula 1 would concern itself with. Teams, drivers, the media and spectators should be able to travel between the city and the circuit with no disruption.

          • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 13th April 2012, 5:04

            I think John Yates downplays the severity of the situation considerably. Spoken like a true police chief. He is not really concerned with why things are happening or if they are increasing or decreasing.

            Clearly if it is “small” it couldn’t have possibly made international news, especially not for the past year and half. Either way, I think Bahrain is an unnecessary risk, but we will just have to wait and hope for the best.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:10

            Clearly if it is “small” it couldn’t have possibly made international news, especially not for the past year and half.

            Actually, Bahrain only really re-emerged as headline news recently. Before March 22 – about a month before the race – there’s not much. In fact, there has probably been more on Bahrain in the past two weeks than there has been in the past six months.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 5:11

        @prisoner-monkeys

        Has anyone told Human Rights Watch that by not going to Bahrain, Formula 1 will be endorsing the protesters, despite claims that sport and poltiics do not mix?

        And which is the lesser of those two evils? The one where people’s lives are going to be put at risk, where protests will doubtless be initiated, where the police will be forced to control any trouble to convey a message of normality and peace? Or the one where they walk away and let the country sort out its issues rather than focusing on spending millions of dollars on a sport?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:15

          @damonsmedley – First, let me ask you a question: what do you think the Bahraini government’s response will be if the race is cancelled because of the political situation in the country?

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 5:16

            @Prisoner-Monkeys The same as last year, I would assume.

            Go on…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:18

            @damonsmedley – So, you don’t think that the government would not blame blame the protesters for costing them the race? Are you absolutely confident in that assessment?

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 5:22

            @Prisoner-Monkeys I’m not confident regarding anything to do with Bahrain!

            But if the race is cancelled, there will be a huge amount of media interest, so whether the Bahraini government would be under a huge amount of pressure. I doubt they’d want to put a foot wrong after one of the most immoral and greedy corporations on Earth pulls out of the deal.

            Personally, I prefer the option where protesters are heard and the world starts putting pressure on Bahrain to make changes.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 5:23

            @Prisoner-Monkeys Ignore the rogue “whether”. No idea what I was going to say there!

          • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 13th April 2012, 5:27

            @prisoner-monkeys – and what do you think they are going to do? Arrest and torture every single protester in Bahrain?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:36

            @damonsmedley – But you are confident that pulling out is the right thing to do, yes?

            @guilherme – No, of course not. Just the most active protesters.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 5:49

            @Prisoner-Monkeys I’m confident it’s a much better option than initiating more trouble. I’m also confident Bahrain will get more bad publicity if the race doesn’t go ahead as planned than if it were to be staged.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:51

            @damonsmedley – Who said it will initiate trouble? If everything that has been said about both sides is true, then it stands to reason that neither side will want to be the aggressor when the race goes ahead.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 6:00

            @Prisoner-Monkeys Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m right and you’re wrong, but how can you be confident there will be no trouble?

            Minority groups have already stated their intentions to disrupt the event, even if the majority of activists choose to stay out of it. I’m pretty certain there will be protests and disruptions on some scale. And the thing is, if they block a road but use no violence or weapons, it will be seen by the world as the police/government’s fault when they start making things violent.

            I’m seriously worried about every aspect of the weekend. People are allowed to be where they want to be, but the government isn’t going to want any F1 personnel even catching a glimpse of their opposition’s supporters. I can see a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes that we may not even hear of.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 13th April 2012, 4:44

      More troubling is that the GP will be inviting to the jihadists who want maximum mayhem so as to introduce their version of an Islamist world.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 4:56

        @hohum – Do you think the Bahraini government is just going to leave the teams to their own devices once they arrive in the country? And do you have any credible evidence that jihadists will try and attack the race?

        There are just two access roads to the circuit, which is up against (and may even be on) military road. If a security checkpoint is needed, it would not be difficult to control the circuit.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th April 2012, 6:24

          @prisoner-monkeys, how many security can the field though? Sure, the drivers and team principals will be guarded. As will FIA officials.

          But there’s over 2000 people who would all have to be under tight security for 5 days minimum. Not to mention the GP2 people who will stay even longer.
          In that time, its almost inevitable that there will be attempts at demonstrating, handing over petitions, blocking roads, up to kidnapping throwing molotov cocktails and even bombing, as @hohum rightly points out.
          If they cannot reach the more prominent, it will just mean others will be targeted as well.
          After all, when will the opposition to the regime get another chance to highlight their cause on as prominent a stage as the Grand Prix? This is a chance they cannot miss.

  10. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th April 2012, 4:07

    This is what the FIA seem to be ignoring, though; the fact the citizens of Bahrain — people that aren’t working in F1 — are actually human beings too.

    They keep reassuring us that everyone’s going to be safe, but they completely ignore the fact people are going to be protesting. I’ve said it before, but what if activists block the roads to the circuit? Sure, the F1 personnel might be safe, but both the police and protesters are going to be in grave danger. If someone gets injured, it’s something the FIA could have avoided. But I don’t think they’d even care if a Bahraini citizen was killed. But the world will. So is it worth that?

    Now tell me, how is this being apolitical? How is this staying out of things? Bernie and the FIA had better pray nothing goes wrong or there’s going to be people getting fired and a huge amount of bad press. Endangering lives for a motor race doesn’t seem to be an issue unless of course the people involved with said motor race are in danger, it seems.

  11. Glenn (@glenn) said on 13th April 2012, 5:01

    all other things aside, @prisoner-monkeys I want you to answer this question truthfully..

    If you had an all expense paid trip to the Bahrain GP this year. Would you go?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 5:08

      @glenn – Yes, if only to gather information about the actual state of affairs in the country.

      • Glenn (@glenn) said on 13th April 2012, 6:25

        At the risk of your life? For a sport? Which could be avoided? This is the situation that everyone in the F1 paddock is in.. The FIA are making not a political but a safety decision to send the F1 circus and all the people in F1 we care for in the sport into a dangerous situation.

        They cannot guarantee anyone’s safety outside of the track. No matter what the reports are, with the world’s eye upon Bahrain, protesters will ramp up their efforts and do whatever they can “to make noise” for their cause and bring awareness. Their best chance at getting attention is on the way to them next week..

        You’d be a fool to think that they will not seize the moment and in turn make the situation on the ground very unstable and dangerous for everyone involved.

        • xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 13th April 2012, 6:42

          They can never guarantee anyone’s safety outside the track regardless of where they are. Several Sauber engineers were robbed at gunpoint in Brazil in 2010, and Button’s car was approached by gunmen during the same weekend. The odds cant be any worse for the teams heading into Bahrain, in fact since they are aware of the unrest everyone will probably take more precautions.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 6:43

          @glenn – And you would be a fool to think that the government will simply stand aside and let the protesters do whatever they wanted to.

          I acknowledge that there is a risk in going to Bahrain. Just as there is a risk in going to Indonesia, where I could contract dengue fever. But if I stay out of the jungles in Indonesia, I won’t get sick – in the same way that I won’t get hurt if I stay out of the worst-affected areas of Bahrain.

          But mostly, I would go to Bahrain for the sake of a fact-finding mission. Because that’s the one thing that nobody on this blog (except LAK) has: actual information that they themselves have collected. We’re only getting hearsay, and as both sides – government and opposition – have an agenda, it’s questionable as to how much we can trust everything they tell us.

          • mvi said on 13th April 2012, 7:18

            Well, looks like you and the FIA think alike on this one. They claim to have made their decision on the basis of safety for the participants (mainly foreigners) of the event taking place. And nothing outside the event. So we expect a tight lock-down.

            You have mentioned several times that facts about the situation in Bahrain are lacking. It would help if they let journalists in freely. Have you read the BICI report? Do you keep up with reports from reporters who do manage to get in, e.g. Al-Jazeera? FIA has sent in people to have a look, yet we don’t trust what they say because they are foreigners guided around by the ruling family. Would any tourist (or dignitary from the FIA or even you) get a real chance to communicate with the ordinary Bahrainis, such as those in the impoverished villages? As far as that goes, do any privileged Bahrainis do that?

            I do think human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are the best ones for information when it comes to security of individuals in the civilian population.

          • Booked your ticket yet then?

  12. Wooolfy said on 13th April 2012, 6:12

    People it’s very simple. This year we race, last year the race was cancelled for whatever reason. Both statements made. I believe that safety was a vital part of the decision also. Racing there will bring voice to their plight and you may have noticed on every F1 blog.

  13. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 13th April 2012, 6:30

    Poor decision. The FIA and the teams might think F1 has nothing to do with politics, but in this case the GP is a political instrument. The Bahraini authorities will use it to show the whole world that everything is fine in their country, that it is run well, that it is safe to live there, and that the opposition is wrong.

    I won’t be part of it, I won’t watch this race, and I recommend every F1Fanatic to do so. There won’t be much to lose : it won’t be a great race anyway. And I guess, there are plenty other good things to do on a Sunday afternoon.

    • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 13th April 2012, 8:37

      Guess with the same moral stance you wont watch China GP too?

      • Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 13th April 2012, 21:03

        The main difference between Bahrain and other authoritarian countries is that there is an active opposition in this country. Organizing a race in Bahrain is taking side with the regime, and sending a message saying that the opposition is wrong, it is right they are oppressed by the authorities, because if the country can organise a race without any trouble, that means it is run well, and it doesn’t need radical changes. I don’t want F1 to deliver this false message.

    • Mustalainen (@mustalainen) said on 13th April 2012, 14:22

      You know what, I’ll take it a step further. I will change my facebook profile picure to a cute kitten to show my support for the Bahraini protesters.

      And I recommend every F1Fanatic to do so too!

      @evribadi

  14. Girts (@girts) said on 13th April 2012, 7:04

    I also believe that the race should go on. F1 made the decision to go to undemocratic countries many years ago and now we are just seeing the consequences. Unless they plan to refuse from races in Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, China and probably a couple of other countries, it’s just double standards. What is more, I find some tactics of Bahrain opposition disgusting, for instance, openly threatening the F1 fraternity and using small children in their actions.

    • me262 said on 13th April 2012, 9:43

      Does double standards make the Bahrain GP right to go ahead? or did you want the chinese GP cancelled first? The world is full of double standards…where do you start? suppose far worse is happening in the world than Bahrain GP

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th April 2012, 7:39

    The teams are happy for the race to go ahead. That really should go a long way towards easing doubts.

    • DB Cooper said on 13th April 2012, 12:11

      You are making it pretty easy for your own arguments to hold. I do not think that team personnel, FIA, VIPs, and other special guests will be at harms end. The problem, besides the Bahrainis themselves, is “the others”, that is the international F1-fans. They will not have special protection. Thev stay at hotels in different locations. They get around Bahrain without armed guards protecting their back. They may, and quite probably will get stuck in protests. Do you really think that the protests will stay in small villages far from international TV coverage? Of course not, the protests will take place more centrally, and closer to all tourists passing by. Thats the major risk. These are the people, besides Bahrainis, who will risk their lives. But since Bernie, FIA, and you state thall all is good, then there we are, lets wait and see. Hopefully no violence and no killings.

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