Questions over invisible Force Indias in qualifying coverage

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Paul di Resta, Force India, Bahrain, 2012The Force India team were conspicuous by their absence to anyone watching TV coverage of today’s qualifying session.

The world television feed produced by Formula One Management featured no substantial footage of either driver during the session.

This was despite Paul di Resta advancing as far as the final stage of qualifying.

Force India did not run in the second practice session yesterday as the team made arrangements to ensure they left the circuit before nightfall.

This came after members of their team were caught up in a petrol bomb attack earlier in the week. Two members of the team chose to return home afterwards.

This prompted speculation that the lack of coverage of their cars in qualifying was retribution by FOM – something which is understood to have happened with other teams in the past.

Tensions continue to rise in Bahrain following further violent clashes between protesters and security forces. The Bahraini opposition blamed the government for the death of a man yesterday.

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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144 comments on Questions over invisible Force Indias in qualifying coverage

  1. Homer said on 21st April 2012, 17:46

    Bernie Ecclestone, whose FOM company is responsible for producing the live coverage, scotched the suggestions that Force India was deliberately ignored.

    He insisted that fans are interested only in frontrunners, hence the lack of Force India screen time.

    “Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th,” Ecclestone told Reuters. “Only the people that are watching a particular team.

    “I spoke to our people and they were more or less concentrating on who was going to be on pole, rather than somebody going to be 10th.”

    makes you wonder why FOM director showed Charles Pic instead of Force India in Q1… according to Bernie, nobody wants to see Charles Pic. we shoulda had a garage shot of Vettel instead!

    • Lotus49 (@lotus49) said on 21st April 2012, 18:32

      Having just watched the BBC coverage, with a stopwatch in hand I only managed to spot Force India twice, for a total of 3 tenths of a second in total. Charles Pic was featured for an entire lap and a prolonged exposure of him parked in his garage. So FOM must have thought that he had a good chance on being on pole. Every time that little man opens his mouth this weekend he puts his foot in it with blatant lies. Presumably, if Force India become the victims of a Bernie vendetta then the other teams will continue to bite their tongues and hope to keep in with Bernie. What a bunch of spineless ********.

    • Nigel said on 21st April 2012, 18:38

      As usual Ecclestone is talking demonstrable ********.

      They were not concentrating on “who was going to be on pole”. They showed most of Ricciardo’s out lap while Di Resta was setting his quick time – and while no one else was out on track.

      And since when was Ecclestone appointed spokesman for the fans ?

    • fatbloke said on 21st April 2012, 19:53

      if nobody wants to see whos going to be 9th backwards whats the point in 3 part qually? Or even turning up for the race, the midfeild battles have been excellent this year. Bernie really hasnt got a clue! If nobody wants to see them then why did he make such a fuss about them not going out in P2?

  2. abhi said on 21st April 2012, 19:36

    bernie, u silly little man!!

  3. callum (@095cal) said on 21st April 2012, 19:51

    If im to be honest I didn’t notice the absence of Force India in qualifying, Be nice to hear from anyone who spotted that their was no footage of Force India straight away and get their take on the event. Also is it likely to be the same in the race?

  4. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 21st April 2012, 20:05

    Id actually like to see what each team got coverage-wise. I mean everybody bar the top five ie. Red Bull, Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes and ‘The team formally known as Renault’ get most the coverage anyway. The others never get much. tbh can’t really recall how much i saw or didn’t see the Force Indias or anyone else for that matter. I know they didn’t show Di Resta flying, but i cant remember them showing when Ricciardo was either. Maybe i just didnt notice but i’d like to see the actual coverage time for each team before jumping to conclusions.

    • F1_Dave said on 21st April 2012, 20:26

      dont remember seeing karthikeyan, glock, petrov, senna or maldonardo either & i think grosjean only got a very short time on tv.
      we also didnt see anything but the final corner of heikki kovalainens lap.

      i dont really see what the fuss is about, yes di restas good lap was not shown on tv but thats not uncommon, many of the laps from q1/2 from the lower teams are often not covered as the focus is nearly always on the bigger teams. there has also been plenty of q3 sessions where the drivers from the lower end positions have not been seen at all.

      there are 24 cars out there & not all can be shown when there are more than 1 on track.

    • Nigel said on 21st April 2012, 22:05

      “I know they didn’t show Di Resta flying, but i cant remember them showing when Ricciardo was either.”

      In Q2 they showed almost the whole of Ricciardo’s flying lap – and also his warmup lap while Di Resta was setting his time, unseen. At the time, the leaders were all in the pits.

  5. GT_Racer said on 21st April 2012, 20:35

    Spoke to someone at FOM & the official line seems to be that they were asked not to show Force India because there is a whisky sponsor (Whyte & Mackay) on the car & Bahrain law prohibits alcohol branding been displayed. I was told that they were asked to remove the branding from the car Friday afternoon but for whatever reason left it on.

    I actually seem to recall Force India removed that branding from there cars at Abu-Dhabi last year for similar reasons.

  6. For those who think remaining neutral is laudable, this guy knows a bit about persecution and torture personally – for nearly 3 decades – and yet when in a posiition of power to “right the wrongs” promoted forgiveness of his persecuters. This is what he has to say…

    “If you are a neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Desmund Tutu

  7. Bernard (@bernard) said on 21st April 2012, 21:15

    F1 has by and large been a great motor sport to watch over the decades – but why anyone would want to perch their money together with their corporate and personal reputations on the head of this mindless, flailing and uncontrollably schizophrenic sport is beyond me. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if competition applications require teams to be sworn in blood over a picture of The Madonna…

    The silverstone based team has accrued many fans over the years, Paul Di Resta has many fans, Nico Hulkenberg has many fans as does Jules Bianchi. Fans that watch F1 to SEE the team and it’s drivers competing. Fans that also value and respect the decisions of the team. Fans that support the team via merchandise. Fans that ultimately support the championships via tickets and TV subscriptions.

    The FIA should take note, sponsors should take note, TV companies should take note, potential investors should take note and most importantly FOM should take note.

    This weekend is yet another dirty smear on the already opaque public image of F1.

  8. Enigma (@enigma) said on 21st April 2012, 22:05

    Watching qualy back, just noticed Di Resta shown in the background at the end of Q1 – he’s diving into the pits while Kobayashi crosses the finish line. I guess that’s most TV time they’ve got!

    • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 22nd April 2012, 1:51

      Di Resta was also passed by Webber on the second to last straight on Webber’s last flying lap in Q3. They did cut to in car footage at the time though, which showed less of the Force India car than an aerial shot would have.

  9. just seen a twitter campaign for people to Boycott Gillette. If social media can bring down the Egyptian premier, I guess the corporate sponsors of F1 should be worried.

    I’ve been saying this for 2 days, speaking out and acting can make a difference. Social media connects us little people and gives us power as a collective

    • Wow. Shell, dell,virgin, hugo boss, vodaphone, casio, pirelli, santander, hilton, jonnie walker, siemens, reebok, proton, intel all being cited.

      Here’s one guy with over 3,000 followers recommending this @peterclifford1

      and I’ve seen others

  10. f1alex (@f1alex) said on 21st April 2012, 23:32

    It does seem a bit strange that they’d rather show Alonso warming his tyres, moving the camera away from the Force India that was just behind him and on a hot lap…

    Guess we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

  11. chaostheory said on 21st April 2012, 23:49

    I don’t like F1 racing in Bahrain this year, but the decision to go on with the race wasn’t surprising at all – Bernie & co have gone to communist Hungary back in the 80s, they’ve gone to China; i can imagine Bernies & co F1 would go to 3rd reich or Stalins Russia, they would even go to Syria or North Korea if there was enough money in it. I’m more dissatisfied with teams behavior, like Force Indias, cause if they wanted to demonstrate something, the only way was to not go to Bahrain at all, not just skipping one practice session; assuming it was a demonstration.

  12. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 22nd April 2012, 4:56

    Maybe Brundle could spend all 10 minutes or so of his Grid Walk chatting with all the Force India crew on the grid!

    • matt said on 22nd April 2012, 7:31

      That would be superb, in the background you’d see little Rumplestiltskin Ecclestone jumping up and down in rage.

  13. rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 22nd April 2012, 12:06

    Is F1 a respectable modern sport or something run along more Stalinist lines? Talk about the Emperor’s New Clothes. Look at the ridiculous contortions the team personel (and others) perform so as not to offend BE or JT and risk who-knows-what. I can’t help but think that Bernie and Jean have crossed a line this weekend; the international scrutiny of F1 will increase and its reputation can only suffer. Richard Williams in the Guardian has it right.

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