Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2012

Two Force India staff leave Bahrain after petrol bomb explosion

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2012In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg says “we shouldn’t have been put in this position” as two Force India team members return home after a petrol bomb explosion in Bahrain.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 mechanics flee Bahrain after petrol bomb attack during street protest (The Independent)

“Two mechanics from the Force India Formula 1 racing team fled Bahrain today after their colleagues were nearly engulfed by a petrol bomb.”

Bahrain Grand Prix: Hulkenberg questions decision to race (BBC)

“We shouldn’t have been put in this position […] Whether it is right or not I don’t really know. It’s difficult to say. I am not a politician, I am a Formula 1 driver, but it should not really be happening should it?”

Force India vow to race despite petrol bomb (The Telegraph)

Paul di Resta: “It’s a difficult one isn’t it. I’m sure it’s affecting everybody at the moment, the actions that have happened. I’ve not spoken to everybody within the team, but there is some concern and some people have felt it a bit more than others.”

Syria crisis, Bahrain unrest – as it happened (The Guardian)

“Foreign journalists have been barred from Bahrain in the run-up to the race, including journalists with the Associated Press, Sky News and Agence France-Presse.”

Bombs fears increase for F1 in Bahrain (The Times, subscription required)

“Force India have fitted electronic trackers to their cars. Teams and leading media organisations, such as the BBC, are removing entry passes from the windscreens of their cars and minibuses as they leave the circuit and taking off or covering branded clothing. They are also now travelling in convoy on the highways, under orders to ‘stick together’.”

Companies shun Bahrain Grand Prix hospitality (Reuters)

“Western companies are opting not to entertain clients and partners at the Bahrain Grand Prix following calls for sponsors to boycott the event because of political turmoil.”

Protests over the Bahrain Grand Prix 2012

Responses from F1 teams and sponsors asked to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Bahrain Travel Advice (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Details of planned protests in Bahrain this weekend.

Bahrain International Circuit via Twitter

“‘I’ve come here for the sport’ – two times Bahrain F1 winner, Felipe Massa. Great to have you and Ferrari here.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Good to see Autosport “vehemently disagree with our sport being used for political subterfuge”. I agree. (Quote from today’s issue, couldn’t find it on the website).”

FIA press conference (Sky, UK only)

Video of yesterday’s press conference.

World Champions dodge Bahrain safety questions (Adam Cooper)

Fernando Alonso: “We are here because the decision made by people who had all the information in their hands, the FIA etc, so we are following their instructions. If we are here it?s because everyone thinks we safe to be here, so no problem. But obviously we need all the information about this incident, etc.”

Hamilton delighted with consistency (Autosport)

“The target every year is to have consistency and some years it doesn’t go to plan. But this year I am fortunate to be on the podium at each of the three races, so it’s fantastic.”

Analysis – Mercedes’ ‘double DRS’ system in full (F1)

“This drawing shows Mercedes’ clever ‘double DRS’ system in its entirety.”

F1 2012 Preview: Staying on Track (EuroGamer)

“Helping that cause is the one new feature that Codemasters is happy to fully disclose right now, with the Young Driver Test serving as an introduction to the deeper end of the sport. It’s accessibility that’s also about authenticity.”

Comment of the day

I’ve seen quite a few comments from people avoiding this weekend’s race – here’s one from Lopek:

Given my views, I think to watch it ?ǣ and so to support it indirectly ?ǣ would be completely hypocritical. I won?t be. It will be the first race in my life that I can remember missing through choice ?ǣ 30-plus years of viewing starting with dad as young kid.

I?ve watched every session live since the practice sessions started being shown live, no matter the time of night. I plan my (self employed) work schedule around the Friday sessions. My holidays are fitted in the gaps in the season….

From the forum

Site updates

For reasons not relating to the situation in Bahrain this weekend, I will not be writing the practice reports today.

Instead I am very pleased to confirm Will Wood will be taking charge of them today. Many of you already know Will, who has posted on here before as Magnificent Geoffrey.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jacob!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Phil Hill, who won the world championship in 1961, was born 85 years ago today.

Hill died in 2008.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-up

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  • 170 comments on “Two Force India staff leave Bahrain after petrol bomb explosion”

    1. whya re you called ‘geoffrey’ Will?

      1. I’m not sure I feel comfortable knowing his real name. It seems wrong somehow.

        1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
          20th April 2012, 0:31

          I agree completely, he will always be the Magnificent Geoffrey to me

      2. You know your an F1 Fanatic Fanatic when you remember Mag Geoff saying he’s named after a giant goldfish at his school…. :O

        1. @calum Say whaaaaaat? O.O

          1. won’t be reading them, nobody can beat the standard of Keith’s articles.

            1. @formula-1 It’s not case of ‘beating’ Keith’s articles, it’s a case of filling in for Keith when he is not available to write. All writers have different strengths, and I feel @magnificent-geoffrey‘s articles will be equally good as Keith’s, having read his work in the past. Immediately stating that you will not even read the articles that he posts I feel is both immature and the wrong thing to do. At least give him a chance, mate.

            2. I’m with @jonnyw360f1 on this one. Keith has got a top class writer filling in for him today. No question about that.

            3. I did read it and it was immature, it was just that Keith does always an A* job and I was not sure what to expect, however I did read it and was impressed by the standard of it, if I did not know, I would have said it was Keith’s, sorry and well done @magnificentgeoffrey

            4. @jonnyw360f1 @spud I concur with both your statements.

    2. The **** is really going to hit the double diffuser if they are not carefull

      1. What?? That is blatantly politically biased! Those mechanics are neither political scientists nor security experts, why can’t they leave their off-track statements to experts? The have made a political statement which could set a dangerous precedent, what if the people of Monaco protest against the GP because of the traffic congestion it causes, what then??

        And this:

        “Foreign journalists have been barred from Bahrain in the run-up to the race, including journalists with the Associated Press, Sky News and Agence France-Presse.”

        What right does the international media, or human rights organisations, or international bodies, or anybody whatsoever, have to enter Bahrain and fabricate news when everybody knows that Bahrein is a peaceful country with a loving, caring government?? They are obviously “on drugs,” or they have been brainwashed by propaganda, or they have an agenda.

        and…I would like to remind you all that all countries have the responsibility to protect themselves and their citizens from vandals, criminals (& “rats, alley by alley and house by house”). Just like in the UK after the riots… that’s right, Bahrain is just like the UK… except that it’s a bit sunnier.

        In future I suggest leaving the statements to those on the ground, cracking skulls. Those who really know whose skull they are cracking, chucking in jail, threatening to rape, torturing, and incarcerating for extended periods. Anyone else’s words are just uniformed speculation or criminal/terrorist propaganda.

        Anyway, I hope you really really enjoy the race guys. I KNOW I will.

        1. You’re right. The protesters should be brutalised repeatedly with blows to the head from rifle buts. They’re very bad people I guess.

        2. Actually, is Valencia on the calendar this year? I assume so.

          Well, I believe the race is being subsidised by a regional government which is virtually bankrupt and which has been the focus of various corruption scandals. Not only that, its inclusion in the calendar was part of a political game revolving around regional elections and agreements with FOM. So, these protests in Bahrain could well set a precedent, or at least they probably ought to.

    3. Wonder what Bernie would have said if those mechanics had been hurt or worse even killed?
      This will be an interesting conversation till the usual trolls get in here.

      1. That’s easy enough to envisage. He’d say something like this.

        “Safety and security is the responsibility of the FIA and the circuit organisers and I am sure they will learn from this tragedy; it would be inappropriate of me to comment further and prejudge the investigation into these terrible events.”

        1. Ecclestone is a simple man in many ways. Having come from nothing he is overwhelmed by the grace and favour he is showed by the world’s uber rich and poweful people. Princes and Kings, Monaco, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi…… Most people think its about money for Bernie, it’s not. It is about continually being on the world stage. For a little man (in more ways than one) and he is completely intoxified by this attention.

          And for those who think we’ll get by until he passes on, characters like Ecclestone have a staying power beyond other mere mortals. He needs to be ousted.

          1. I do love it when people who have never met Bernie think they can provide insight to his innermost desires and motivations. Even a psychiatrist would need to have an actual conversation with him before diagnosing any underlying issues. But not the armchar expert! No, you know Bernie better than he knows himself, don’t you?

            Personally, I would like to see you meet him. You wouldn’t last two seconds before he had you for breakfast.

            1. (@prisoner-monkeys hahaha you could have cut the lad some slack.

            2. I’ve met him. Sevral times

            3. We only have your word on that. And based on your behavior so far, I’m not inclined to believe a word you say.

            4. I do love it when people who have never met Bernie think they can provide insight to his innermost desires and motivations. Even a psychiatrist would need to have an actual conversation with him before diagnosing any underlying issues.

              O.o PM, your standard MO is to assume you know what motivates people’s opinions without a shred of evidence. Do try to take yourself just a little less seriously – it might help you to notice when you’re being unintentionally funny.

            5. @prisoner-monkeys That’s the life of a “celebrity”. Who’s met Lewis Hamilton here? How many have provided “insight to his innermost desires and motivations”? It’s not a Bernie thing my friend, just ask Barack Obama, George Bush, Seb Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nicolas Sarkozy or Bin Laden! People form their opinions based on what they see these folks do in public, people’s judgment can be right or wrong but who cares? It’s life.

            6. PM, your standard MO is to assume you know what motivates people’s opinions without a shred of evidence

              No, my MO – if I have one – is to speculate as to what someone’s motives might be, given the circumstances in which certain comments or decisions were made.

              There’s a big difference between that and claiming that you know someone well enough that you can state that you know what they were doing for a fact. I find it very strange that thejudge13 has never mentioned that he has ever had anything to do with Bernie Ecclestone until someone challenges him on his assessment of Bernie’s motives. Then, suddenly, he has met Ecclestone – not only once, but several times! And evidently, he’s met Bernie so often and knows him so well that Bernie tells thejudge13 everything that he doesn’t tell the rest of the world, and then goes ahead and diagnoses him with a narcissitic personality disorder. Of course, we’ve only got thejudge13’s word that all of these meetings took place. Heaven forbid that he might back up his claims with something tangible.

            7. Ecclestone might possibly be a simple man (most likely) in many (or some) possible ways. (maybe). In a speculative, non-definite sense of course!

              Is that how his comment should have started PM?


            8. For the sake of argument

              my MO – if I have one – is to speculate as to what someone’s motives might be

              that’s a rather fine distinction that’s easy to shift one way or the other depending on which side you’re speaking from, yes?

              I find it very strange that thejudge13 has never mentioned that he has ever had anything to do with Bernie Ecclestone until someone challenges him on his assessment of Bernie’s motives. Then, suddenly, he has met Ecclestone – not only once, but several times! And evidently, he’s met Bernie so often and knows him so well that Bernie tells thejudge13 everything that he doesn’t tell the rest of the world, and then goes ahead and diagnoses him with a narcissitic personality disorder.

              All I can say about that is that some things are just not worth getting worked up about. It’s the internet. It’s F1. It’s an anonymous comment about Bernie Ecclestone. As good ole’ Wil said: ‘it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’. I don’t want to presume to tell you how to live, but it might not be a bad idea to go outside, chit chat with a neighbour, have a beer or a nice mint tea depending on your disposition – you know, just chill out and let some things pass by.

            9. @Prisoner-Monkeys If that’s the logic you’ll apply to everything, no-one would be able to have an opinion on anything. I shouldn’t think I’d have to meet a murderer before making up my mind over whether or not I agree with killing people, for example.

          2. He’ll say exactly what @Ilanin sez cuz he is mortal and a lil person.

      2. This will be an interesting conversation until the usual trolls get in here

        I hate it when people say things like this. someone saying something that disagrees with your opinion is not trolling.

        1. Really so the fact a conversation which started about Team members being caught up in a firebomb and tear gas attack has dissolved in attacking the opinion of what someone might say isn’t trolling the thread?

    4. Really, is it worth it?

      1. No, no it’s not worth the risk. They shouldn’t be there.

        1. apparently it is. otherwise they wouldnt be there. money talks, and people do crazy things for it. so in that sense it is worth it.

    5. Bizarre situation whereby sky new journalists aren’t allowed into the country but sky sports are. Pretty indicative that Bahrain fears journalists revealing/reporting the true situation. They must be relieved that the sports journalists who wandered around protests for the last couple of days will have to be kept busy with their real speciality from here on.

      1. Worry is F1 journalists fear Bernie Ecclestone will revoke their press passes.

        1. Disgusting.

          1. Bernie doesn’t have any control over the press passes. The FIA does. There’s a whole department of the FIA dedicated to certifying journalists as approved to attend races and issuing press passes.

            The approval process mostly relates to a journalist’s ability to follow the rules. Motorsport is dangerous, and so the FIA like to keep the press in safe areas around the circuit (you will notice that the photos from the races are usually only take from a handful of locations). We saw this in Shanghai when the marshalls kicked a group of people out of an area they were not supposed to be in. So getting accreditation with the FIA means that a journalist has to show that they are a journalist and that they can observe the FIA’s safety standards. The last thing the sport needs is an irresponsible journalist ignoring warnings and getting himself injured or killed because of it.

            1. I must say, I agree with you on this one.
              If you want an FIA pass, you are covering an FIA event ant not going out to bait a mob.
              Irrespective of if we agree with the race taking place or not, the primary objective and the standard proceedures have to be conformed with.

            2. And BE and the FIA are firmly in bed together. Bernie bought the commercial rights for F1 in 2004 for $1m a year. The income then was around $1bn. Thta’s a pretty friendly deal.

              If Bernie wants you out, you’re in trouble

          2. Also, they’re sports journalists. They specialise in writing about sport. Given the complexity of issues in the Middle East – particularly the unique mix of politics and religion – it would be very easy for someone who is not intimately familiar with the wider implications of the situation to misrepresent something. Despite your constant attempts to dumb the situation down to moral extremes, Mike, I think you will find that you could study Middle Eastern politics for a lifetime and still find yourself having to tread carefully in what you write.

            For example, in Bahrain, the Sunni minority rule the Shia masses. In Syria, the opposite holds true: the Shia rule, and the Sunni form the minority. So, if Formula 1 were to publicly support the protesters in Bahrain, what would stop someone like Bashar al-Assad – the Syrian president – from taking that as an endorsement of the Shia denomination, and dig his heels in further, leading to more trouble in Syria?

            This is why Formula 1 journalists shouldn’t stray too far from Formula 1, unless they are confident that they know what they are talking about. And even then, discretion is the greater part of valour. I don’t know anything about how the American health care system works, so I don’t go writing essays on why America needs a universal health care system.

            To make matters worse, you’re taking thejudge13’s word for it that Bernie will revoke the press priveliges of any journalist who does not report on Bahrain. There is no evidence of this.

            1. Prisoner Monkeys, I’d like to apologise for calling you an apologist for the Bahrain Monarchy the other day. I forgot to add defender of Ecclestone and supporter of restrictions on a free press.

            2. Your sarcasm is noted. As is your anonymity. What’s the matter? Afraid I might be able to address you directly by tagging you in a post?

            3. There isn’t any complexity about the situation in the middle east. It’s very straight forward so even a sports-journalist could figure it out. The people are oppressed by greedy, absolute, power hungry governments. It’s as simple as that. There’s torture, no freedom of speech, you speak up go you’re vaporated. If you’re against the government, you’re terrorist. Wether you’re peaceful, aggressive, talented speaker, stone-thrower, you’re going away.
              The complexity is if F1 should be racing there or not.

            4. There isn’t any complexity about the situation in the middle east.

              I’m not even going to dignify that with a response.

              Except to say that I’m not going to dignify it with a response.

            5. @prisoner-monkeys I may not agree with you all the time, and I don’t like how you can come off as a bit abrasive, but I admire your conviction to your beliefs and your poise in the face of all the ad hominem attacks that have been directed your way int eh last 2 weeks by people that have only shown up on F1F in the last 2 weeks and attack anyone who thinks the race should go on.

            6. @prisoner-monkeys, that’s not complex. Dictators act the same way anywhere, doesn’t matter if it’s a monarchy or fake democracy. Level of opression varies but it’s not a location thing, it’s the same in Africa, Latin America, Mid-East or Europe.

              Get the money, make sure your kids and friends have a lavish life and build a ridiculous yatch for your annual Saint Barth’s vacations and never forget to BLAME AMERICA for your local social problems.

            7. @jcost – So you think that the imbalance of power between the Sunni and Shi’ite denominations, which is present in just about every Islamic nation, is entirely incidental here in Bahrain?

            8. I have to agree too with Monkeys here; you can boil the decision of the FIA to go there down to money, but the social unrest there has a huge complexity. It’s something you’ll see around here. No dictator is the same; look at Hitler: a disgrace for humanity itself, but you cannot deny he cared for his people.

            9. Ask Adam Cooper, long standing F1 Journo about this. Ask him if he know’s of anyone who has fallen foul of Mr. E and mysteriously not been granted a renewal on their press. (I’m not inferring this happened to Adam).

              twitter @adamcooperf1

            10. @Andy “Hitler…cared for his people”. I posit you may be in a small minority of social or political hisotrians sharing this view

            11. Let me make myself clear that I am far from a hitlerfan of any kind. What he did is a stain on the history of mankind. What I meant with “his” people are the “pure bred” germans. He really did it from an ideologic point of view and that makes it a bit more complex then several other dictators who are just in it for the wealth. Again I’d like to stress on the point that I am NOT a hitler-sympathetist. It was just an example to why dictators are not the same.

            12. @prisoner-monkeys, the minority in power thing is a “natural” defense of the regime. They will always have some kind of shield. Some countries, like mine where the president is 32 years in power, they appease military heads to prevent coups and keep business as usual. In Bahrain, rulers seen shiite majority as a threat to their power and whoever on their payroll, that’s what they fighting for, they’re not fighting for the Bahraini people. PM, I guess you’ve lived all your life under democratic regimes where political battles do not involve blood but words and incumbent is not always right. That’s not the case of Bahrain until there’s enough people to cross the fear barrier it will become unstoppable. In the age of Internet and cable news TV Bahraini rulers will not end unrest through brutality, they must reform, otherwise it won’t work. Recent history has taught us that, look at Libya or go further back to Ceausescu’s Romania.

      2. Like I say, in autocratic regimes “reality” is nothing but a BIG FAT LIE. Rulers own the country and they will do everything they can to hide bad things.

        I’m feeling bad about my will to watch the race, I think I should not but I do still feel bad about all this mess.

    6. Geoff, I have come to expect a certain literary flair from you, so these pracice reports had better be good.

      1. Will they be poems?

        1. @verstappen

          You will have to ask Mr. Wood,
          Because I don’t know if he could.
          He might ask “What’s the use
          Of writing like Dr. Seuss
          When the free practice report
          Will be my first journalistic retort?”
          But there would be nothing sweeter
          Than if he wrote in iambic pentameter.

          1. *applauds*

      2. @prisoner-monkeys Oh God. Now I feel under pressure to meet expectations!

    7. I just want this craziness to end… I have a very bad feeling and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

    8. Why didn’t you post the article where Vettel compares the situation to Brazil? Gotta love that bias.

      1. What’s your problem with Brazil? And how do two very different issues compare?

        1. Ask Vettel, he’s been in both locations and he made the comparison.

          1. Seems he’s joined Lewis’ “bubble”

          2. I’ve never been to Bahrain but 7 visits to Brazil (including São Paulo) and common history with my country (I’m both Angolan and Portuguese) has taught me a lot about Brazil and as far as I know that’s not the Wild Wild West in your mind and Vettel has just lost a great opportunity to keep his mouth closed.

            There’s not an unrest in Brazil! I was in São Paulo for the Brazilian GP in the same weekend JB was attacked by thieves but did not consider “additional security measures” for the rest of my journey which included a trip to Interlagos by train with significant photography gear “for the world to see ”in case you think you have to go naked in Brazil to be safe.

            1. I already responded to your “Wild Wild West” comment in our last discussion. But in the spirit of debate let me say, you also most likely aren’t worth millions.

              You obviously aren’t denying that Button and the Sauber engineers were confronted/robbed by gunmen, and they are normally transported in armored cars by the police, so whats wrong with saying the place has the potential to be quite dangerous? We’ve seen it happen. And now Vettel has made the same comparison that I was derided for previously, and he has been to both locations as a member of the F1 circus. That’s all I’m saying.

      2. Exactly. Or maybe ask Button who escaped from an attack by 6 gunmen. Possibly even a kidnap attempt.

        Reuters: Button escapes unhurt from armed attackers

        In Brazil, the drivers have to be transported in armored cars under police surveillance.

        The hypocrisy is appalling.

        1. Or even write an article where Barrichello says that comparison is stupid and ill informed

        2. I even think that Button has a very different opinion from Vettel despite being in the middle of an awful event. Vettel’s word were very poor.

    9. If there was even one doubt of risk they should not of gone to bahrain, i dont understand why bernie has put money and politics over peoples safety! Stupid idea by Bernie yet again if you ask me.

      1. Because he can only receive the grace and favour of the Bharaini royalty if he’s in Bahrain, giving them a much needed economic leg up (presumably to contribute towards another mega yacht).

    10. Keith, you are to be lauded for your stance. However, I disagree with you maybe feeling pressured not to report on the practice/racing due to facile criticism of hypocrisy.

      I have used the example of a war journalist who disagrees with the ethics of the war then refusing to report the horros of the event. I have been accused of being a keyboard ninja with no bottle to go and fight with the oppressed Bahraini’s

      However, to inform people, provide them with research opportunities to discover the truth for themselves; people who do not know what is going on and influence opinion is equally an important role as the protester. The pressure social media is bringing to bear on society and politics is a unique moment in history and thousands of Lybians will testify to that.

      1. Easy there, Charlie.

        This is what Keith said.. “For reasons not relating to the situation in Bahrain this weekend, I will not be writing the practice reports today.”

        1. Just checking. Keith is taking a fairly unique stance unlike mainstream Aunite and Sky who will curry the favour of the F1 hierarchy.

          He has been unfairly criticised, often by unintelligable arguements, and may be feeling pressurised.

          I am offering my support either way.

      2. I always find it funny that some of you in your comfortable basements seem to think you are entitled to tell everyone in the world how they should live their lives. Look how that worked out for Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines, and most of Africa.

    11. petrol bomb – surely theres a message there somewhere for Formula 1..

      1. It wasn’t a targeted attack.

        1. Lucky the hurled molotof cocktail knew it was aimed at the police

        2. molotov bomb – petrol bomb – Formula 1 bomb
          I think theyre the same thing

          1. I’ve never heard of a “Formula 1 bomb” before.

            The incident with the Force India mechanics was not a targeted attack. They were driving an unmarked hire car, and they were not taking a direct route to the circuit. The protesters who threw the petrol bomb had no way of knowing who was in the car or what their affiliation was, and by all accounts, the bomb was actually aimed at police nearby.

            1. so why were there Force India mechanics in a Bahrain? I heard its not a safe place to be. Dont think the issue is who the bomb was aimed at

            2. Glad the hurled bomb knew its destinatikon

            3. We only have your word on that. And based on your behavior, I’m not inclined to believe a thing you say.

            4. so why were there Force India mechanics in a Bahrain?

              Because the race is in Bahrain.

              I heard its not a safe place to be.

              Not according to protest leaders, who say no harm will come to anyone in Formula 1.

        3. Everything’s fine then.

          1. Because the race is in Bahrain.

            yous said it

            1. Do you really think trying to entrap me in a logical contradiction fo my own construction is going to work?

              You posted this:

              so why were there Force India mechanics in a Bahrain?

              This implies that the mechanics in question were in Bahrain for some reason other than the Grand Prix, as if they were going to Moldova, somehow took a wrong turn and wound up in Bahrain where they were greeted by a molotov cocktail for their troubles. My response was to explain to you why the mechanics were there, because I was under the impression that you did not know.

              You then posted this:

              I heard its not a safe place to be.

              This implies that you are operating on hearsay, and have only a rudimentary understanding of the situation, rather than the intimate knowledge of the subject than many of the regular posters here have. Therefore, the net effect of your previous post was that you come across as being only marginally aware of the situation in Bahrain, though your most-recent post highlights that this is not the case. My response to said previous post was to direct your attention to comments from Nabeel Rajab, one of the leaders of the protest movement, stating that none of the activists in Bahrain had any intention of bringing any harm to anyone in the Formula 1 paddock (comments which, to the best of my knowledge, have not been repeated elsewhere in the media).

              So, at the end of the day, you have tried to catch me out in a simple contradiction, which you seem to think will invalidate everything I have ever said (which is something my Year 7 students routinely try to do, so I’m not dumb enough to fall for it this time) – but all you have managed to do is get me to state the obvious.

            2. Do you really think trying to entrap me in a logical contradiction fo my own construction is going to work?

              Ha-ha! You’ve failed once again, Mr Bond… unbeknownst to you, you have only helped me to extend my iron grip upon all the internets! Mwahahaha!

        4. @prisoner-monkeys

          It wasn’t a targeted attack.

          Once upon a time through streets of Bahrain, Force India mechanics find themselves driving back to their hotel when leaving the F1 circuit back to capital Manama;
          SUDDENLY … a ball of FIRE whizzes across the sky!!!

          The driver: “Oh $___!, Look out! DUCK!!!”
          Side passenger: “Weeeeee …. flying fire! Look! ”
          Mechanic #3: “Ah…. don’t worry mate. We weren’t targeted! It’s just a bit of petrol. Steady as she goes! We got a race to run!”
          Side passenger: “… That was soo pretty! Can we do that again, please, please!??… ”
          Shaken Driver: “…I,.. I .. don’t this so!”
          Mechanic #3: “Yeah, turn around! And,.. pull over here so I can get mi self a pack of smokes!”
          Mechanic #4: “Guys ….!?”

          .. to be continued

          1. @maksutov – No! Don’t fictionalise it! Don’t you know that as soon as you start writing anything that involves explosions, Michael Bay instictively knows about it and starts planning his next movie? Twelve months from now, we’re going to be subjected to a two-and-a-half hour movie about a group of mechanics trying to drive a [insert product placement here] car across Bahrain, all while outrun protesters hurling napalm bombs the size of semi-trailers and security forces firing enough tear gas to blot out the sun for months on end as they deserately try to get to the circuit in time for some kind of plot device that is never fully explained to happen.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys

              hehe.. you’re probably right

          2. @PM “Driving through the streets of Bahrain”

            I wish someone would give PM a rudimnetary education. That’s like saying, driving through the streets of Great Britain

    12. Its really heart breaking that this race is going ahead. I wih all the teams had the balls to do the warm up lap and then come straight into the pits. Show support for the people of Bahrain, not the rulers of the country. If I had things my way, its them who should be shot. Once again, the few control the many.

      1. I wih all the teams had the balls to do the warm up lap and then come straight into the pits.

        I’m pretty sure they can’t. After the Indy 2005 debacle, I think the regulations dictating withdrawals from the race were changed. I think teams can only withdraw from the event before they take to the circuit.

        Show support for the people of Bahrain, not the rulers of the country.

        The stance among the teams is that making political or moral statements is not their responsibility.

        If I had things my way, its them who should be shot.

        Go to Syria, then. In Bahrain, there is a Sunni minority who are in power, with the Shia majority being the opporessed. In Syria, the reverse is true – the Shia are the ruling elite.

        1. That’s @ivz – I tagged you in the above post, but for some reason, it didn’t work.

      2. +1.
        We sit at home, flip channels and scream when our favourite driver mounts the podium to spray the pretend-champagne, glibly ignoring the fact that, for the race to proceed, 60 protesters, countless doctors and nurses and many, many civilians have been arrested, tortured, and confined against their will and with no charges brought against them.
        At this rate, we might as well look forward to an F1 race in the empty streets of Pyongyang. Next year, maybe, eh Bernie?
        Disgusting. Cancel the bloody race.

        1. @rantingmrp

          the fact that, for the race to proceed, 60 protesters, countless doctors and nurses and many, many civilians have been arrested, tortured, and confined against their will and with no charges brought against them

          Yeah, none of that actually happened the way you descirbe it.

          The protesters are not protesting against the race. They are protesting against what the race represents. They have no issue with the actual, physical race; they are not trying to kick Formula 1 out of the country once and for all. Nabeel Rajab, one of the leaders of the pro-democracy movement and one of the biggest critics of the race, said as much.

          The protesters are marching against the al-Khalifa family and they way they are running the country. The race is only incidental to this; the protesters believe that the al-Khalifas are trying to use the race to falsely represent the country and show that law and order have returned to Bahrain. I say “trying” because, given the negative reception to the race, they are failing dismally.

          I am not denying that they protesters, doctors, nurses, and civilians et al have been arrested without charge and tortured. That certainly has happened, and it is well-documented. But despite all your pent-up moral outrage, you are (ironically enough) doing exactly what the al-Khalifas are accused of: falsely representing the events for your own purposes. Whether you have done this out of ignorance or intention is both open to debate and beside the point.

          Those protesters were not arrested and tortured in the name of having the race go ahead, and your obvious statement that they were is insulting. They were arrested in the pursuit of democracy, and it is very important that you understand that, because that is what the people of Bahrain are fighting for. The Grand Prix is a means to an end – not the end itself, because the issues in Bahrain will not be resolved one way or the other if the race is cancelled or goes ahead.

          So before you go making moral judgements, how about you make the effort to understand what is going on first.

          1. @PM “The protesters are not protesting against the race, they are protesting against what the race represents….”. Foundation level semantics PM

            Guess they don’t not (double negative) like the AK’s yachts either – just what they represent too!

            1. Foundation level semantics

              They may be semantics, but they’re important semantics. Where has any protester said that they were protesting aginst Formula 1 and not the government?


              A message from some no mark village that knows nothing – according to some I guess. Clear and Simple

            3. @Prisoner Monkeys Foundation level semantics

              Warning!!! Graphic Content

              I’m not sure this guy has the time or the inclination to indulge in a meaningless semantic pirouette – as the Bahraini security brutalise him, raining down blow after blow from a rifle on his head.

              I wonder what he did to deserve it. Commit mass genocide – ooops, no – you get a Hotel in the Hague or Strasbourg for the rest of your life if you do that.

              But then I guess PM and his BE/FIA loving cronies believe this is a shiite deception. Maybe they’re playing a dressing up game and are faking it

            4. So you mean to tell me that don’t think there is any difference between demonstrators protesting:

              a) a Formula 1 Grand Prix


              b) a Formula 1 Grand Prix being used by the ruling elite to try and mislead the world into believing that law and order has returned to their country.

              Let’s back up a second and use an example unrelated to Formula 1: Anders Behring Breivik, the man on trial for the Utoya massacre in Norway last year. One psychiatrist says he did it because he wanted to draw attention to his cause, the belief that Norweigan society was under threat from multiculturalism (particularly from Muslims), and that killing seventy-seven people was intended as a wake-up call for his country. Another psychiatrist says he is off with the ultranationalist fairies. Now, that might sound like semantics to you, but one diagnosis will see Breivik fit to stand trial. The other will see him mentally imcompetent and unable to be tried for his crimes. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and he is on trial.

              What I’m trying to say here is that context is everything, though you’re apparently oblivious to it. Are the demonstrators in Bahrain protesting against twenty-four racing cars zooming around a racing circuit? Or are they protesting against an oppressive regime that intends to use the race for their own ends, consolidating their power and enabling them to continue oppressing.

              That might sound like mere semantics to you, but to me, there’s a gaping chasm between the two.

            5. A Prisoner Monkeys “So you mean to tell me that don’t think there is any difference between demonstrators protesting:”

              I refer you to my previous answer. Not sure the guy being brutalised repeatedbly with a rifle to the head cares about your mental gymnastics.

              Neither do the 60 people tortured graphically and recorded by the Read the Bahrain Independent Commision of Inquiery. Why don’t you educate yourself a little more and read the report and recommendations. its very comprehensive.


              Read Appendix B, p.431-478. 60 cases of torture reviewed in detail. Graphic detail (not for the squeamish)

              Maybe when you’ve imagined what it must be like to be one of those people, some of the apparently silly knee jerk comments you make may be modified in future.

            6. Not sure the guy being brutalised repeatedbly with a rifle to the head cares about your mental gymnastics.

              I’m fairly certain that if you could asking what he was protesting at the time, he would say “the government”, not “the race”.

              some of the apparently silly knee jerk comments you make may be modified in future.

              I’m not the one who joined the blog two weeks ago to express my moral outrage and lord it over everyone else.

    13. Andrew Jacobs
      20th April 2012, 0:36

      Here’s a question. Why is there such an uproar over Bahrain? It doesn’t appear China or India or Malaysia or South Korea attract this attention.

      Would be very interested in the views of those who think politics and sport don’t mix as to why Bahrain is the No.1 political uproar F1 race.

      1. I don’t see any reports of petrol bombs and current protests in India, China, Malaysia, or South Korea.

        Jenson’s car got attacked in Brazil, but I think that’s different as the entire state/kingdom of Bahrain is experiencing political unrest… whereas in Brazil, it was a bunch of hooligans.

        Also, timing is everything. China doesn’t have a great human rights track record, but like it or not, they have become one of the world’s biggest economic leaders. If this was 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre, then there would of course be no F1 there right now. But this is 2012. Timing is everything.

      2. I can understand your question over China but why India, Malaysia or South Korea? What’s wrong in these countries? Or are you just assuming?

        1. Andrew Jacobs
          20th April 2012, 1:19

          I’m not assuming anything. I am just asking the question, why Bahrain? These other countries have human rights issues leveled against them, but the intensity of the Bahrain issue is on another level. Why is this? I’m just asking the question.

          1. Where have you been in the last 12 months?

          2. Human rights abuse exists in virtually every country on the planet. The scale of it, the origin of it and the use of F1 to cover it are what matters. You have some reading up to do I guess.

      3. The main difference between Bahrain and the other races you’ve mentioned is that the royal family of Bahrain are also the circuit promoters and are using the race for propoganda purposes.
        By supporting the race it may seem that F1 is supporting the Royal Family and their regime whilst in other countries the track promoters are not directly linked to politics.

        1. Exactamondu

      4. I can’t really claim to be that knowledgeable about this sort of thing, but I thought South Korea was very much a democracy?

        1. @david-a Here in Hungary we have a saying: Democracy is, when in a free country, a free man is free to do anything that is allowed.

    14. @Lopek,

      I’m sorry, but isn’t that the equivalent of burying your head in the sand ?

      1. No, its called taking a stand and not supporting something wrong.

    15. I said it on my Twitter a few days ago and I’ll say it here too. This is the first race that I’m not going to watch or follow in 15+ years of my F1 following out of my own choice. It will be very difficult to stay away, but, it just seems wrong and this is the least I could do to support the innocent/oppressed people of that country. I wrote a lot and expressed strongly about Bahrain last year but this year is on a new high as the FOM and the FIA seem so blinded by greed and politics that it makes me feel guilty to an extent for being a fan of this sport.

      1. Do you feel guilty of watching the Chinese GP?

        1. China was addressed in the article Keith wrote about Bahrain being a matter of conscience (which is a great piece I recommend anyone reading yet I’m sceptical how many took the time to read it when arguments Keith explained thoroughly are ignored and still questioned). China has not made F1 as a political tool to endorse their regime or try to hide their human rights abuses. That’s not to say the race in China is right but that F1 doesn’t make a bit of difference to that situation but it does to Bahrain. It is being used as a political message no matter how idiotic/in the dark the FIA try to pretend they are.

          1. sid_prasher (@)
            20th April 2012, 22:08

            @steph: but F1 doesn’t make an iota of difference anywhere. What possible propaganda can hosting a race provide? Is any of the teams endorsing the rulers? Is it going to make the world think that everything is hunky dory there? the race will come and go…the people will still be there and so would the problems. The race is by no means hiding the issues. Why isn’t the UN/US pushing for sanctions on Bahrain and asking countries to not buy their oil (like it is being done for Iran)? that kind of censure might prove more decisive.

            As for China – let us not forget their occupation of Tibet; thousands of Tibetans living in India for over 50yrs (what can be worse than not getting a chance to go home); over 30 monks who have self-immolated since 2011.

            1. sid_prasher (@)
              20th April 2012, 22:09

              having said that…i must not forget that safety of crew is paramount and if there is even a possibility of danger, the teams should withdraw.

            2. sid_prasher (@)
              20th April 2012, 22:10

              having said that…i must not forget to mention that safety of crew is paramount and if there is even a possibility of danger, the teams should withdraw.

            3. The race is being used by propaganda by Bahrain though – UniF1ed for a start. There’s three days of rage specifically against F1 thanks to Bahrain trying to use this event to hide what’s really going on. Also, as was pointed out on Twitter and here a day or so ago, both Schumi and Seb have been used to endorse Bahrain (probably without their consent).

              I’m well aware of the situation with Tibet as I’ve taken an interest in it for years now and have recently had to study it but China doesn’t use the race to say “hey look we’re not actually oppressing our people”.

        2. Sometimes, yes. But its not a race that’s used for communist propaganda or covering up human rights abuse. As @steph said, read the article. It explains things pretty well.

    16. Many teams boycotted the SA grand prix in the 90s due to apartheid (rightly so, in my opinion).

      Are the money and contracts in F1 now larger than lending support to oppressed people having their civil rights violated? It appears so.

      1. For the very reason teams used to pick and choose where they went, the concorde agreement was established. This binds the teams to attend all events with incredibly harsh penaltieds if they fail to do so.

        And this is why no one is celebrating being in Bahrain. The answers from the team principles and drivers are thin lipped and there is a state of tension this weekend never before known in the paddock.

        This is evidenced by tweets from Jake Humphey, James Allen and many other F1 journalists who can not be described as “mainstream media sensationalists”

      2. Do you mean the 1980s? By 1992 the fall of apartheid was well underway and no teams boycotted the Kyalami race that year. The 1981 boycott, though, was nothing to do with apartheid and everything to do with the FISA-FOCA war.

      3. They may have boycotted that 1 race but they raced in South Africa under Apartheid for all the F1 SA GP’s before that boycotted one.

        1. The intended effect of the concorde agreements (1st in 1981) was to encourage professionalism and to increase the commercial success of Formula One. The most important factor in achieving this was the obligation of the teams to participate in every race, hence making the sport more reliable for broadcasters who were expected to invest heavily to acquire television broadcast rights.

          In return the teams were guaranteed a percentage of the sport’s commercial revenue.

          Prior to this, the track promoters were resposnible for engaging the teams contractually. I won’t bore you with the list of events where teams competing in the F1 Series attended only certain events during the year, mostly for financial reasons.

          F1 was very different prior to this time. Championship winning British manufacturers sometimes had less than 20 employees including the drivers….but I digress

    17. Ferrari announced that Ben Agathangelou will join them (ex Benetton Mclaren RedBull) his role consist in interpreting the data coming from both wind tunnels that Ferrari is working on (Maranello,cologne).
      The interesting thing is :
      Pat Fry is the man behind all these recruits since he become the technical director
      When a journalist of Autosprint asked him about Ferrari’s problems this year Pat told him the same words of Barnard in 1986 “We need to change the methodology of work” well if that was true then
      1) what were the engineers of Ferrari doing before Pat’s arrival????
      2) How much time they need to adapt to the new methodology of work???
      But the scary thing this year for Ferrari is that Mclaren will not bring their official drivers at Mugello which mean that their car is so developed & so complete that it doesn’t need changes that requires the feedback of the official drivers!!!!!!!!!

      1. @tifoso1989 – You do realise that some drivers specialise in testing, right? Gary Paffet and Marc Gene are particularly good at it.

        1. yes i know that (i think i still remember Luca Badoer too) but what i meant is if Mclaren have some serious troubles to work on it’s out of the question that they will not bring both drivers at Mugello at least they will bring Jenson Button who is well known for his good feedback

    18. First off, I fully support the mechanics’ decision to leave Bahrain.

      I cannot let The Independent’s headline go without comment though. While F1F got the headline right with “Two Force India staff leave Bahrain after petrol bomb explosion”, the Independent chooses to mislead by saying “F1 mechanics flee Bahrain after petrol bomb attack during street protest”. The Independent doesn’t fully qualify the statement until the final paragraphs where we learn that the petrol bomb was not targetted at the group in the van, it was “near” the van rather than “at” the van, did all F1 mechanics from all teams flee? The two mechanics who decided to leave were not in the van, and it’s pretty likely that they did not “flee” (ie. chased to the border by an angry mob) but simply took a calm decision to consult with management, take a cab to the airport and catch the next scheduled flight home. The mechanics are “unnamed” so The Independent can’t actually ask these guys for a bit of background on their decision, or indeed if it is actually true that they left because of their colleagues experience. We don’t even get a direct quote from the four people in the van, nor their names to verify the story. If the people in the story do not wish to be named it’s common practice for the journalist to still quote the person but mention that they did not wish to have their names released. If the journalist actually had access to the participants in this story I can guarantee you that they would have quoted.

      This very poor journalism (unnamed victims, unnamed sources), and even worse headline writing from the chief sub (I assume) and does nothing but inflame the issue.

      Before you get too excited, I’m not saying it’s not true, just that this is trash journalism that helps nobody.

      I can’t wait for Spain.

    19. A local Toronto headline news television station which has never had an F1 related story (including the sports segment) ran the exact same headline as today’s round-up. Damaging F1’s image you think?

    20. dosent Bernie use smart traveller:

      “We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Bahrain at this time due to the uncertain security situation and threat of terrorist attack.
      Sporadic, violent anti-Government protests have continued in Bahrain in 2012. You should avoid all public gatherings and protests as they may turn violent. You should monitor local and international media for information on current developments affecting your safety and security and follow the advice of local authorities.
      Security forces have responded violently to some previous demonstrations. If you are in an area where a protest is occurring you should either leave the area, if it is safe to do so, or remain indoors and away from windows.
      There continues to be a visible security presence in Bahrain, particularly around Manama city centre. You should follow the instructions of local authorities and security forces.
      You should take particular care in the period surrounding Friday prayers and at night-time due to the potential for civil disturbances. Shia-majority areas, including the Sanabis area, Hamad town, Budaiya and the Sitra area, may continue to experience unrest. Visitors to Bahrain should reconsider their need to travel outside the central business area after nightfall and should restrict their movements to major routes at all times. “

    21. Here is a question about this Bahrain situation. If it were not for F1 going there would the Protesters message even be getting out to the “Outside World”? What I mean is outside of the F1 websites we all visit how much news about the Protest in Bahrain have you seen? None of the news programs here in the USA (Cable & Broadcast news) have really even mentioned it other then the past few days. Even last year when the race was canceled it was only news on Motorsports websites, matter of fact I’d say F1 going to Bahrain has generated more news coverage (atleast here in the USA) of the protest then not-going last year did.

      Now granted I have no idea what kind of coverage those protest are getting in the UK or the rest of the world but I’d say F1 going to Bahrain as much as it may be seen as “Hurting the protest by helping the Government” it can also be looked at as “Helping the Protest because now more people know they’re going on”.

      We hear about Syria & Iran all the time, and last Summer we heard non-stop about Libya & Egypt but I honestly think the last time I heard anything about Bahrain on TV outside of F1 related things was one of those Travel shows a few years ago & an episode of American Chopper from years ago where they built the Police a custom motorcycle. Scratch that American Chopper thing that was actually Abu Dhabi.

      1. We’re getting very little coverage on mainstream TV or radio in Australia.

        1. I have been actively keeping and eye and ear out for news of Bahrain but have heard absolutely nothing.

      2. @fisha695 The coverage on TV in the UK is non-existent though I expect that to ramp up this weekend. You make a valid point and it is at the forefront of my mind and has been for a while. It’s one of the main reasons I’m so sceptical of what comes out of Bahrain, or at least until the past few days.

    22. xeroxpt (@)
      20th April 2012, 2:51

      Rubens Barrichello hits out at those comparing Bahrain and Brazil safety

      No, it’s worse, no one gives a damn about it.

    23. Here is something I just thought of. If the area outside of the track is so dangerous for the various FIA/Team personnel then why don’t they just stay inside the track? Between the little Hospitality buildings, the various circuit buildings & whatever that Round Building in Turn 1 is I’m sure they could find enough room for everybody to sleep. Get some tents and it’d be like camping.

    24. Oh cool! Glad to see MG starting to write for the site :D

    25. Is it too late now to call off the GP?
      Though honestly now, I think the GP should be continued. Looking at the situation in Bahrain, it doesn’t look like the ruling party is going to do anything anytime soon. So, backing off from Bahrain could only mean we are challenging the decision of the ruling party (which I think by now is clear that they are not exactly what one would call, nice) and it could further put the people of Bahrain at risk. If hosting a race keeps the rulers happy and keeps the people safer a little longer, then I guess hosting the race should be the way to go.

    26. Best of luck to all the teams planning to copy Mercedes’ DRS system. That looked unbelievably hard to pull off, and congrats to Mercedes for making it happen.

      Pure Genius!

    27. If the practice reports are not in typically poetic @magnificent-geoffrey form I will be most displeased! ;)
      Looking forward to reading them.

    28. the situation in bahrain is getting really serious… I hope nothing bad happens to anyone.
      but we need to ask ourselves what can we do to support Bahrain people and their movement if we think they’re right…honestly, not watching the race wouldn’t help! maybe if people boycott attending the race, some harm will be done to regime.
      also if protesters are supporting democracy and are true to their cause, they wouldn’t try bombing innocent mechanics and teams!

    29. What about this article in Autosport?

      i think it should be included in the roundup just for balance.

    30. I think the feeling those 2 have is a reflection of how a large part of the F1 crew must feel. If it wasn’t enough to have the intense pressure of running an entire GP weekend (which follows up on past week!), now they have to cope with the emotional stress of being faced with the terror that runs through that country. I don’t think mental breakdowns will be abnormal.

      Seriously wrong to race there.

    31. Sean N (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      20th April 2012, 9:43

      Why didn’t the FIA see this coming? I can’t believe they decided to go to Bahrain. I guess it boils down to money again.

      I’m not convinced they should make decisions based on political situations or at least they should take advice from more qualified organisations like the UN and stick to it. However they should have known there are people getting killed in Bahrain and there definitely is albeit uncertain level of extra risk. Pure madness on their part. The FIA have further tarnished their already less tahn perfect reputation. I might have expected this from FIFA or the Olympic organisers!

    32. PM – i have met Bernie a couple of times via his daughter, Tamara ( I happen to know her fiance), and Thejudge13 isn’t ctually far from the truth. And whilst he was thouroughly nice, I came away with more or less the same impression.
      You may argue that meeting a man breifly twice is not enough to form a viable opinion about them, but its CAN give you an insight. The opinions of psychiatrists are not infallible either just because they happen to be ”experts”(see the Norway massacre suspect). It is possible to form an opinion about someone based on what u read about them, and lets face it, we have read a lot about Bernie, via the F1/ CVC connection, in the public domain, and most of it correct. And it is also possible for the opinions formed as a result to be correct.

      1. Oh I agree, he can be incredibly charming – but you want to see him when the tea cups fly. It’s like watching a benign little smurf metamorphise into a tazmanian devil (se. of the cartoon variety). Strangely enough he’s more coherent or should I say more explicable when in that state.

    33. It would be really ironic if the protesters caused harm to F1 personel/fans, when they, the protesters, are talking so much about not being able to protest ‘peacefully’ without being harmed themselves.


      1. It would indeed. I struggle to support anyone who uses violence, regardless of their side of the argument.

        1. @andrewtanner

          I struggle to support anyone who uses violence

          Well obviously. But one should know from history that there is always high chance for violence to escalate during any protest. Humans have violent instincts, that’s how it is. The F1 community had a pretty good idea what the situation was. So if something happens, they will only have themselves to blame.

    34. Hmmm 10+ articles focusing on the political debate, 3 track/car related articles. I am going really tired of what used to be a great forum for Gp news.

      1. @funkyf1 While I tend to skip over them, I do think it’s worthwhile having them there, especially in the run up to the race. It will be over in a week or so I suspect.

    35. Bahrain so safe, Force India quiting practice early to return to Hotel in daylight. I’m sure Ecclestone and Khalifa stooges will suggest they are irrational etc etc etc

    36. We raced in China didn’t we? A country with a VERY questionable human rights record and yet no-one seems bothered about that. Personally i don’t think the race should be happening because of safety concerns. Twitter is buzzing with rumours that Force India won’t be taking part in FP2 because they don’t want to travel in the dark. We shall see.

      1. According to what i understand from comments here – as long as oppressive Chinese government isn’t gettint the money from race or directly promoting race as unifying experience, F1 is morally crystal clear to race in China and be done with it.

        1. At times people can only do what they can do at that moment in time.

          To Argue racing in China is wrong – but we still do it anyway. Racing in Bahrain is also wrong – but it should still go ahead specifically because of the racing in China being wrong and that happens- is facile.

    37. @PM and the race should go on crowd

      The Guardian’s Paul Weaver reports on the mood of unease among the F1 teams preparing for today’s practice session.

      Walking in the paddock is to feel an atmosphere I have never experienced before in Formula One, which is usually so full of energy and enthusiasm. There is a feeling of unease, sometimes fear, everywhere.

      No-one wants to be quoted by name but one engineer told me: “I don’t think we should be here. There’s a lot kicking off and a demo down the road this afternoon. We’re in the firing line.”

      Another said: “I don’t know much about the politics. There are 20 races this season, which makes it a long year, so I think a few of the lads just want to get home early.”

      1. Seems like Bernie’s “safe as houses” assurances are not in actuality felt.

    38. Sauber now reporting an incident last night. The cracks becoming crevaces, and Bernie E is offering to stay at the ciruit with the Force India boys till 1am and travel with them. This is very very very funny, I’m not sure in what fashion I would gain solace with Ecclestone travelling in my car as a sign of – or actual protection.

      Walking around with a Mod’s jacket in the middle of Homs may be preferable.

      Hey looks like FIA and BE were right. its safe to be there for everyone

    39. @ Prisoner Monkey

      I have in idea as to why times you’re views may be considered delusional. Rumour has it you are the long lost love child of Ecclestone. The latest from him is that all this is being the journalists need a story so they’re making it all up

    40. Force India say coming to Bahrain worth the riisk to raise the profile of the debate over change in the country

      Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley told BBC Sport: “I think we’d be very foolish to eliminate anything but we are doing the best we can to make sure the crew is safe. I don’t believe there will be any issues. There will be protests, it was an unfortunate incident and when it happens to your team you have to deal with it in a proper manner. We were the only team affected. Sometimes emotions and logic don’t add up. We all know there is a very slight risk with coming here. That risk is worth taking if it puts the platform in place for debate to be able to get Bahrain into a healthy position. Our team are prepared to do that but we have to do that within the confines of making sure we have a crew committed to our programme, which we have today.”

    41. Crown prince and Bernie ecclestone give press conference

      The Prince also compared the protests in Bahrain to last summer’s riots in England. “You had these problems in your country last year,” he told a British reporter.

      I remember seeing the rioters being beaten within an inch of their lives too. Aaah Mr. Prince – we’re so alike.

    42. Best of all. The Khalifa’s have suggested an important purpose of this event is to promote the Bahrain brand internationally. Here is what the world thinks so far:

      Blood and money splits F1 in Bahrain – New Straits Times (Singapore)
      Approval of 2012 Grand Prix in Bahrain outrages human rights advocates – Washington Times (USA)
      “This House believes that the Formula One race will be used by the Bahrain government as an endorsement of its policies of suppression of dissent” – Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn early day motion in the UK Parliament
      “Should the Bahrain Grand Prix go ahead the sport and its associates run the risk of looking greedy and out of touch with the reality of the situation. We are most alarmed that you see no grounds to sever your brand and save its reputation from a totalitarian regime” – letter from British MPs to F1 sponsors.
      Formel 1 in Bahrein: Der Schein trügt‎ – ORF (Austria)
      Le maintien du Grand Prix de Formule 1 exacerbe les tensions à Bahreïn‎ – Le Monde (France)
      Motorsport and politics on collision course in Bahrain – Deutsche Welle (Germany)
      La Fórmula 1 llega a Bahréin en medio de protestas‎ – Terra Perú
      Grand Prix von Bahrein „Dieses Rennen ist eine Schande“‎ – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)
      BIC gets down to racing business – Gulf Daily News (UAE)
      Inquietud por la seguridad en el GP de Bahrein – La Nueva España (Spain)
      Bahrain circuit boss: Race not a big risk – CNN (International)
      Bahrein – La formule 1 pour masquer les tensions‎ – Courrier International (France)
      Manifestaciones en Bahrein contra la carrera de Fórmula 1 – El Golfo (Venezuela)
      Bahreïn: l’opposition manifeste à l’approche du Grand Prix de Formule 1 – Nouvelle Observateur (France)
      Formula One race protest gets violent in Bahrain – CBS News (USA)
      Demonstrations Planned as Racing Event Heads for Bahrain – Voice of America
      Wave of arrests ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix: NGO – Pakistan Daily Times
      World Cup hero Yuvraj to attend F1 Grand Prix – Gulf Daily News (UAE)
      Bahrain GP far from business as usual – TVNZ (New Zealand)
      F1 braces for ‘days of rage’ – Deccan Herald (India)
      Parc Ferme: The risks of Bahrain – Fox Sports (USA)
      Let’s say Bernie Ecclestone and a Bahraini official are conducting a business deal. As they shake hands on their transaction, the official uses his other arm to punch a passerby in the face. Mr Ecclestone continues to shake and the deal is done. Is he complicit in the violence? – The Independent
      Bahrain crown prince confronted by protesters – San Francisco Chronicle (USA)
      F1 puts Bahrain brutality in focus – The Australian
      ‘Nobody will harm the F1 teams’ – The National (UAE)
      Opposition leader brands Bahrain Grand Prix ‘PR stunt’ – (UK)
      BIC all geared up for weekend-long Formula One spectacle – Bahrain News Agency
      Amnesty questions Bahrain reforms as F1 concerns deepen – Agence France Presse (France)
      ‘F1 race a failure for the Al Khalifa regime’ – Press TV (Iran)
      As Protests Continue to Flare, Should Formula One Be Returning to Bahrain? – Time, USA
      Bahrain GP chief assures ‘nothing drastic will happen’ – Indian Express

    43. the royal family of Bahrain are the circuit promoters and whether they are using the race for propoganda purposes or not is a issue of debate…..
      By supporting the race it is not that F1 is supporting the Royal Family. Why is there such an uproar over Bahrain? I Dont think politics and sport don’t mix .we all Show support for the people of Bahrain.

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