Bruno Senna, Williams, Shanghai, 2012

‘Tyres the number one item on the car in 2012’ – Williams

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bruno Senna, Williams, Shanghai, 2012In the round-up: Williams say tyres have become the single most important determining factor in a car’s performance.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Williams: Tyre management key in 2012 (Autosport)

Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan: “Tyre management is fundamental. The tyres are the number one item on the car, followed by aero and then engine. But understanding the tyres and managing the tyres is the key to unlocking race performance. Qualifying as well, but of particular performance in race.”

MPs bid to halt Bahrain GP (Evening Standard)

Mr Corbyn’s motion said: “This House is astonished that the Bahrain Formula One race is going ahead despite huge concerns over abuse of human rights expressed by Amnesty International and others. It notes that a trial is continuing of 52 medical professionals who tried to help victims of the suppression of protests. It believes that the Formula One race will be used by the Bahrain government as an endorsement of its policies of suppression of dissent. And it accordingly calls for its cancellation.”

Pressure for Grand Prix to be cancelled (The Times)

“The All Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Bahrain has also written to key Formula One sponsors, including Sony, Vodafone, Shell, Red Bull and Mercedes-Benz, demanding that they withdraw their support.”

Bahrain unable to guarantee safety for Formula One says former Met officer (The Guardian)

“There will be protests over the weekend. But we want to make this a sporting event not a security event. The man who is heading the security said he wanted security to be felt but not seen. And I applaud that.”

A protest in Bahrain (BBC)

Nabeel Rajab of Bahrain’s Centre for Human Rights: “We’re protesting to show anger at Formula 1 for conducting the race here. People see Formula 1 as representing these dictators, and it is not good, not even for Formula 1. The ruling regime should be punished and not rewarded with Formula 1.”

Great reporting from the frontline in Bahrain (Adam Cooper)

“Last weekend in Shanghai an ex-F1 driver I respect a great deal told me to ‘be careful’ and ‘back off’ on my Bahrain tweeting. Although like many F1 VIPs he is on good terms with the Bahraini royal family, there was nothing sinister in his message ?ǣ he was trying to do me a favour, and I guess protect me from any potential backlash from whoever might be monitoring what the media has been saying about the Bahrain GP.”

Button: I trust FIA over Bahrain decision (The Telegraph)

“I believe in the FIA’s decision. If everything is straightforward and nothing happens, it’s not even going to be in the back of my mind at all.”

Bahrain hunger striker’s wife criticises Ecclestone (Reuters)

“I am not angry with the government… it’s their future at stake. What makes me angry is people like Ecclestone who decides to come to Bahrain because he thinks everyone is happy.”

Porsche team withdraws from Bahrain support race (

“A team from the supporting Porsche Supercup has withdrawn from the opening rounds of the new season in Bahrain, citing concerns over safety for its decision.”

Mercedes still not on board with 2013 Formula One Concorde Agreement (Autoweek)

“Ecclestone said Mercedes was ‘very important’ for F1 but noted that the German carmaker is only in its third season racing under its own name. ‘And they have not won the world championship yet’ he said. […] ‘I don’t see much history in this team,’ Ecclestone told the magazine.”

InDetail: Caterham Front Upright (ScarbsF1)

“At the threaded outer part of the hub, the wheel retention system is removed. This is a sprung clip that flicks in\out as the wheel nut passes over it during wheel changes. The clip will retain the nut as required by the regulation, should the wheel nut not be tightened sufficiently.”

ScarbsF1 via Twitter

“I’ve heard from an insider that Renaultsports KERS on the Red Bull does use some Super Capacitors, mounted on the floor.”

County agrees to help cover F1 road improvements (Austin-American Statesman)

“The F1 event could draw up to 120,000 fans for the Sunday race and 300,000 over the three-day weekend.”

Rubens Barrichello?s new life in IndyCar (MotorSport)

“I’m still not 100 per cent behind the steering wheel. I was just in a meeting saying I wanted to change the grip on my steering wheel. I?m still racing Tony [Kanaan]’s wheel, which is a bit too big for me. I want it smaller. And I’m still racing with my ear plugs from Williams because mine are not ready. It’s a process and when it all comes together I hope that I’m better.”

Happy Hamilton should end speculation by signing McLaren deal (Daily Mail)

“With the MP4-27 the class act of the field this season, and Hamilton seemingly back to his best, surely it’s time for the 2008 world champion to repay McLaren’s faith and sign on the dotted line to end any lingering speculation?”

Caterham to light up the streets of Dublin (F1)

“Irish Formula One fans will be able to see the Caterham team in action on the streets of their capital later this year after Tony Fernandes? squad were confirmed for June?s Bavaria City Racing event in Dublin.”

The Pit Stop: Rosberg?s maiden triumph puts Mercedes back at the front (Unibet)

My latest column for Unibet.

Comment of the day

Yesterday’s comment piece on the Bahrain Grand Prix drew some passionately-held and well-argued opinions. Here’s a sample of two from opposing sides of the debate:

The safety issue is an important one, but I believe the bigger issue in the long run is the issue of F1???s reputation because of the decision made by the FIA.

Article 1 of the FIA Statutes states: “The FIA shall refrain from manifesting racial, political or religious discrimination in the course of its activities and from taking any action in this respect.”

The Bahraini royal family is both the circuit owner and the race promoter. There is clearly an internal division in the country, with some of its citizens in the majority feeling their lives under the leadership of a minority king are no longer acceptable. This is not the FIA?s business.

But the FIA?s decision to continue with this race, in full knowledge of this internal political conflict is in direct violation of Article 1 because the Bahraini ruling regime is blatantly using this race to bolster the legitimacy of its leadership. “UniF1ed” and “One Country” are overt propaganda.

I cannot believe this is the same organisation that fined the Turkish ASN millions for politicising F1 by using a Turkish-Cypriot official during a podium ceremony. How subtle was that act when compared to the PR assault led by “UniF1ed”?

F1 has no place on either side of this issue. And by not acting decisively to steer clear of this mess, Jean Todt has demonstrated extremely poor leadership. One got a strong sense that he was trying to find reasons to let the race occur, instead of focusing on what was right for F1.

I fully respect and understand the opinions against the race.

I have a different view because of several reasons. First, yes it is right that F1 does make a political statement by going to Bahrain even if it doesn?t want to do so. It more or less helps the current regime.

However, not racing in Bahrain because of the ongoing human rights violations would be a political statement, too. It would help the opposition. While at the moment it seems the right thing to do, it is impossible to predict the possible consequences. What if, as a result, a revolution happened and radical Islamists came to power? I don?t think this is a totally unreal scenario. Fight for democracy and human rights often isn?t just that, particularly in Arab countries.

The problem is that governments and probably also people in countries like Bahrain, China, UAE, India etc. have different values and different understanding of what is right and what is wrong. For example, China still execute a lot of people each year ?ǣ maybe only dangerous criminals are executed but, in totalitarian regimes, you cannot be sure about that.

Tortures in Bahrain have been widely reported already before 2011. Terrible as it may sound, the governments of these states often torture and kill their people because these things in these countries aren?t considered as unacceptable as they are in Western democracies.

FIA and FOM knew all this when they decided to go to Malaysia, UAE, Singapore, China and Bahrain (because of money) a few years ago and they have never cared about people being tortured, imprisoned and sentenced because of their political views, sexuality or whatever.

If they had decided to call Bahrain off just because of pressure from fans, media and human rights activists, then that would be just showing off, without a true intention to change their attitudes.

Site updates

Thanks to Damon Smedley who posted the 400,000th comment on the blog yesterday!

And thanks also to those who contributed the preceding 399,999. More here:

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jiten, Lenny, The Comedian 39 and The_Pope!

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

March scored their first F1 win today in 1970 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Jackie Stewart was at the wheel of the 701 and led every lap. But he and his Tyrrell team had greater things in mind and by the end of the season they were racing a car of their own construction.

At Jarama, Bruce McLaren finished second – his last podium appearance before his death in June that year – and Mario Andretti was third in a nother March.

Graham Hill and Johnny Servoz-Gavin were the only other classified finishers, so the point for sixth place went unclaimed.

The first lap of the race was marred by a terrible, fiery crash involving Jackie Oliver and Jacky Ickx. Both emerged unscathed:

Image ?? Williams/LAT

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  • 60 comments on “‘Tyres the number one item on the car in 2012’ – Williams”

    1. I’ve just about had enough with all this Bahrain nonsense. I’ll be glad when it’s over, regardless of how it pans out.

      1. Same! I hope things get sorted, and we don’t have any of this next year. Or if things are still bad there, there is no way it should be on the F1 calendar!!!

      2. I’m pretty disgusted that this site. I come here for F1 and for the past few weeks the only news has been Bah bah bah, bah bah Bahrain.

        Other F1 news (or f1 driver news) is not even making it onto the site because of the sites obsession with Bahrain.

        Yes we know some people are unhappy, we have heard it 100 times now. The same story spun and spun and spun. Once it has been repeated for the 100th time IT IS NO LONGER WORTH ADDING!

        1. @infy

          for the past few weeks the only news has been Bah bah bah, bah bah Bahrain.

          Other F1 news (or f1 driver news) is not even making it onto the site because of the sites obsession with Bahrain.

          A momentary glance at recent coverage on the site quickly demonstrates that is complete rubbish.

          On the home page at the moment, of the last ten articles, one is on the political situation surrounding the Bahrain Grand Prix.

          Articles on Bahrain have typically accounted for around half the links in daily the round-ups, but never at the expense of other stories on F1. Today, out of 17 links, eight are on the Bahrain situation. Yesterday it was seven out of 13. They day before that, six out of 13.

          I can tell you quite honestly there is not a single article missing from the site that would be there if it weren’t for coverage on Bahrain. Which is hardly surprising given I’ve only written one article on it since Sunday.

          So give the exaggerations a rest.

        2. @infy Believe me, I also prefer discussions about Webber’s latest pass on Vettel or Vettel’s new hairstyle over political debates. But if we are in situation where F1 and politics clash, then we just cannot ignore it and pretend that it’s just ‘racing as usual’. And, as Keith rightly points out, discussions on the political situation in Bahrain have never meant that other things happening in F1 are ignored. For instance, the headline of this round-up has nothing to do with Bahrain.

          I think that fans are interested in what’s happening in Bahrain because that touches the fundamentals of F1, namely, what F1 is about. Is F1 just a sport or does it sometimes become more? Should it care about human rights in the countries where races take place? How to act when it’s impossible to ignore politics? To be honest, I’ve thought about these issues already long before 2011 and I tend to believe that it’s a good thing that they are now getting widely discussed.

        3. @infy – If anything, I wish I had more spare time at the moment to read more debates here about Bahrain.

    2. Apparently some Force India personell witnessed a bombing in Bahrain & at least one of the team members has asked to be flown home immediately:

      1. Or “personnel” as it were. Sorry about that.

      2. Saw a comment from somebody in the RBR pit crew who claimed it was true.

        1. If true, this is probably the clearest sign yet that none of these guys should be there.

          1. Nobody hurt apparently, it’s worth pointing out. If true, which it looks like it is, it does not bode well.

      3. Further info from Byron Young via Twitter:

        Force India were caught up in a car petrol bomb attack returning to the hotel last night, say eye witness reports. They were not the target. And no-one injured but at least one of team has asked to be sent home, I’ve been told. Force India PR Will Hings says reports exaggerated. Force India said their car was one of about 40 briefly delayed and all made it safely back to the hotel in Manama after taking a detour.Police presence was what the Met would call “high vis” last night.I counted 27 police cars, many with flashing lights,between city & circuit

      4. Perhaps deciding to hold the Grand Prix has its upsides. I wonder, would we (the world, not just the F1 community) be talking as much about the situation if the race had been left off of the calendar after last year? After all this discussion, I can’t see who is actually going to think Bahrain is “unified” purely because they held the race. It’s already starting to go wrong for them before the weekend has begun!

        Having said that, I feel sorry for the teams and others that got caught up, but didn’t want to be involved in this. Though, when you get to compete at the top of the world, in the public eye there are bound to be good moments and bad ones.

      5. There’s a story on autosport

        Sounds like a molotov cocktail landed close to a FI hire car during a protest. None of the mechanics involved are leaving but another team member has decided they don’t want to stay. Fair play to them I say. I also heard a rumour this afternoon that another FI team member has requested to leave.

        This just adds more to the argument that it’s not safe to be there. Even though they weren’t actively targeted, it’s very lucky that nobody was hurt. If the protesters do turn their attention to the race, there could be huge problems. Can’t remember if it was Will Buxton or ByronF1 on Twitter that said the police presence on the road to the circuit was ‘invisble’ this morning…

    3. Congratulations @damonsmedley on your milestone! Looking forward to a million more! :)

      Reading the Caterham article just got me thinking about their performance this year, and that of the other backmarkers. What is holding them back from the midfield now, I wonder?

      1. Indeed, congrats DS, and congrats to Keith on the longevity & growth of the site! Here’s to 400,000 more comments!

        1. And it’s not just the number of comments but the quality of them too. This has to be one of the very few sites where people have intelligent conversations and discussions without resorting to name calling and personal attacks. The issue of the Bahrain GP is a great example. There are two groups of people here who have completely different opinions yet they passionately argued their point with evidence and well informed reason. Every other site I’ve been to that discussed this issue degenerated into ugly mud slinging.

          Congratulations Keith on the great milestone!

          1. @davea86

            This has to be one of the very few sites where people have intelligent conversations and discussions without resorting to name calling and personal attacks.

            I’m glad you think so – its also something I’ve strived to have on the site, but it wouldn’t be possible without the many terrific contributions from readers.

    4. yeah i’m getting tired of bahrain talk. I’m in no position to make a difference so i’ll just have to see how things go. I hope bernie steps down sometime soon. (no more tilkedrome or classic races being axed! *prays*)

      1. As much as Bernie can often drive me completely up the wall, I feel like he’s almost the ultimate, obnoxious yet necessary evil of F1 as it exists today. Yeah, he says stupid things, purposefully inflammatory things, and I’m sure we only ever have some idea, certainly never the full idea, of why he does and says all the things he does… but at the end of the day, he’s always been pretty damn good at one thing: keeping the vast money-generating machine that is F1 chugging along over a long stretch of years. I don’t know, maybe you have to be like Bernie in order to do a job like that, I wouldn’t have the first clue.

        What seems apparent to me, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be any clear succession plan in place for when Bernie inevitably calls it a day. He’s pretty up there in years now, and this does worry me a bit, because he’s a tremendous singular force responsible for so much of what keeps the sport together, whether we like him or not (and for the most part, I severely dislike him). If Bernie steps down, while we’d hopefully hear much less crotchety sound bytes thrown out that get the press all riled up (and I’ve always felt that press attention is 75-90% of the reason why Bernie says anything, if the answer isn’t already money), who would succeed him? And, more importantly, whoever that is, how much disarray could they potentially lead the sport into in his wake? Change would surely come once he left, but would it necessarily be for the better?

        This sounds quite pessimistic, I know, and I don’t want to be, but it’s something I’ve wondered about a lot lately; the state of F1 in the inevitable – and likely sooner than later – post-Bernie era.

        1. Ecclestone has definitely made F1 grow as a business. The questions that brings up for me are: is that in itself a good thing, is financial ‘growth’ a value in itself? Would we be less happy with a smaller F1? Would someone less callous necessarily be less effective?

          I just don’t think that it’s Bernie or nothing. I’m more inclined to think that his financial success has fed his unsavory personality, rather than the other way around.

          1. Well put @maciek.

          2. Oh, I completely agree that the financial successes he’s gained for the sport has fed his… Bernie-ness, which is probably why he seems more unpleasant than ever as the years get on.

            I honestly don’t know what sort of a future I’d want to see for the sport under another leader, which probably has something to do with having first started watching F1 back at the beginning of the ’90s; I’ve never personally experienced the sport under anyone else’s control. But if the sport can remain successful without all the ridiculousness and intentional pot-stirring, I would absolutely be fine with that!

            1. @leucocrystal I’m sure whoever replaces Bernie will have us yearning for the old days soon enough. The Max Mosley/French Toad switch hasn’t seemed to make much difference, except that the toad doesn’t seem to be interested in F1 at all.

              Actually, speaking of not interested in F1, it’ll probably be Briatore to replace Ecclestone :P.

    5. The tyres are the number one item on the car, followed by aero and then engine

      Enzo would be horrified!!!

      1. @cornflakes I see what you did there :P

      2. @cornflakes
        Haha nice one! : )

    6. Very well put @Girts You put it perfectly.

      There is nothing worse than the West pushing its views and ideals into areas where they’re not wanted. We in the West did not write the rule book, we just killed enough people to make it seem that way.

      1. ‘There is nothing worse than the West pushing its views and ideals into areas where they’re not wanted.’

        I’m quite tired of seeing this way too simplistic take repeated over and over. So like what, pro-democracy activists elsewhere than in the West are just all pushing Western views and ideals on themselves?

        1. Exactly, democracy is a human value, not a Western one. Just because we’ve been privileged to have forms of democracy in the West for longer than other parts of the world doesn’t mean that people in those places value it any less, it simply means they haven’t yet found a way to get there.

          1. Hm, there I’m not quite all the way with you though. Our Western democracies are the products of specific developments, not an ideal end goal for humanity. What I’m saying is that democracy, largely defined, is very obviously not just a Western value, since many people elsewhere than the West – both in various governments and in legal and underground opposition movements – hold those same values.

            1. @maciek, I only meant that in broad terms. Certainly different cultures’ political systems will & should look different, but basic human rights & equality are things all most humans strive for.

    7. “Ecclestone said Mercedes was ‘very important’ for F1 but noted that the German carmaker is only in its third season racing under its own name. ‘And they have not won the world championship yet’ he said. […] ‘I don’t see much history in this team,’ Ecclestone told the magazine.”

      I find it very hard to argue with this. Yes, Mercedes is a historic name … but they only joined the grid as a full works team in 2010, after a fifty-year absence. They were an engine supplier from 1993 until 2010, but they never had a a full factory team. They’ve only just achieved their first pole position and win, so why are they any more deserving of a greater share of the television rights pay-outs than any other team?

      1. Mclaren, Williams, and Lotus are historical names; do they deserve a greater share of the television rights pay-outs than the rest of the grid?
        In the future, Mercedes will likely receive a greater share of cash than the rest of the grid, bar Ferrari. Why? Because they are manufacturers.

        1. @kingshark – It appears that Bernie wants to restructure the television rights payout system so that success is rewarded more than historical presence.

        2. Formula1 is a brand and there has to be some reward for those teams that maintain that brand.
          Ferrari, Mclaren and Williams have done so now for between 30yrs to over half a century.
          Teams like Lotus, Mercedes, Ford, Renault, BMW, Toyota have pulled out or gone out and come back.
          Then we have some teams that have changed names so many times that even a butterfly becomes envious of the number of stages in their methamorphosis. The present Genii-Lotus and Mecerdes Spring to mind and to a lesser extent, Force India and Redbull.

          It is also interesting to note that of the 3 recent teams, only HRT still retain the name they started their first racw with in F1.

        3. The author of that Daily mail article seems to forget that a driver can’t just sign with a team, the team has to start the process, Withmarsh already said earlier they were in no hurry.

          As someone who raced alongside Hamilton in Karting, it would appear he is a bit bitter about the direction his own career took. “Massive financial backing”? Oh my! Even everyone knows now, that the backing wasn’t that financially spectacular.

          Torrid time? With 3 wins, equal to his supposedly successful team mate?
          Mclaren stood by him?
          Blaming him on live TV on the sundays, then supporting his driving style a week later?
          Even Paffett joined in, “we want to see the Lewis we all love”.
          Was that the same Paffett who was claiming to have one leg in already, being Mclaren’s test driver, before Hamilton was signed on.
          When did racing drivers start loving each other. :-)

      2. I just wish every team that entered the championship got paid the same TV money, and those that don’t like it can join another series.

        I can’t think of any other ‘sport’ that pays different teams different amounts in the same championship. Money should be rewarded for teams that win, not teams that have a history.

        1. @john-h – So you don’t think that teams should be rewarded for their success?

          1. At the end of the year, the championship team should be awarded the most money. But should Ferrari be awarded more than Force India simply because they are Ferrari? No, that’s just unfair for the newer teams.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys

            I think you misunderstood or did not read the end of my comment: “Money should be rewarded for teams that win, not teams that have a history.”

            1. @john-h, @kingshark

              I believe this is what Bernie Ecclestone is trying to do. I think he wants to reset the historical multiplier, which currently covers a team’s results from 1950 to 2011. I think Bernie wants to bring the start date back to 2000, and structure the payments based on the teams’ successes, rather than on how long they have been in the sport.

    8. xeroxpt (@)
      19th April 2012, 3:33

      Sick of tyre talk, teams aren’t used to worry about other things but the cars.

    9. haha Lao the Legend!

      Although I have not been privy to watching the Sky Broadcast (since I live in Asia), watching the segments on youtube gives me the feeling that the crew they have arent as well informed as the Beeb for obvious reasons. People like Georgie Thompson seem a little lost at times….whatever the case, if I could pay to watch any form of a decent F1 broadcast in Asia, I would..whatever the price!!

      I envy you guys in the UK, where you get two world class broadcasters going head to head! I havent managed to find any of the Shanghai segments on YouTube…i.e gridwalks, forum, interviews etc..anybody got link suggestions?

      1. go to torrents & download complete races & watch them. As i do!!!

    10. Very well put by Girts. F1 is making a political statement no matter what it does, it goes ahead with the race or cancels it. So, F1 is going to violate Article 1 no matter what.

      Regarding oppression, the British empire had much of Africa colonized in the 1960s. Was it a ruler they wanted? No. Were there protests happening? Yes. But, the British GP went through, didn’t it?

      F1 is the only sport which goes to over 15 countries of varied customs, religions, norms, governments every year. If it wants to maintain that and ensure harmony between its various hosting countries, F1 cannot have only political/religious views of its own. Its only option is to be open and embracing of the culture around them.

      The Bahrini royal family is no doubt making unfair use of the race. But it is not F1’s business to stop it. If while making the Indian Grand Prix track, several subsidies were given to the construction company but not to the poor villages which lie just off the track, could F1 say that the government is doing a wrong thing and hence F1 should not go to the Indian Grand Prix?

      The way I see it, the protesters are going to gain some short term financial stability thanks to the race. No matter how many protests, in the end, F1 creates temporary jobs for a lot of people involved. And for a country the size of Bahrain, the economic potential of the race becomes significantly higher. It will ultimately be good for the people’s economic well being, although F1 is not going to make any difference to the political situation (whether it goes or it doesn’t go). But hey, that is not F1’s job either.

    11. Come on Lewis get the renewal signed!
      The other big names are on long term contracts, he would be best to stay at Mclaren, they have produced a race winning car every year he’s been there, and they will back both drivers 100% in a title fight, which he might not get at another team.

      Jenson has been fantastic for Mclaren and offers a lot of input to the team which Hamilton can benefit from in terms of development and setup, he is more mature than Hamilton and the whole ‘bubble surrounding him’ concept is something Hamilton has taken and adapted from Button this year, with his mother and father being presant at races this year, he definately benefits from being Jense’s team mate.

      Another thing related to Jenson, is that by the end of his contract he will be 35 years old, now Jenson gets faster and faster with age, but there will be a limit, eventually he will peak and slow down, whereas Hamilton will be reaching his peak over the next 4 years – he could be perfectly placed in a Mclaren taking advantage of his fastest years while his team mate slows. That said a 35 year old Mark Webber isn’t letting Seb have it easy this year!

      If he moved to Merc or RedBull he’d be the older one and be expected to be the more mature, and Ferrari is a no go with Fernando there. From Ferrari’s management point of view it’s a no go even if we fans would love to see how it would develop.

      1. Indeed. Although I seem to remember Jenson taking qute a while to sign a new “multi-year” deal last year. I’m sure Hamilton will sign a contract, just depends what contract it is.

    12. Have we worked out who the new Sauber sponsor is yet?
      The clue was:
      “Out of the Blue”
      Some people suggested Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic might be involved in the deal? Maybe we’ll hear something later today in a pre-race weekend press conferance?

      1. I’m not sure about it, but I think only Checo’s car had that logo. So it might be only his sponsor not Sauber’s.

    13. the decision to run the GP might turn against Bahrain’s regime as well. imagine if race gets cancelled mid-way for security issues…as a result, turmoil in country will be broadcasted across the globe by F1 media!

    14. I personally am glad F1 is racing in Bahrain. I think the regime have shot themselves in the foot as the world’s spotlight is now on their country and what they do. I remember reading up about Bahrain before last year’s got cancelled. As soon as it was cancelled fully (rather then delayed), Bahrain disapeared from the news.

      Now all I hope is everyone stays safe, we don’t get protestors on the track whilst cars are about (my main worry) and that should the race pass off without incident, none of the Royal family present the trophies.

    15. Concerning the “What should I do about watching Bahrain” conundrum, everyday obligations solved my moral dilemna. I have a week end of rowing on a lake (in the rain…) prepared and I won’t be able to see the race live. I also decided that on Sunday late afternoon, I’ll only have time to go and do what in France we, contrary to the Bahrainis, have the chance of being able to do : Vote !

      And as ever, I’ll just read Keith’s excellent write up of the race and that should fulfill plentily my need for F1 for the week end.

    16. The MPs are too late. if the British government officially called for a cancellation sooner it might have had an effect, but making a statement now is pointless. everyone is already in the country by now.

      And if you remember, one of Bernie’s “arguments” for going ahead was that there was no official political warning advising not to go.

      1. Keith posted a story in the round-up a few weeks ago where an MP said that the government had no power to stop the race from taking place at all. A member of the public had appealed to the House of Commons to try and get the race cancelled, but the MP in question said that because Formula 1 is not a British insitution and because the race is not taking place in Britain, there was nothing that they could say or do to stop the race from going ahead. It would be a bit like you or me trying to influence foreign policy in Moldova.

    17. A freelance journalist claims the race in Bahrain has been cancelled, but there is nothing on the BBC World News site (which he claims is where he got the story from) to substantiate it.

      1. This appears to be a false alarm. James Allen Tweeted from the drivers’ press conference seven minutes later, so it appears to be business as usual. For now.

    18. That video from Jarama is unbelievable. A giant fireball erupts from the cars, they’re strewn all over the track, yet the cars keep coming. A fire marshal is standing next to the racing line spraying water on the fire through traffic, yet the cars keep coming. They’re swerving to avoid the fire, sliding on the water and nearly off the track, and still the race continues. That era was incredibly dangerous. I can’t believe that actually happened.

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