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?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.

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

  1. Andy said on 20th April 2012, 9:27

    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.

  2. Sean N (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk) said on 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!

  3. kbdavies said on 20th April 2012, 9:47

    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.

    • thejudge13 said on 20th April 2012, 10:50

      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.

  4. 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.


    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th April 2012, 13:08

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

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 20th April 2012, 13:58


        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.

  5. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 20th April 2012, 11:00

    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.

  6. thejudge13 said on 20th April 2012, 11:04

    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

  7. maxthecat said on 20th April 2012, 11:31

    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.

    • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 20th April 2012, 12:39

      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.

      • 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.

  8. @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.”

  9. 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

  10. thejudge13 said on 20th April 2012, 13:05

    @ 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

  11. 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.”

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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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