Todt to stay away from Bahrain race

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Jean Todt, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Istanbul, 2011In the round-up: Jean Todt will not attend the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend as he campaigns for a second term as FIA president.

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Jean Todt opts for electioneering over attending Bahrain F1 grand prix (The Guardian)

“Jean Todt, the head of motor sport’s world governing body who has condemned hundreds of Formula One personnel to a potentially hazardous and harrowing week in Bahrain, will not be attending this Sunday’s race himself. Instead the president of the FIA will be busy electioneering because his four-year stint in office comes to an end this autumn.”

Bahrain Grand Prix to go ahead (Daily Mail)

“It is our firm belief that sport, and the F1 grand prix, can have a positive and healing effect in situations where conflict, social unrest and tensions are causing distress.”

Bahrain opposition calls for stepped up protests ahead of F1 (Reuters)

“Asked if meeting a foreign businessman like Ecclestone could help his campaign, [opposition leader Sheikh Ali] Salman replied: ‘We speak all the time about reform, human rights and democracy. Anyone can share these concerns. They are a human interest.’”

Violence scars Bahrain Grand Prix build-up (The Telegraph)

“The demonstrators held banners with messages including ‘F1: do we race on other people?s blood?’ and ‘This race is taking place on the ground of our martyrs, our political prisoners and our wounded.’”

Bernie Ecclestone claims calls to cancel Bahrain Grand Prix are ??too late? (Metro)

“In the letter, F1 supremo Ecclestone wrote: ‘It is a great shame this was not brought to me before September 2012 when the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar was formed and it is now too late to make any changes to the calendar.’”

Lopez bides time over sponsor (Sporting Life)

Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez: “We’ve refused to sign certain things we could have done because we believe we shouldn’t undersell ourselves. So it’s a choice, and whenever you make a choice you have to live with the consequences, and the consequence for us is we (as owner) essentially finance more of the team.”

McLaren: Spain upgrade has to deliver (Autosport)

Jenson Button: “The first race was 1.5 seconds [off pole position], the last race was nine tenths and here we were seven tenths in Q2, so it is definitely improving. We were two tenths off a Red Bull in Q2, so there is definitely progress.”

Jenson Button makes his points to Sergio Perez (The Sun)

Button: “If we had a car that was actually capable of winning races, it would put even more pressure us.”

Long Beach Grand Prix owners dismiss rumors of sale (Press Telegram)

“‘This is a story that keeps bouncing around every year or so,’ said Long Beach Grand Prix CEO Jim Michaelian, ‘despite the fact that the race isn’t for sale and there’s been no contact between anyone and Kevin about a sale. Nothing is happening.’”

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Comment of the day

Antonio Nartea on Caterham recalling Heikki Kovalainen:

To me, this shows pretty much what I stated when Caterham announced their line-up for 2013: Caterham need a coherent marker in order to identify where their car is at the moment, performance-wise. Pic and Van Der Garde are too much of an unknown quantity in order to get relevant data for the team, as they risk hindering the car?s development.

The question is, what if Kovalainen proves to be at least on par with Bianchi (or a mile ahead of both Pic and Van Der Garde, for that matter) after these two practice sessions? If Kovalainen manages to show there?s something worthwhile in that Caterham, contrary to what we?ve seen so far, then I think he?s got himself his race seat back.

Catherham might have gone through their budget again and realised they?re better off paying Kovalainen?s salary than losing the money for tenth place in the constructors’ championship.
Antonio Nartea (@Tony031r)

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On this day in F1

Jochen Rindt link was born on this day in 1942. He won the world championship in 1970, but it came after he had been killed in an accident at Monza.

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78 comments on Todt to stay away from Bahrain race

  1. Roald (@roald) said on 18th April 2013, 0:13

    I don’t know why, but something about Rindt makes him a very interesting person and driver to me, maybe because of his sad story. Still want to read Tremayne’s book about him very badly, but last time I checked it was quite an expensive book!

  2. Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 18th April 2013, 0:18

    Well, there’s certainly no confusing FIA President Todt’s actions with leadership. How incredibly spineless can you get? Even Thatcher’s got more balls at this point.

    • Ivano (@) said on 18th April 2013, 0:27

      @russellgould

      It’s not as if Todt attends every other race. Don’t understand the big deal and rage to attack him.
      At the end, the F1 teams can say no as they did during the 2005 USA GP.

      • Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 18th April 2013, 0:41

        If you can’t lead by example, are you a leader? In my book, nope. Todt not showing in Bahrain while campaigning for reelection is crap for leadership.

        • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 18th April 2013, 1:57

          Trying to get re-elected makes you a crappy, spineless leader?

          Bad news for, like…every single elected leader in the world!

          • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 18th April 2013, 7:16

            @tmekt
            you’ve missed the point.
            you’re asking that question as if trying to get re-elected is part of a whole different kind of activity than running the FIA. The ‘crappy, spineless leader’ part was most likely meant for not standing up to his actions by being absent.

          • thatscienceguy said on 18th April 2013, 10:19

            The Fia Is much bigger than just F1. And his re-election isn’t decided by F1. Or even motorsportfor that matter.

            Not attending F1 has no relation whatsoever with his ability to be President of the Fia.

          • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 18th April 2013, 11:36

            @andrewf1 – I don’t think I missed the point. I’m not sure if fully understand what you’re trying to say though.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th April 2013, 2:03

          Max Mosely did the alternative – attending (almost) every single race to the point where he neglected every other aspect of being President.

          • Ryan Fairweather said on 18th April 2013, 9:42

            Mosely never knew when to shut his mouth and tinkered with F1 to near destruction. So Todt has been a better president, I would have preferred Vatanen though.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th April 2013, 10:33

            Vatanen was definately the popular choice, primarily because Todt was seen as Mosely’s man. There was a real fear that Todt would become a puppet of Mosely, or that he would create a role of “F1 Commissioner” and appoint Mosely to the position so that nothing really changed. But Todt has done a very good job in the role so far, and has certainly distanced himself from Mosley’s style of autocratic leadership.

            Honestly, I don’t think Vatanen would have done that well in the role. He didn’t really have any idea on what he wanted to do as President; I really got the impression that he would work out the details later. Todt was elected and got straight down to business, and I think history will remember him as one of the best Presidents the FIA ever had (though he was following Mosely and Balestre, so he didn’t have to do much to out-class them).

          • where’s the relevance in your comment? Coincidences don’t exist, well at least in this business. Jean Todt is obviously on par with Ecclestone the main target of the Bahrain revolutionary group. The bahrain people want a new leadership, they don’t agree with the money spent on the race so if they can’t attack their king they will attack their king’s interests and because both Todt and Ecclestone are responsible for the race the people didn’t want in the first place, they are in most danger, but isn’t Todt by being absent trying to part himself with the responsibility of agreeing with the Bahrain GP deal, Todt is either powerless in F1 or coward or both.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 18th April 2013, 2:10

        @ivano Maybe someone with more knowledge can quote a source, but I think that if a team decide not to run a GP they get santioned… It is all in the Concorde Agreement.

        Of the teams Mclarean is never gonna pull out of this race, I think Bahrain of some or one the enterprise owned by the King of Bahrain is a sponsor, isn´t it?

        • eff-one said on 18th April 2013, 4:51

          From The Guardian

          McLaren, the Formula One team which is home to drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, will not be following its British rival Williams to the stock market, according to its chief financial officer, Andy Myers.

          McLaren is 50% owned by Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund with the remaining shares in the hands of its chairman, Ron Dennis, and Saudi tycoon Mansour Ojjeh. In November 2009 they bought out former 40% shareholder Mercedes but the motivation was not to list the business. “The McLaren group has no plans to float in the future,” said Myers.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th April 2013, 7:26

          Not a sponsor, but a 40% owner actually @celeste. You are right that McLaren is sure to be there, even if they would not fear any other repercussions.

          As for getting sanctioned under the Concorde Agreement, this year that raises an interesting point, as NO CA has been signed yet for this year!

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 18th April 2013, 12:33

            @bascb No Concorde but all teams barring Marussia have commercial agreements in place which will set out their legal obligation to compete in every round. The only team who would be able to pull out without any repurcussions would be Marussia. They could also say that they don’t want their image used during the coverage of the race, since technically FOM have no rights to show Marussia or their sponsors without consent, which could mean that if they wanted they could virtually stop the show. But I doubt they’ll be doing that any time soon, since it’s hardly condusive to a healthy ongiong commercial relationship…

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th April 2013, 13:57

            Yes, you are right about that @mazdachris, its unlikely any of them would risk that, and I agree that Marussia NOT wanting any airtime pretty much out of the question.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 18th April 2013, 15:21

            @mazdachris

            The only team who would be able to pull out without any repurcussions would be Marussia,

            In practice I doubt contracts would stop Bernie.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th April 2013, 7:34

      Sure, Tatcher showed “balls” and I think there would not many who would see here as spineless. She made a prominent leader @russelgould.
      But was it really a good leader, and more importantly, does the FIA NEED a prominently acting leader, or one that actually goes about his business, builds consensus, puts the right people in the right places to get things done and achieves far more in an organization that has no real power but that what its members give it?

      Sure, I agree that especially on the issue of Bahrain, Todt has shown more skill for looking away and hope the issue solves itself than doing anything positive. And in that light its significant that he won’t be there.
      On the other hand, doesn’t it rather mean that he knows fully well that its not fine (and many of his members would like it to go away), and therefore is not wanting to be seen there to add to its “glory” without actually going into confrontation.
      Sure, not a “Big balls, forcefull leader” But really if you think about it, we had him in Max Mosley, and that was not all that great either, was it.

    • pwaa (@pwaa) said on 18th April 2013, 9:03

      Bahrain is such a deeply politicised race already that showing up to the race is surely the best thing for Todt’s re-election push, Unless there is a lot of ill feeling toward the race amongst the electorate…

      • Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 18th April 2013, 16:28

        The point is that when, like Todt, you send people into a potentially dangerous situation, it is poor leadership to not show up. I frankly don’t care if he’s there or not. I think if there was a single FIA-sponsored event that he should attend this year, Bahrain would have been it.

        Claiming to be a leader while safely sitting outside the country is crap for leadership. I hope it is clear now.

  3. Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th April 2013, 0:27

    I’ve read around and all news about Bahrain seems to be mostly positive. There are of course still the normal protests which, like in all countries, resulted in clashes with riot police. Not as violent as the ones we saw in Europe last year though.

    Some other news:
    • two police officers were sentenced to 10 years in prison for the fatal beating of an antigovernment protester in 2011. This shows the courts still work and progress is being made to bring those responsible to call.
    • 1 teenage boy was killed during protests in Feb. To be honest a boy that young really had no good reason to attack riot police. hard to pin blame as it could have happened in any country.
    • A police man was arrested for slapping a protester in December.
    • Another person was shot in the face in early December.

    Overall I think things have definitely improved. Hopefully the current “talks” improve things and returns the country to peace.

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 18th April 2013, 0:29

      *By “mostly positive”, I mean “not as bad as it was 2 years back”.

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 18th April 2013, 0:56

      There are of course still the normal protests which, like in all countries, resulted in clashes with riot police. Not as violent as the ones we saw in Europe last year though.

      At least 72 people have been killed since the protests broke out in Bahrain in February 2011, I’d say that’s quite a lot more violent than the protests in Europe.

      1 teenage boy was killed during protests in Feb. To be honest a boy that young really had no good reason to attack riot police. hard to pin blame as it could have happened in any country.

      How do you know he had no good reason to “attack riot police” ?
      At least 80 children under 18 are held in adult prisons in Bahrain for participating in protests.

      Overall I think things have definitely improved. Hopefully the current “talks” improve things and returns the country to peace.

      According to the NGO Bahrain Watch, the Bahraini government has recently spent at least US$32 million on public relations firms to improve its image – looks like it’s working.

      (Facts sourced from )

      • Andrei (@andrei) said on 18th April 2013, 3:53

        Sadly, I will not watch this race. As I live in South America, this is one of the few races that is aired at an acceptable time for me, but I think I have enough information to choose not to support this event.
        Maybe I’m wrong, but sometimes we feel that is time to take a stand…

    • John H (@john-h) said on 18th April 2013, 8:44

      The problem is that the foreign press are not allowed outside of the circuit area. Why is this do you think?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th April 2013, 14:12

      seems its not that easy for some Bahraini teenage boys to avoid the riot police though

      Police went into the Jabreya boys’ school after a students’ protest calling for the release of an arrested colleague. On the night before, on Sunday, a car had exploded in Manama.

    • Baron (@baron) said on 18th April 2013, 19:26

      I regularly watch Al-Jazeera and Russia Today for a different slant on the “news” as I no longer trust the BBC politically. Last month a news item on both stations interviewed medical professionals who had been arrested and detained for the “heinous” crime of treating protesters injured by police. That item was (to my knowledge) never shown on Western TV News stations.

  4. Catherham might have gone through their budget again and realised they’re better off paying Kovalainen’s salary than losing the money for tenth place in the constructors’ championship.

    Spot on.

    And while I’d love to point out that Bernie is quite right that he can’t very well cancel the event today, with all of the newly remembered political pressure, he can’t very well claim ignorance back in September when he went through all of this last year too.

    It is difficult to argue against this F1 race being a potential positive for the country when the Grand Prix is also seemingly the only time anyone cares about Bahrain. I’m not saying it’s right, but that doesn’t make it less true.

    Personally, what I’d really love to see is the teams blacking out their cars for the race.

  5. D (@f190) said on 18th April 2013, 0:31

    Keith, what’s happening with the championship predictions for Bahrain ? I know you canceled the round last year, so is the plan on or off ?
    Thanks

  6. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 18th April 2013, 0:45

    Just so that Im clear. Louts Cars used to be title sponsor of Team Enstone yes? Which is why the ended up with the Lotus Cars vs Tony Fernandes issue? And as of last year, Lotus cars dont sponsor the team anymore but Mr Lopes decided leave them on because of some branding issue?

    Is that right?

    • Apex (@apex) said on 18th April 2013, 1:23

      I think under the deal they originally signed with Lotus Cars, the team is licensed to use the name for a certain number of years. Despite Lotus Cars no longer sending checks, the team has opted to continue as Lotus. My guess would be that the name lends a certain amount of ‘prestige’ and is more attractive to potential sponsors, etc. I would also assume that a name change could cost them money. Sauber faced a similar situation in 2010 when they kept the BMW moniker despite BMW no longer being involved with the team.

  7. Jono (@me262) said on 18th April 2013, 2:07

    the struggle for freedom wasnt a good enough excuse for the Formula 1 circus not to to party in the backyard of the people of bahrain, why would it be this year?

    • jimscreechy (@) said on 18th April 2013, 7:43

      “The struggle for freedom” I had no idea Bahrain was a slavery sanctioned state.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 18th April 2013, 9:43

        @jimscreechy yes because slavery is the only thing to hinder freedom, I’m guessing common sense or some critical thinking isn’t your forte. Not sure why your remark is black and white but whatever…

        At this point, I really can’t say much for Bahrain, it will be like these for years to come and the U.S. wont say anything or do anything because the area host the 5th Fleet. So really it’s sad, but I can’t see much being done.

        • jimscreechy (@) said on 18th April 2013, 12:56

          Ohhhhh! I see, so they’re not free in Bahrain then? I think your confusing freedom with democracy my good man, something even me and my serious lack of crtical thought can quite clearly comprehend.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 18th April 2013, 15:36

            @jimscreechy

            I don’t think they are. You’re the only one who mentioned it.

            I’d point out that Bahrain is, for human rights, a dire place. The arrests leading up to the GP should make that clear. Freedom of opinion and thought does not exist in Bahrain.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 18th April 2013, 15:37

            Freedom of expression I should have said.

  8. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 18th April 2013, 2:08

    Gerard López made the right decision not to have a title sponsor this year, the value of the Enstone team is growing pretty quickly and it would be foolish to settle for a multiyear contract right now if they can still afford to operate with their own money.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 18th April 2013, 2:50

      Yeah, the problem is the economy isn´t.

      Lotus is acting like a very young woman:
      So what to do? Do I marry the one good man that wants to marry me or wait for my prince?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th April 2013, 2:58

      @mantresx

      Gerard López made the right decision not to have a title sponsor this year

      His comments read more like spin to me. They were tipped to bring Coca-Cola into the sport, but had to settle for minimal branding of a product – Burn – that the company really only distributes. They talked up a deal with American conglomerate Honeywell, which they allegedly lured away from Williams, but so far nothing has come of it. And Lopez and Lux tried to sell the team last year, but put the price up when Raikkonen won in Abu Dhabi, and the buyers lost interest.

      So I think Lopez is really trying to make the best of a bad situation here.

    • “So we’ve refused to sign certain things we could have done because we believe we shouldn’t undersell ourselves.

      Agreed with @mantresx and Mr Lopez. They’re hinting at Honeywell here, I know because I know this company and it’s a bad image for an F1 team to sport that name. They have a lot of PR issues and it was a wise decision not to go with them.
      Honeywell is a horrible company. I hope Lotus gets a really good sponsor. This goes for @prisoner-monkeys as well, I have been following the Honeywell news, it’s ancient history, and good riddance. Wait for something better, exactly what Lopez is doing. I’m hoping for an Airlines Co. Hopefully Etihad or the likes.

  9. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 18th April 2013, 3:31

    If anyone is making a problem w/ respect to F1 in Bahrain, it’s the disloyal domestic Bahraini agitators who are disrespecting their country’s legitimate government while trying to co-opt an apolitical sporting event and exploit Formula 1 for their own selfish aims. Nevertheless, I heartily endorse F1′s presence in Bahrain and support the benevolent rule of King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and I look forward to watching this weekend’s race.

    • Zahir (@zahir) said on 18th April 2013, 13:56

      @joepa please tell me this is sarcasm that’s been lost on me. Surely you can’t be serious?

      • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 18th April 2013, 17:50

        please tell me this is sarcasm that’s been lost on me. Surely you can’t be serious?

        @zahir – somebody needs to express the contrarian position, or else these comment sections just become one giant politically-correct echo chamber. Although I genuinely do not care about the Bahraini opposition (especially the Islamist parties), I can certainly empathize with the State, which has invested heavily in creating a wonderful sporting spectacle that all of Bahrain could be proud of, yet radicalized Islamist factions are trying to co-opt, disrupt or otherwise compromise it. Worse still is that they do it under the guise of advocating for “human rights” and “democracy,” which anyone who understands anything about civil society in the Middle East knows is an allusion in comparison to what those ideals actually mean in the West. The Shia majority understands nothing about gender equality or the rights of non-heterosexuals to be safe from being killed simply for their sexual orientation, for example. So no, I definitely do not support the opposition in Bahrain and am happy for the State to do whatever it feels is necessary to ensure that the show goes on and the F1 race is not marred by unseemly protests against a legitimate gov’t.

        • Zahir (@zahir) said on 20th April 2013, 14:24

          @joepa I have seen no evidence of rising radical islamist parties in bahrain, unlike what you hear in Syria. You speak about the Shia majority knowing nothing about equal rights as if the Sunni minority are any better. Cultural differences between the west and the middle east aside, if you take human rights in their most basic form as a right to subsistence, its clear that the Bahraini people are right to feel aggrieved. Imprisonment and torture are against whichever ideal of human rights you wish to envision.

          As for the ‘benevolent’ ruler you speak of, isnt this the man who passes a law that imprisons someone if they speak out against the king. Yeah he sounds really benevolent to me.

          There is a reason that everyone is commenting in opposition to the Bahraini government, its not just an exercise of following the crowd, its identifying what the ruling family are doing there is wrong. Just because they have organised a well run grand prix doesnt justify all the other obscene acts theyve been conducting. That is some seriously flawed logic

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2013, 17:11

      Its a bit of a problem how you want to define

      their country’s legitimate government

      when its not a democracy @joepa

      Does tradition make it legitimate – it often does, but only until it loses that legitimacy by changes, which is exactly what the uprising was about – change to the way the government works to be a more legitimate representation of its inhabitants.

      Even in the Netherlands there are people who want to lose the royal family on principle when the current queen steps down at the end of the month!

      • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 19th April 2013, 19:14

        @bascb – the form is irrelevant as to whether or not it’s “legitimate” in the sense that the present regime is and has been the internationally, diplomatically-recognized government of the kingdom (btw: Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy).

        You’re aware that F1 just raced in a Communist state, where the “legitimate” government isn’t something as benign and benevolent as a constitutional monarchy, but rather is a dreadful autocratic socialist system where mobile execution vans are a staple of life? According to Amnesty International, China leads the world in executions and the “latest statistics show that China executes thousands…[though] Amnesty does not provide a precise figure of executions in China as Beijing keeps such figures secret.” I don’t recall you expressing any objection to that event, and so must consider totally unprincipled any suggestion you would now make that F1 shouldn’t be in Bahrain.

        “change to the way the government works” = euphemism for subvert, destabilize or otherwise attack the legitimate government (of Bahrain, but not China – right?)

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2013, 22:41

          @joepa, believe me I live in a country where most are very happy to have seen off communism over 20 years back. Whether a government calls itself communism, capitalist, bolivaran, monarchist, islamist, or free, that is just the political colour and I would not want to judge that. Being socialist does not have to be bad. Just as being any of the other is not intrinsically bad or good. The thing that is wrong is not that Bahrain is a monarchy, its the way the government acted to forcefully crush opposition that wanted relatively small changes, at first, but then radicalized (as could be expected).
          But the point of it being legitamete – in your defenition – mistakenly stating that recognition is the same as being legitimate why then do you object to Chinas communist party, when they are as much internationally recognized?
          I understand legitimate as meaning its a government that is generally accepted by the overwhelming majority as such, which I am not all too sure Bahrains government really is, because we have no means of determining it.

          Apart from that, I do know that there is a lot wrong with the Chinese government, but is that really the point we need to discuss here? There is a lot wrong with many governments, but at the moment we are speaking about Bahrain, not China, the USA or Germany.

          “change to the way the government works” = euphemism for subvert, destabilize or otherwise attack the legitimate government (of Bahrain, but not China – right?)

          I really fail to get what you want to say with that. In my opinion, the people of Bahrain have as much right (as in human right, maybe not under their current legal system) to try and change things. Ideally the government should have means to do that inside the system (a functional democracy or some other form to react to such sentiments), or failing that, protests that possibly lead to changes (we saw such protests all over Europe first in the 1840-1860s, in Portugal in 1974 and then in central and eastern Europe around 1988-1993, or indeed in China a couple of years later) are to be expected and I am supportive of them.

          In Bahrain the GP is THE biggest international event at all. Moreover its run by an organization that is directly connected with the Ruling family and the government, so its very clearly part of the government and part of their PR. That is very much different from the situation of F1 in China. Its more comparable with the Peking Olympics for China.

  10. LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 18th April 2013, 7:31

    Todt didn’t attend because there’s no point going, the race is only there for the money into Bernies wallet. Bernie didn’t attend Melbourne which is one of the best events of the year but he always attends Bahrain because he loves the money.

  11. Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 18th April 2013, 8:57

    Strange that before last sundays race there was not a single topic about human rights in China which i think are quite huge (in comparison to other F1 coutnries).

    Oh, right, the only problematic country/race is Bahrain and only on this race every hypocrite becomes so white and clean.

    Problems in country exists – why then everyone protests about it only during the race weekend (or most precisly – why everyone notices these protests during race weeked)?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th April 2013, 9:00

      @maldikons I think the China argument is flawed – here’s why.

      • Krišjānis (@maldikons) said on 18th April 2013, 9:29

        @keithcollantine – if i understand correctly, then human right situation in China is not a concern for F1 fans because the race in China isn’t used by goverment for propaganda purposes?

        So the actual offences against human rights/demcracy/whatever isn’t a problem (because it hapens in Bahrain and in China) – the problem is that race is used by ruling goverment to claim all is good (happens only in Bahrain)?

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th April 2013, 10:44

        @keithcollantine , @maldikons

        I actually think the opposite is true also. Yes the Bahrain government uses F1 for propaganda but so does the opposition use it to give their plight international exposure. If Bahrain were to have no more grand prix then human rights abuses won’t stop, but protesters would no longer have an international platform for their cause.

        Also, the Chinese GP is of negligible importance to China only because it is a much larger country, the Chinese government still uses it to add to its own credibility but it also has many other international sporting events (including for example the Olympics).

        I’m not in any way supporting the violent policies of Bahrain’s dictatorship (nor China’s) but I think that Ecclestone is in a small way right that the time for making the decision is when the calendar is put together and not the week before the race. Ecclestone is always going to find it easy to make sure Bahrain is on there as there is less tension at that time and then when the race arrives he can say that it’s too late to do anything. I think that the protests and feelings of teams/drivers/media need to be hammered home as soon as the provisional calendar is announced with pressure to remove Bahrain before the final calendar.

        In the current situation I think that it’s correct that the event goes ahead and it’s correct that protestors use it as a (non violent) platform for protests.

        • vjanik said on 18th April 2013, 12:43

          yes. agreed.

          The royal family are using the race to get worldwide attention. For them this can be both a good thing or a bad thing. The protests are much more visible than if the race wasn’t there.

          There are many places in the world without an F1 race where people are being exploited every day, and are not being discussed in the mainstream media at all.

          It shows how hypocritical we are but unfortunately thats the world we live in. And if it takes an event like the Bahrain GP to spark a discussion than thats better than nothing.

          I agree. The protesters should use this opportunity and be as loud as possible. Unfortunately i predict that after the weekend the world (including the MPs in England) will move on to the next news story, and little will change. This is not the fault of F1 though.

          I don’t like these regimes or oil/tobacco companies or banks. But from all the horrible things that these institutions do, investing in F1 is one of the better things. Its unfortunate that we have to sign with the devil to make F1 happen, but thats the way it is.

    • sonia luff (@sonia54) said on 18th April 2013, 18:59

      Well said, we hear nothing in the media for 360 days then all hell breaks loose stop the race.It should go ahead and we shouldn’t interfere in the way other countries are run regardless of their problems.

  12. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 18th April 2013, 20:28

    The Daily Mail never fail to chat absolute ********

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