Bahrain Trophies Protest?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Ratboy 5 years, 6 months ago.

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    Considering that it looks like the Bahrain Grand Prix is set to go ahead again, I was wondering, are the drivers allowed to refuse the trophy on the podium? Do they have do shake the hands of the podium officials? Do they have to spray the champagne? My point is: presuming that the crown prince or another member of the royal family is hot favorite to hand the trophies out on the podium – are there any rules which punish drivers or teams for making political statements on the podium? This is the kind of thing I’d presume Bernie to have covered but I can’t remember this issue ever coming up in F1.



    MSC broke the rules on the podium when he made Barichello go on the top step after the Austria team orders and was given a huge fine. That’s the only comparable I can think of.



    Well, F1 raced in South Africa during apartheid, and I don’t recall any issues with drivers refusing trophies. Some teams and drivers refused to take part at all, but I don’t think it will happen in F1 today because Bernie will try to withhold royalties and FOTA is all show and no go.



    they shake hands with the Chinese officials no problem



    I wasn’t saying they should or should not shake the hands of the Bahrain officials, but I was wondering whether there are any rules in F1 that ‘force’ drivers to accept trophies and show respect to officials on the podium, and if so – what are the punishments?



    The closest ‘modern’ thing i can think of would have been when the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat handed a trophy at the Turkish GP in 2006. But it was more to do with the title used as president of the Turkish Cypriot “state”. However, It was more of a political thing between 2 countries more then something that got the drivers involved. (more here – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5292914.stm)

    I think the days of Drivers making their own choices are gone, Money is the name of the game and its going to take a strong stance by driver & their team to go against the flow. I do think however that either accepting or not accepting a trophy will be seen as being politically useful for either side in Bahrain.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Making political statements on the podium can have serious consequences. It’s not unlike those athletes who gave the “black power” salute on the podium at the 1968 Mecixo City Olympics. It’s just not done.

    Also, they don’t spray champagne in Bahrain because it’s a Muslim nation. They usually spray a champage alternative; one year it was carbonated pomegranate water, which prompted Jenson Button to say “We smell like ladies now” because it’s perfumed.



    Schumacher’s fine in Austria ’02 was actually due to failure to comply with proper podium procedure. I’m pretty sure refusing a trophy falls under the same rules. It would likely be punished and I highly doubt any of the drivers would attempt it.



    The trophy is for winning the race, not winning the Bahrain People’s Friend Award or something like that, so I don’t see the point.


    Ned Flanders

    If a driver didn’t want to accept a trophy from someone, I don’t see how he could be punished for it. Surely everyone has a right to choose for themselves if they wish to abandon the usual protocol. Besides, who could prove it was a political decision? They could, for example, claim they didn’t want to risk cutting their hands, as Sebastian Vettel and Nigel Mansell have both managed on the podium in years past.

    Although, I doubt very much whether any driver would choose to do such a thing. And certainly not a McLaren driver, considering their links to Bahrain



    You’d think they’d be allowed to, Ned. But the FIA says otherwise: http://www.fia.com/mediacentre/Press_Releases/The_FIA/2002/260602-01.html


    Prisoner Monkeys

    They could, for example, claim they didn’t want to risk cutting their hands, as Sebastian Vettel and Nigel Mansell have both managed on the podium in years past.

    Do you honestly think that would hold up in such a politically-charged situation? Any move by the drivers would be cosntructed as being politically-motivated, even if they claimed otherwise.



    if they dont accept the trophies in bahrain, there’s a big chance they’ll never get out of bahrain.



    I remember starting this topic about a year ago. It seems like a good time to bring this up again.
    I think the topic should focus on four questions:
    1: Is anyone aware of regulations and punishments concerning podium etiquette?
    2: Is anyone aware of who is scheduled to hand out trophies at the race tomorrow?
    3: Do we think any drivers would use the podium to protest?

    1: None except the Schumacher punishment quoted earlier in the topic.
    2: No
    3: Webber… Maybe Raikonnen.


    Alianora La Canta

    There’s a section on podium procedure in the Sporting Regulations (Appendix 3), but not all the requirements appear to be in there – I think some of them are verbally briefed before each podium, according to circumstances.

    As I understand it, the drivers are required to accept the trophy, stand respectfully on their assigned podium step for the anthems and then take their trophies and champagne (while meeting other regulations applying to them for the entire event, such as not mixing F1 with politics). The one thing definitely in the regulations is that they can’t be delayed on their route to the podium. The other regulations concern the behaviour of other people involved.

    I have no idea who’s handing out trophies, and the winner is likely to have theirs given out by a politician. The president of the ASN will probably hand out 2nd or 3rd place’s trophy, which in my view is not an improvement. The constructor will get theirs from a sponsor’s representative (i.e. Gulf Air), which is somewhat less controversial.

    The big thing they can do that is different to normal is they could decline to spray the champagne, since this isn’t a regulatory requirement. A simple “It didn’t feel right” would work as a defence, but attributing it to the protesters wouldn’t. Willingness to do so may depend on what happens between now and then – if there’s some major disaster (connected to the ongoing politics or not), then there would almost certainly be no champagne. Otherwise, it’s more difficult to tell. I could see Webber and the Force India drivers not spraying champagne if they took the podium. Not so sure on the others.

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