Two Force India staff leave Bahrain after petrol bomb explosion

F1 Fanatic round-up

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?σΤιΌΤδσs 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ and so to support it indirectly ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ would be completely hypocritical. I won?σΤιΌΤδσt be. It will be the first race in my life that I can remember missing through choice ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 30-plus years of viewing starting with dad as young kid.

I?σΤιΌΤδσve 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.

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

  1. timi (@timi) said on 20th April 2012, 1:02

    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.

    • 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”

    • Ilanin said on 20th April 2012, 1:44

      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.

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 20th April 2012, 1:59

      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.

      • 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

  2. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 20th April 2012, 1:07

    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!!!!!!!!!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th April 2012, 1:26

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

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 20th April 2012, 9:32

        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

  3. Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 20th April 2012, 1:33

    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.

  4. Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 20th April 2012, 1:54

    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?

  5. me262 said on 20th April 2012, 2:02

    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. “

  6. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 20th April 2012, 2:11

    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.

  7. xeroxpt (@) said on 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.

  8. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 20th April 2012, 3:12

    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.

  9. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 20th April 2012, 4:06

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

  10. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 20th April 2012, 4:55

    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.

  11. Todfod (@todfod) said on 20th April 2012, 6:57

    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!

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th April 2012, 7:45

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

  13. Snafu (@snafu) said on 20th April 2012, 7:53

    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!

  14. vjanik said on 20th April 2012, 8:54

    What about this article in Autosport?

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

  15. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th April 2012, 8:59

    Another worthwhile read in The Guardian from Damon Hill:

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