In the round-up: As international media attention focuses on Bahrain, Bernie Ecclestone makes a surprising announcement about the New Jersey Grand Prix.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“Maybe the New York race will be 2013. It’s a when – 2013 or 2014.”
“Mourners chanted anti-government slogans and criticised Bahrain’s hosting the Formula One Grand Prix this weekend.”
More video of the protests in Bahrain.
“This was the more acceptable face of protesting in Bahrain as a 5,000-strong crowd made their voices heard without resorting to throwing petrol bombs and stones at riot police.”
“In recent months, the Bahraini authorities have become more concerned with re-building their image and investing in public relations than with actually introducing real human rights and political reforms in their country. Indeed, for the authorities, much is at stake. They are keen to portray Bahrain as a stable and secure country in order to stave off international criticism. But as the country prepares to host the Formula 1 Grand Prix on 20-22 April, after the event was cancelled last year in response to the instability in the country, daily anti-government protests continue to be violently suppressed by the riot police that uses tear gas recklessly and with fatal results. Acts of violence by some protesters against the police have also considerably increased in the last three months.”
“‘I am fighting for my future,’ he told me as we careered down narrow streets. ‘Formula One belongs to the rulers, not to us. It is not wanted because they will tell the world everything is normal in Bahrain, but it is not. This is the real Bahrain ?óÔé¼ÔÇØ the bullets and the teargas and they don?óÔé¼Ôäót want anyone to see or know.'”
“I was given the opportunity by Speed, my employers, not to attend the Bahrain Grand Prix. But I have decided that I will. I have made that much clear both in this blog and on Twitter.”
“With this protest the last for the dead cameraman, I was told, the focus would turn on Formula 1. The authorities have not helped that in using the banner ‘UniF1ed’ in all their promotional material. To some F1 and the ruling monarchy are the same thing.”
“With a year?óÔé¼Ôäós understanding under their belt and the newly confirmed status as the RenaultSport factory team, the RB8 has taken a step forwards in KERS packaging. Now the energy storage appears to be slightly revised, with the unit inside the gearbox swapped for floor mounted units.”
“Newey seemed to be spending most of his time on Webber’s side of the garage rather than Vettel’s. Adrian is not someone interested in looking backwards. His focus will be on unlocking the greater potential of the revised car and as such he will have been far more interested in Webber’s progress in China than Vettel’s.”
“Webber told me a ‘little lift’ of the accelerator was enough to bring the car back down again. For those watching, it was a heart-stopping moment. But Webber obviously did not dwell on it long – in the very next sector of the lap, he set his fastest time of the race so far.”
“In a bid to ensure that teams are also not disadvantaged by bad weather at Silverstone, they will be able to pull out of the running if it looks like the test will be a washout.”
“Schumacher’s F1-2000, which may fetch AUS $1.1 million, was raced in the Austrian Grand Prix in 2000, when it retired on the first lap following a collision.”
Comment of the day
Dan_the_McLaren_fan on the Amnesty report linked above:
It?óÔé¼Ôäós truly astonishing to see what is going on with my favourite sport.
Everyone in F1 is calling for security. I don?óÔé¼Ôäót think the protesters have a strong desire to murder every driver, mechanic and spectator. The only purpose of the army protection would be to keep protestors away: that way they won?óÔé¼Ôäót disturb the race, no TV can film them, and they can all suffer and die in silence. What everyone will see is a F1 race in a calm state where law and order reign.
Utterly disgusted by this situation!
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Happy birthday to Alan and Consi!
On this day in F1
Jochen Rindt would have turned 70 today. He died during practice for the 1970 Italian Grand Prix and won the world championship posthumously later that year.