Fears over Bahrain Grand Prix backlash

F1 Fanatic round-up

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004In the round-up: Tensions rise in Bahrain and images of Bernie Ecclestone are burned after the FIA confirms the race will go ahead.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bloodshed feared as Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix given go-ahead (The Guardian)

“There’s going to be popping champagne corks, live concerts and parties, in the middle of the island, which is a huge provocation to the families of victims who have been killed, and those of hundreds of political prisoners.”

View from Bahrain: ‘Safe? They use so much tear gas we can hardly breathe’ (The Independent)

“‘I invite [Bahraini Interior Ministry advisor John] Yates and his family to come and live in my village… where there is violence and tear gas every day,’ says Ali Mahdi al-Aswad, a former Bahraini MP.”

BIC response to statement from the FIA (Bahrain International Circuit)

“BIC has been clear throughout recent weeks and months that the security situation in Bahrain is suitable for the staging of a major sporting event.”

Human rights in Bahrain – Media briefing (Amnesty International)

“Holding the Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2012 risks being interpreted by the government of Bahrain as symbolising a return to business as usual. The international community must not turn a blind eye to the ongoing human rights crisis in the country. The government must understand that its half-hearted measures are not sufficient – sustained progress on real human rights reform remains essential.”

Really, Bernie? As pics of F1 chief are torched in trouble-hit Bahrain, Ecclestone claims Gulf kingdom is ‘quiet and peaceful’ with green light for Grand Prix (Daily Mail)

“Pictures of Bernie Ecclestone have been burnt in Bahrain as the F1 supremo insists it is safe to stage next week’s grand prix in the troubled Gulf kingdom.”

And on the streets in Bahrain… (Joe Saward)

“The FIA issued a statement on Friday morning Shanghai time and a few hours later Bernie Ecclestone held a five minute meeting with team bosses in Shanghai. No-one voiced any complaints at the meeting, but afterwards many of them said that in reality they had no choice but to go and were not happy about the situation.”

Bahrain Grand Prix Splits the Kingdom (The New York Times)

“Protests flared Friday as several thousand Bahrainis marched after an announcement that the race would take place. ??Down with Hamad!?? chanted some marchers, referring to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, Reuters reported. Several other rallies were planned.”

Bahraini youth vow ‘three days of rage’ during Formula 1 (YouTube)

Why F1 shouldn?t go to Bahrain (MotorSport)

“Now that the race seems as though it will go ahead we can only hope that it happens without any problems for Formula 1 or the citizens of Bahrain. If something does happen it will be very hard for F1 to recover its integrity. The race will bring much-needed funds to the country, and of course the ??40 million fee to Formula One Management, but if ever there was a time to put everyone?s safety over money, this is it.”

Sponsors fear backlash from public if race gets go-ahead (The Times, subscription required)

“‘The sponsors will effectively just have to follow the sport,’ Tim Bampton, an executive at Just Marketing International, the motorsports marketing company, said. ‘They will have to watch and wait to see what happens even though they could be caught in the vortex.'”

The Daily Cartoon (The Independent)

Another take on the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Chinese GP – Conference 2 (FIA)

Paddy Lowe: “We were able to notice a problem as a result of analysing some oil samples that showed a problem that?s developing in the rear of [Lewis Hamilton's] gearbox. It could still work but the risk of a failure during the race itself is too great and a much greater penalty from that than would come from a five grid-place penalty.”

Montezemolo optimistic “Ferrari like a little ant” (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

“I spoke to Fernando Alonso yesterday and he told me we are behaving like ants, bringing a few grains of wheat home and then if it rains so much the better.”

Byron Young via Twitter

“Sauber has apparently suggested to Perez’s rather excitable father that he might like to stay away from GPs and watch his son race from home.”

BBC launches next-generation sport app on connected TVs (BBC)

“Initially focusing on Formula 1, the BBC Sport app will bring all the race action together in one place, with live streams, on-demand video and additional content. During races that are covered live on BBC One, fans won?t miss a second of the race, with access to alternative options such as on-board cameras which take the viewer to the heart of the action and the ??driver tracker? that shows where each car is on the circuit. As well as the races themselves, there will be full coverage of practice and qualifying sessions.”

Noted engineer Bill Stone dies (Autosport)

“Bill Stone, a key figure in the histories of racing car constructors March and Reynard, died earlier this week at the age of 72.”

A telemetry inspired view of the China F1 circuit: Jenson Button, 2011 (F1 Data Junkie via Posterous)

“The data was captured from the McLaren Live Telemetry Dashboard during the race.”

F1 Betting: Should you bet against Hamilton in China? (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.

Predictions Championship

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Comment of the day

Joey-Poey on the FIA’s self-serving statement on Bahrain:

“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”.
Joey-Poey

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won his third race in four starts at the beginning of 2002, leading home team mate Rubens Barrichello by 17 seconds in the San Marino Grand Prix.

With the nearest non-Ferrari almost 20 seconds in arrears – Ralf Schumacher’s Williams – it was becoming clear there would be little competition for the championship.

Here’s the other Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya in action during the race:

Image ?? Tilke Gmbh

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22 comments on Fears over Bahrain Grand Prix backlash

  1. weebtt said on 14th April 2012, 4:02

    scare mongering at its best :lol:

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 4:07

    Scheduling it in the first place was a big mistake. Now its turned on full attention of how the F1 sporting governance works. Curious to see if anyone now puts the FIA to the test on their being political in court as well.

    Surely this will mean the Bahraini opposition will do all it can to show how they are able to rally protest marches and will bring out anyone who would fancy an aggressive attack.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 14th April 2012, 10:43

      @BasCB, it may not be the opposition that bring out the aggressive attacks, there are plenty of people in the mid-east interested in creating chaos especially if they can link it to western decadence.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 14:17

        As you write, the opposition bringing on all they can to show they oppose the race and the aggressive attacks do not have to originate from the same people.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th April 2012, 4:12

    Even if the situation is OK, and the race goes ahead without problems, this is a massive step back for F1. The whole world is picking up the news and I bet 90% of the people must be saying: “how dare they go and celebrate a Grand Prix with the situation over there!”.

    Not good. And certainly not good for the bahrainies, as this is also a setback to their protests and the race shows a different, much brighter situation than the real thing…

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 4:14

    By the way, I am not sure that Finnish TV not going in is a big one. But having Japanese TV budging out is quite something and surely the fact that Sky Germany is staying home is a very strong signal.

    • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 14th April 2012, 5:16

      Finnish MTV3 not going is a big deal, as the “expert” commentator Erkki Mustakari will ruin his record streak of 300+ consecutive GP weekends attended. :P

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 5:24

        Hm, yeah guess I overlooked how much Finland is into F1 for decades now, what with having had a top driver almost constantly since the 80’s.

        So that makes it 3 big ones budging out of it.

  5. Guelph (@guelph) said on 14th April 2012, 4:31

    Never a good sign when the first 11 links are not about this weekend’s race.

  6. Mike (@mike) said on 14th April 2012, 4:32

    When the Bahrain GP goes ahead I won’t be saying “I told you so” only on account of the scale of the disaster.

  7. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 14th April 2012, 4:55

    The only entertaining event in the race will probably a few streakers taking to the track when the race is on……Hope it does happen :)

  8. Asif (@f1bettings) said on 14th April 2012, 4:59

    5 minute meeting? Sounds like a dictatorship with Ecclestone.

    • David BR (@david-br) said on 14th April 2012, 5:12

      No. The teams seem to be accepting this mad decision to race in Bahrein for financial reasons – to avoid breach of contract. But this will be no justification if the situation explodes during the race weekend, people get seriously injured or die. The reaction against everyone involved with Formula 1 will be enormous (and in my view justified). The teams will only be to excuse themselves as ethical cowards who put finance above people’s lives and above some basic values like freedom and democracy. And if a tragedy does unfold, how exactly will Ecclestone personally be damaged? Precisely. He has nothing to lose. And evidently cares little or nothing about the consequences for others. Shameful all round.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 5:17

    Ferrari seem to be in for a really big amount of work to get to the front – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17710720

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 5:26

    Another interesting link on the subject of Bahrain – James Allen: Uncomfortable reaction to F1 desicion

  11. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 14th April 2012, 6:46

    The Jenson Button telemetry track maps are awesome, you could almost see where he stopped in Red Bull’s pit!

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 9:06

    After that hilariously inappropriate Lotus press release, Joe Saward now seems to have gotten a bit more things confirmed on their actual situation, showing that their “facts” were litrally true, but not quite the full picture.
    Good thorough job of reporting on the matter.

  13. Oni (@oni) said on 14th April 2012, 13:34

    All this Bahrain turmoil talk is just to distract us from the boooring racing that is going to happen there anyways.

    F1 shouldn’t go there, protest or no protest.

  14. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 15:20

    Hm @keithcollantine, do you remember we discussed that “out of the blue” message on the Sauber?
    Seems Dimi PAPADOPOULOS ‏ has some information about what it is about (via @f1enigma):

    I have the feeling that the good news for Sauber will emerge when the name of this BLUE sponsor comes out :)

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