Bahrain Grand Prix reinstatement criticised

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: The FIA’s decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix is criticised.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

The Bahrain decision: time to act (Motor Sport)

“Motor Sport believes this decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP on to the 2011 calendar is the perfect opportunity for the Formula One Teams Association to take a stand. The teams should speak as one and boycott the Bahrain race.”

Bahrain Grand Prix gets green light amid protests (The Times)

“One team source said last night: ‘The teams have repeatedly told Ecclestone they do not want to go on moral or any other grounds. This has gone down badly and could turn into as big a row as we have ever seen in the sport.'”

Bahrain Grand Prix given go-ahead (Daily Telegraph)

“Allegedly all 26 members voted to reinstate the race ?ǣ as ‘a whitewash’. Oddly, considering the fact that FOTA?s 12-strong membership was supposedly unanimously opposed to returning to Bahrain this year, one of those World Council representatives was Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.”

Detour of Bahrain would be the best way of recognising human rights (The Guardian)

“The sport ?ǣ if it is a sport at all and not just an inflated commercial platform ?ǣ should be capable of recognising those who have died for a better cause, for the sake of human rights and greater freedoms; and that they have been dying in Bahrain since February.”

Martin Brundle on Twitter

“Read copiously both sides of Bahrain story. Talked to friends and associates who live there. Thought long and hard about it. Mistake to reinstate Grand Prix.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Formula One Is Criticized After Rescheduling Grand Prix in Bahrain (Bloomberg)

“Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as hundreds of protesters marched towards Pearl Square in Manama today following the funeral of an elderly woman who died yesterday from the effects of tear gas, [head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights Mohamed] Al-Maskati said.”

Decision ‘a very sad moment’ (BBC)

“Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, says personal interests have been put above human rights following the decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP.”

Bizarre thinking at the FIA (Joe Saward)

“In a worst case scenario, the Bahrain event will be targeted by the opposition in order to draw attention to their plight. Security will be very tight, although the government cannot hope to protect everyone in the F1 circus 24 hours a day, and the fear is that the opposition will use desperate measures and that people will get hurt.”

F1 Fanatic on Twitter

“Note nothing on bringing back in-season testing in today’s FIA announcement.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

F1 2011 Preview (VideoGamer)

“There are two new tracks, improved handling, oscillating bodywork, improved damage, revamped pit stops, 2011 rule additions, enhanced garage visuals, a new press feedback system and a dynamic cloud system.”

Narain Karthikeyan on Twitter

“Injury prone last few weeks – second degree burns during Spanish Grand Prix, mild disc prolapse and today a hit on the nose by the reaction ball at the gym.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Ayrton Senna movie: Oliver Holt remembers the magic of a F1 hero who transcended his sport (Daily Mirror)

“Working and working, knowing that Senna?s death was bigger news than the fact Nelson Mandela and the ANC had just won South Africa?s first multi-racial election.”

Renault set for management shake up (James Allen)

“Boullier has seen the need to put in place a fix-it man for [Vitaly] Petrov , having identified that he?s not very good at basic self-care, “He needed someone to guide him, to get him about, to tell him how to behave at the track, what time to wake up, have breakfast, how to manage his day, be on time for meetings and so on'”.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Will any teams boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix? Here’s what Timi has to say:

The teams were under contract to race the 1985 South African Grand Prix, but that didn’t prevent Ligier and Renault for boycotting it (kudos to them).

If McLaren, Ferrari or Red Bull.. even Renault or Sauber were to boycott it, the punishment for breaching contract wouldn?t be too large (just my opinion, i have no idea of the specifics of the contracts). Maybe a large fine? Even so, I as a team principal would rather have a spine, and a moral compass, than take the easy way out and blame a contract.
Timi

From the forum

Following the crashes last week, is Monaco still safe enough for Formula 1?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Nathan Bradley!

On this day in F1

An American driver stood on the podium at his home Grand Prix for the last time on this day in 1989. Eddie Cheever finished third for Arrows in his home city of Phoenix, which was hosting its first Grand Prix.

Alain Prost won after team mate Ayrton Senna retired with an electrical problem, and Riccardo Patrese was second.

Christian Danner was fourth for Rial, with Johnny Herbert and Thierry Boutsen the two other points scorers.

Here’s how the race finished:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 102 comments on “Bahrain Grand Prix reinstatement criticised”

    1. To be honest if Vettel has already won the Driver’s Title by the Bahrain GP I would not be surprised if the big name teams don’t race.

      1. Since Bahrain owns a large chunk of McLaren, I can’t see them not racing there. But other teams might boycott it. Adam Parr said a few months ago that they would have boycotted the race in march. Now we’ll see how much truth was in that statement.

        1. Williams will show it’s worth to F1, that is my hope.

        2. Adam Parr said a few months ago that they would have boycotted the race in march. Now we’ll see how much truth was in that statement.

          Perr must in a world of trouble now. How does he justify racing now, with this statement from earlier on? Williams won’t do anything but race, they cannot afford to do different.

        3. Since Bahrain owns a large chunk of McLaren, I can’t see them not racing there.

          Let the Maccas race in Bahrain by themselves. They are sure to win that way. Or wait, they could still DNF or get a black flag. Could be fun.

        4. Bahrain are a minority shareholder so I doubt it will make much difference.

      2. I would not be surprised if the big name teams don’t race.

        They’ll race when and where Bernie tells them to race. Legend has it that the last time the drivers threatened to boycott a Grand Prix, Bernie walked down the grid and said “You’re driving. You’re driving. You’re driving.” – and they all drove.

        1. I remember this story getting brought up at Indy 2005. But the Michelin teams didn’t race anyway that day. Joe had a good theory too – the FIA didn’t stop the race from happening so they don’t get blamed if it gets cancelled. But if the teams boycott, it’s ‘out of their control’.

          1. That’s probably the most plausible theory on this whole debacle.

            I think someone should step up to Todt and/or Ecclestone and ask them “This decision, is this money talking?” and slap them every single time they try to say no.

        2. They need to be on the grid first to allow Bernie to walk down it to tell them to race. Here’s to hoping they aren’t on it.

        3. Douglas 62500
          4th June 2011, 14:38

          …so that Ecclestone can shove tonnes of money into his pocket.

    2. two new tracks? oh, thinking about it, Nurburgring. About to start wild speculation about bonus tracks there.

      1. and India.

        1. And yet no mention of fixing the broken qualifying?

          1. It’s not broken and it doesn’t need fixing.

            1. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I believe Sparky is talking about quali in F1 2010 and Keith is talking about the real life quali.

          2. with luck, the shortcuts they had taken in that game ruined it for me, think ill stick to RFactor 2 when it comes out, it will take ALLOT for me to pay for F1 2011 after the disappointment with 2010.

    3. Good to see many critisize the FIA. Will they see reason.

      I am impressed with Brundle actually speaking up, I would have expected him to keep silent about this matter. But it would seem the BBC lets its people speak their mind.

      1. Yeah, suprised and impressed. Good man Brundle, it’s sad but I think the only thing to do is not watch the race. The only way a message will be heard is if we kick them right in the sponsers and withdraw our influencable eyes.

        Can’t beleive I’m going to delibratley miss an F1 race, I hate the detestable little goblin for it but an insignificant contribution to the plight of thousands of oppressed is better than no contribution.

        Ridiculous decision from FOM, probably worse from the FIA, totally spinless, at least we already knew FOM was populated entirley by b*r*t*r*s but I’m sure the FIA supposed to have some sort of moral responsibility, or at least dignity and a spine.

        1. An intersting notion in one of the articles Keith posted is, that the FOTA teams are hardly going to be unanimous in being against the race.

          Otherwise Ferrari representative Dominicaly would not have been one of the unanimous vote for reinstating the GP.
          Ferrari, why do you keep doing this to the fans?

          1. because the last thing ferrari worries about is the fans.Its the most cynical team in history.
            Veto power in the fia?? how disgusting.

          2. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
            4th June 2011, 0:48

            I heard that McLaren and Mercedes (probably their shareholders, not Ross) want to race in Bahrain too…

            1. Very possible. One of the sad things has been seeing young drivers like Buemi and di Resta talking up the Bahrain GP – do they really care about the place or know anything about the country and its politics, or are some of the teams and corporate sponsors simply ‘prepping’ these drivers behind the scenes?

            2. McLaren they are partly owned by the Bahrain government.

            3. Well, it would be very curious if the biggest McLaren shareholder was against the race, given its the Bahrain state fund.

              And Aabar coming from Abu Dhabi, a fellow GCC country is hardly supprising.

            4. @BasCB

              Bahrain are a minority shareholder. Ron dennis and Techniques d’Avant Garde are the major shareholders.

            5. Very possible. One of the sad things has been seeing young drivers like Buemi and di Resta talking up the Bahrain GP – do they really care about the place or know anything about the country and its politics, or are some of the teams and corporate sponsors simply ‘prepping’ these drivers behind the scenes?

              Pretty sure Buemi lives in Bahrain, so I think he’s in the best position to comment. Di Resta clearly enjoys the track, and so did I before they added the extra loop last year. Glad its now gone, and if the security can be guaranteed then I’m quite happy with the race going ahead. I don’t think they would have uncancelled the race unless they could be absolutely certain of the safety for both fans, teams and media. As for this nonsense about staff being held hostage, that’s all it is! Nonsense!!!

            6. @Simon

              The staff were arrested. I don’t understand which bit is nonsense.

          3. What would Stefano Domenicali have been doing on the WMSC? The members listed by the FIA do not include him. What’s going on?

            http://www.fia.com/en-GB/the-fia/governance/Documents/wmsc-2010.pdf

            1. Last line – representative of Ferrari SpA.

            2. Domenicalli wasn’t on the panel. There were 26 people, the 26 people listed in that above link. If you read carefully at the bottom:

              President of the FIA Manufacturers’ Commission
              or the Ferrari SpA Representative.

              Whoever François Cornelis is the President of the FIA Manufacturers’ Comission.

            3. Thanks for clearing that, Dave.

              An other interesting notion (from Alan Baldwin, Reuters) is that while there was a vote, it does not mean all members were in favour. Instead that those who were not supporting the reinstatement did not vote.

        1. oh dear – that’ll teach me to try and be clever.

          At least the link works!

    4. F1 Fanatic on Twitter

      “Note nothing on bringing back in-season testing in today’s FIA announcement.”

      probably because the FIA have realised that with so many races next season that there’s no time for any testing

      1. And probably because they figured out that bringing back in-season testing doesn’t go well with their goal to reduce costs.

    5. If common sense prevailed, we wouldn’t be talking about the Bahrain GP right now.

      Once again, the morons in charge of this sport are so out of touch with reality. Yet another excuse for new fans not to get into the sport.

      Add it to the list….

    6. Disappointed that there has been no mention of the safety car in the F1 2011 game. I thought they promised to include it this time?

      1. They promised to look at it, and incorporate it if it was possible. They never guaranteed it outright.

      2. They must have been working on the all important ‘dynamic clouds’ instead.

        1. Nice one John H :)

        2. Is that the same dynamic weather that was in F1 ’97?

      3. I’ve got to say, although the safety car is an integral part of the sport and people keep asking for it to be in F1 games, would it really add anything for most gamers? If they put it in, I could see it being a bit of a novelty feature that most people would turn off after a couple of goes. Only real sim fanatics wold leave it on.

        1. And most of them are playing rFactor anyway…

    7. I can’t believe they are going to race in Bahrain this year, people died by the hands of the organizer of the race there… I guess it’s money first as always in F1…

    8. MVEilenstein
      4th June 2011, 0:48

      Bahrain Grand Prix reinstatement criticised

      By nearly the entire world, except the Bahrain government and its supporters. Telling.

    9. Solidarity. The Formula 1 teams need to show it to the people of Bahrain, they can also successfully force FIA to reconsider if they resolve to boycott together. If FIA refuse to back down, it’s breakaway time. Think they’ll risk that? Pressure will work. Start with Red Bull by signing the Avaaz petition: link. No to the Ecclestone dicatorship! ;0)

      1. Solidarity. The Formula 1 teams need to show it to the people of Bahrain

        Do I really have to luck for that post where I explained that not having the race wouldn’t show much loyality (aside from a hypocritical self-righteous one) to the people either. Come to think of it, the FIA is in a lose-lose situation here, actually.

    10. Missed this story:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/new-cars/motorsports/canadian-joins-formula-one-team/article2046020/

      Robert Wickens confirmed as reserve driver for Marussia Virgin Racing.

    11. Absolutely chuffed with my comment of the day :)!!

      1. It’s great isn’t it, you feel like you’ve joined the ranks with some of the biggest F1 Fanatics!! :P

        1. Yeah! I’m in the big leagues now ;)

        2. Yeah!!! We rock :)!!!

      2. Welcome as a true F1Fanatic, nice COTD :-)

        1. :o thanks BasCB!!

          1. Wow, what was that emoticon, timi?! I must know! :P

    12. Bigredbears10
      4th June 2011, 3:10

      If FOTA boycotts the race in Bahrain, could we see an HRT 1-2 finish? Since they are not part of FOTA and would not be obligated to forgoe the race.

      1. A boycott is unlikely. If anything happens, FOTA will convince the FIA to drop the event before it is held.

      2. HRT wants sponsors. Being the only team to race in Bahrain would not help them with that goal, unless they decided to become Team Bahrain.

    13. I commented on some of your comments in yesterday’s daily round up. It is sad to see that people are not happy for us, while ppl here are celebrating the return of F1. We’ll finally be able to move forward and focus on something else other than conflict and crisis. Bahrainis have been through a very rough start of the year, and we deserve to celebrate by hosting a successful GP and prove to the world that they were wrong all along. The International press chose to misrepresent us, now they can come by themselves and see :).

      The country is already moving on, and the International F1 fans are bringing us back down instead of encouraging us. F1 will help in uniting us, it will give us something better to focus on, it’s a reminder that life goes on and we need to pick ourselves up learn from what happened and move on, if we don’t we’ll just burry ourselves deeper and deeper into trouble. We’ve had enough, nobody wants that anymore. We want to live in peace and harmony like we always did. Dialogue starts July 1st and we cannot afford to go backwards, the only way is forward and preferably in F1 speed.

      1. The International press chose to misrepresent us, now they can come by themselves and see

        So why have the international media been banned from reporting and in some cases their local representatives arrested and beaten? If all is sweet in the state of Bahrain, as you have repeatedly claimed, then there would have been no reason to have expelled the world’s media.

      2. MVEilenstein
        4th June 2011, 6:04

        Your rich prince got his race, and Bernie got his millions.

        That’s what you wanted. You and the government supporters are now responsible for the outcome of the event.

      3. keith, i don’t post here a lot, but i think that’s important.

        posts like this, supposedly from bahraini citizens, and that yet go against all the indications we get from bahrain [since they are not even letting international journalists in] make me wonder if, in facing of all the criticism of the reinstatament of their gp, the bahraini government could be using major f1 forums like this for planting positive views about the matter.

        at first this seems like a longshot, but i guess it’s nothing when you’re shooting your own people…

      4. I really do hope you’re right, LAK, but I’m holding judgement until the day. Right now though, I wish they’d just left it until March next year.

      5. You’ll be able to move forward once the funeral has taken place of the 20 tear-old girl poet who was arrested after speaking her mind and poem at the Pearl roundabout!

        Ayat al-Gormezi was her name, and she is either dead or dying from the torture handed out by the same peaceful and harmonious thugs who smashed the protests before! Read the Independent for a better viewpoint than some clown from a motor racing organisation!

    14. “In a worst case scenario, the Bahrain event will be targeted by the opposition in order to draw attention to their plight. Security will be very tight, although the government cannot hope to protect everyone in the F1 circus 24 hours a day, and the fear is that the opposition will use desperate measures and that people will get hurt.”

    15. “Injury prone last few weeks – second degree burns during Spanish Grand Prix, mild disc prolapse and today a hit on the nose by the reaction ball at the gym.”

      I wish we had some footage of the reaction ball incident.

      1. This would be the first footage of Karthikeyan that i’ve ever seen.

      2. Captain Sorbet
        4th June 2011, 10:31

        Sounds like someone’s reaction ball is trying to say something about their reactions…

      3. To be fair, his nose is not a difficult target… ;)

    16. This is becoming a big problem. If any team will boycott the race, should they go there four months later for testing, and then for 2012 Bahrain GP? I struggle to think about any changes that can go there in four months.

      I think – as was suggested already – we should skip this race. Spread the word on Twitter during the event, and ask Keith to turn off F1F Live app for the GP (though something tells me he will do this on his own, without asking).

    17. Mark Young (@terry-fabulous)
      4th June 2011, 7:21

      Just on the video, wasn’t that the race where Alex Caffi in the Dallara was on track for a podium when he tried to lap his teammate who punted him into the wall?

      (All together now, Kirk in Wrath of Khan style…..)
      “DE CESARIS!!!!!!”

      1. “DE CrasherIS!!!!!!”

        Fixed that for you :)

    18. Caring more about money than human rights and a holiday for the teams (which is now even shorter) – selfish

      On a brighter note it’s also my birthday :-)

      1. Happy Birthday!

      2. Happy birthday to you!

    19. Can the drivers all decide to pull into the pits after one lap in the race perhaps?

      That would be fantastic.

      1. That would just be childish of them. It would make the situation worse!

        1. Why? Because it would embarrass Bernie and the organisers? No down-side there to me.

          Or do you mean that the crowds would get violent? If that is actually a possibility then I wouldn’t rate it as a safe place to race.

          In 2005 the US crowd didn’t storm the track or riot, so why would the Bahrainis when all we hear from these new commenters that have popped up is that Bahrain is a cross between ‘The Land Of Chocolate’ and heaven on earth?

          1. In 2005 the US crowd didn’t storm the track or riot

            No, they only threw glass bottles on the track which could have very well killed anyone driving on it.

          2. Hahahahaha! The Land of Chocolate! Priceless.

          3. Although of course if everyone drove into the pits in Bahrain there would be nobody to drive over anything thrown on the track.

          4. Nothing to do with the crowds. I’m just saying it would make Formula 1 look really stupid after all this commotion to turn up and then not actually race. Wouldn’t really do much for their green credentials either, would it?

            1. Well, that is Bernie’s call – if he chooses to ignore what the teams have (apparently) been telling him and threaten them with whatever punishment for not turning up then it is his fault if F1 looks stupid.

    20. About Ligier and Renault boycotting the 85 South African GP – didn’t they have no choice because of the policy of the french government at the time?

      1. I’m not sure, but Renault had already stated their withdrawal from F1 as a team, so it was probably easier to boycott.

      2. At the time the Renault car company was owned by the French government. Back then the Renault F1 team was run by the parent company directly, not by a specialist F1 team owned by Renault as has been the case since 2002.

        Ligier was sponsored by Gitanes (a tobacco brand owned by SEITA, the French state tobacco company) and had a free supply of engines from Renault.

        Neither would have had much choice – withdraw from the GP or lose your engine deal and title sponsor. Tricky one.

    21. Of course I am against the decision, but I want to point out something else, on the subject of F1’s image in the media.

      Two wrongs don’t make a right, but F1 is hardly alone in pulling these stunts. The Olympics went to China and once upon a time was used by Hitler. The World Cup is going to Qatar (which has outlawed homosexuality) and has already been to places like Fascist Italy.

      The sad thing is the columns won’t take that into account. F1 will be portrayed as the single greatest cynical money-grabbing sport in the world, with all the past mistakes dragged up. F1 has not only made itself look bad, but it has made itself look even worse than it actually is.

    22. RE: An earlier comment about young drivers like Buemi and Di Resta not really knowing why they’re racing.

      Buemi on The Flying Lap this week said he had an uncle who lives in Bahrain who’s told him it’s fine now and it’s all settled down. Take that for what it’s worth…

    23. This is what I love about F1, it doesn’t care about political correctness. So let the political correctness whiners do their whining, and let us others who care about racing get on with the racing.

      1. You’re so right. Nothing gets on my nerves more than people who care about other people. Why, if it wasn’t for that political correctness we could all be happily goose-stepping it to all the races. Damn do-gooders.

    24. Are they seriously expecting any spectators to show up?

      OK, Turkey doesn’t have many people and that doesn’t seem to bother anyone but Bahrain is pretty much guaranteed to have literally totally empty stands.

    25. I say again, we race quite happily in China……..

    26. Interesting move from Domenicali!

      I honestly think FOTA know they will go and perhaps aren’t even that bothered about the moral implications. They have to be seen to act on their own merits, at least deliberate their involvement.

      The cost of going to Bahrain for the teams, the media scrutiny, will be fair outweighed by the extra points gained. Like everything in F1, this will blow over. Fickle business, business.

    27. Thanks for the birthday wish Keith! (changed my screen name now) Although for me slightly soured by the Bahrain announcement yesterday :(

    28. Buemi did a roadshow for red bull in japan today. Once a man jumped in front of his car and was hit by Buemi’s car. Reports say the man suffered minor injuries.

      Swiss Newspaper blick.ch: (be careful the article contains a graphic video)
      http://www.blick.ch/sport/formel1/mann-springt-buemi-vor-den-f1-boliden-173967

      1. That’s absolutely crazy! The guy was wearing a Staff t-shirt – did he just not realize where the car was when he started to cross the lane!? He’s really lucky to have gotten out of that without more serious injuries. And it shows just how low the drivers sit in their cars – he jumped clear over Buemi’s head!

    29. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      4th June 2011, 19:27

      Two things I want to comment seriously.
      1. This “F1 as a bussiness” is really bad, a big shame. I can’t imagine how it would have been possible a GP in the USA a month after the 9-11. And that was a terrorist attack. Here we’re talking about people dying for their rights. Being killed by the goverment… but we can see how money is the greatest amnesia cause.
      2. ABout F1, everybody knows there’s a moneybag according to your final place on the Constructors Championship. If one of the big guys is chasing Red Bull (or even RB thinking only about money, which wouldn’t surprise me) can clinch a 1-2 because some teams realize what moral over money is, there’s going to be big deal thinking for next year.
      …But moral is there to be clinched by the brave who wants it despite other /·%&”($·

    30. I certainly don’t always agree with Max Mosley, but he is absolutely correct in saying “A sports administrator is elected to run a sport. Anyone who wants to be a politician should stand for election in politics, not sport.”

      The Bahrain GP was on the 2011 calendar; it was cancelled for “whatever” reasons. Reinstating it at the back end of the season has major repercussions on the thousands of people employed by the teams to bring grand prix racing to tens of millions of us around the world. Burning them out during a period of mandatory cost-cutting is ludicrous.

      Reinstating it might be a monetary reason for Ecclestone, but it will be seen as political by 99% of the world. Shame on the FIA.

    31. Fact finding mission: does anyone really know if Domenicali was at the FIA meeting of 3 June in person? (Daily Telegraph says he was.)

      The FIA, who avoided a list of voting members in their press release, state that the last member of the WMSC is _either_ François Cornelis, President of the FIA Manufacturers’ Commission _or_ the Ferrari SpA Representative. I had thought that since Piquet-gate, Ferrari had renounced this spot.

    32. Read copiously both sides of Bahrain story. Talked to friends and associates who live there. Thought long and hard about it. Mistake to reinstate Grand Prix.

    Comments are closed.