Ecclestone targets summer break slot for Bahrain

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone hopes to re-schedule the Bahrain Grand Prix to take place during the August break in the F1 calendar.

Speaking to the official F1 website he said: “We need a race in Bahrain.

“If the Crown Prince is of the opinion that his country is able to host a race we will return to Bahrain.

“I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country.”

There is a four-week break between the Hungarian Grand Prix (29th-31st July) and Belgian Grand Prix (26th-28th August).

Average temperatures in Bahrain hit their peak in August in the mid-30s, around 10C warmer than in March when the race is usually held. Maximum temperatures in August are as high as 38C.

Ecclestone denied there was a need for an alternative race in Europe. He added: “The FIA has to change the calendar, and Bahrain has to apply for a new slot.

“The FIA World Council will meet at the beginning of March and could look into the situation.

“I have already spoken with FIA President Jean Todt about the possibility of finding a new date and we both agreed that a decision has to be made before the season starts.”

Re-scheduling the race may only be possible if the political situation in the country improves. Ecclestone dismissed suggestions that F1 should not race there for political reasons:

“Formula One must never be political – full stop.

“My job is it to do the best deals possible for Formula One – to secure jobs. Five thousand people have jobs which are directly or indirectly connected to Formula One, and I want to secure these jobs.

“It is not my business to make politics. We have politicians for that.”

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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    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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    164 comments on “Ecclestone targets summer break slot for Bahrain”

    1. He also says that he sees a woman running F1 in 3-5 years. Are the Ecclestone daughters going to be taking over in 2015?

      1. Re: women running F1 in 3-5 yrs, this does seem to be one of the strongest hints Mr. E’s given recently on legacy planning in F1 and so far not a single news outlet seems to have picked up on it. Perhaps the media is the biggest barrier to a greater role for women in F1?

        1. I disagree, if there aren’t any good F1 women single seater racers then what can you do. You can’t hold back talent.

          1. Do women play football with men? Do female tennis players play tennis with men? Make a category for women to race together. Why they have to race in F1?

            1. There’s no need for that kind of segregation in motor racing, and nor is it desirable.

            2. Gents, I’d like to point out that Bernie was referring to running F1. And anyhow, what reasons are there for women to not race in F1? If they are physically capable and good enough, give thema shot.

              There are already a number of women working on the technical and commercial areas of F1, including Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn. The media still seems to be very male dominated. Keith, what’s your experience of attending tests and press conferences? Are there many female journalists around?

            3. Well I sent one to Barcelona…

              And yes, there are a few others in the media. The BBC has Lee McKenzie and Natalie Pinkham, for example.

            4. First of all, I pretty much agree with what Bernie says on women running F1. The ones that do are doing pretty well.

              Good point Mike makes about the media, glad Keith was able to help improve that cause with Leandra in Barcelona!

              Why should a women not be racing men. Can women be as fit? Why not.
              They might be even better at multitaksing, making them more suitable to get to grips with all the systems in the cars.

            5. don’t swet david, they won’t race in f1, just because they are not as good as men. There could be an exception to the rule, but that’s it. If there is one, bring her on, and we’ll see what she is made of.

            6. don’t worry david, there could be an exception, but this is a mens sport, and 99% of the drivers will alwaysbe men, with the rare exception once in a while. That can even bring a little color. Nothing to worry about.
              It would be hell if there were 50% of them on the grid. Just imagine all the complaining.
              I would stop watching f1, even on tv.

            7. Kowalsky – Your last sentence illustrates exactly why I hope there are at least 50% of women on the grid sooner rather than later. Byeee!!

            8. And yes, female tennis players do play tennis with men: it is called ‘mixed doubles’

            9. We don’t need categories because motorsports require not solely human strength and ability, but cars. That’s why F1 isn’t in the Olympics: cars are what makes a real difference, and the competition would be from teams and far smaller by drivers, therefore females can compete in F1, as happened in the past, because there aren’t physical differences that stop a woman from driving a car.

            10. regarding Tennis.. urm yes. mixed doubles ;)

            11. then again.. women in F1.. it would be funny to see some indicating before taking over haha ;)

            12. McLarenFanJamm
              1st March 2011, 13:56

              Are “David” and “kowalsky” Richard Keys and Andy Gray in disguise?

            13. In sports like shooting men and women compete together because there is no benefit for either sex.

              If danica can run in Nascar, I don’t see why can’t be a woman in a F1 drive.

              Current FWC in trial-motorbike also competes against men. Last week scored third. Ok she is unique, but it happens.

            14. Between comments on this thread and on a recent post on James Allen’s blog, I’ve learned so much about misogyny among F1 fans lately! Can’t put a price on that kind of education.

            15. I disagree David, just look at Indycar. Danica races competitively with the men.

            16. Men and women compete together in equestrian events.

              There’s a good analogy between cars and horses; drivers and riders. Every driver/rider needs the skill to control the best cars/horses at the top level of their respective sports.

              Riding is also quite physically demanding, maybe not as much as F1, but I’m sure women can be fit enough to drive a F1 car.

            17. Kowalsky says that this is a “Men’s sport”. There’s no such thing. It’s just something sexist people say when they feel afraid that there might be women as good or better at the sport that they love.

            18. …Than men, I meant to say.

            19. It doesn’t matter all the reasons you are saying. If Bernie says there will be a woman racing then that will happen.

            20. Jarred Walmsley
              1st March 2011, 18:10

              Because unlike the sports you mention, motorsport does not rely on physical strength, in fact it is probably the only sport that is gender neutral in terms of ability.

            21. Do female tennis players play tennis with men?

              Actually, yes they do.

            22. We Want Turbos
              1st March 2011, 21:56

              Women in F1 crack on. All I want to see is the best 24 drivers in the world race at the pinnacle of motorsport! Man or woman! The only thing I don’t want to see is a woman getting a race seat purely because shes a woman as that kind of political correctness sends out the wrong message and gives the sexist fools a basis to complain!!!

            23. SeattleChris
              1st March 2011, 23:49

              I am for equality in any form it comes… however, many people seem to be assuming that since the cars “do all the work” that there isn’t a physical aspect to driving. It would take a very strong AND talented female to compete at this level. This is the only reason I don’t believe we will see a female driver enter F1 and do reasonably well. I do hope that I am proven wrong however, but in the mean time I think it isn’t a bad idea to have a female series. I think of golf and how there are mens and womens divisions, but the ladies can get on a pga event and play. This way, we get two exciting sports with the excitement of the possibility of a crossover female.
              On the flip side I wonder why male NBA players, PGA, MLB and so forth players aren’t allowed to play in the female leagues (if equality is really what we are after).

            24. Spot on We Want Turbos. I want to see the best drivers based purely on their driving ability, if they are male or female is irrelevant… and damn the whole “pay drivers” thing ggrr

          2. There should be a woman F1 driver, but only when she’s good enough and earns her place through results not just because of her gender.

        2. There are some women at high positions in F1, most known example is Monisha Kaltenborn from Sauber, but apart from that it does look like a hint at his heritage.

          Bernie has been schooling Tamara to know everyone by being a pitreporter and Petra as entrepeneur by setting up her own fashionlabel (called Form). Together they could probably succeed. Anyone knows their feelings about medals and wet tracks?

          Another typically Bernie quote made me smile:

          Take Kubica. Between two tests he was rallying and had this accident. I would have told him, ‘Listen, you are rallying next week so I guess you are a bit too tired for the test on the following weekend. So let’s have your team mate and the reserve man do the sessions.’ Do you think he would have taken the chance to rally? I don’t think so

          1. Bernie did something very similar after the drivers’ strike at Kyalami in 1982.

            When Nelson Piquet returned to the track after the overnight protest, Bernie said he had concerns for his wellbeing and so all three Brabhams had Riccardo Patrese’s name on them in place of Piquet.

      2. So, there’s segregation in other sports? Come on now! I find it frivolous to put a woman in F1 just for the sake of it. If they really care for women in motorsport they should promote an academy for women.

        1. I find it frivolous to put a woman in F1 just for the sake of it.

          No-one’s saying do it “just for the sake of it”.

          If they really care for women in motorsport they should promote an academy for women.

          They do: FIA wants more women in motor racing

          1. Dont see why women cant race in F1.

            We cant compare F1 to other sports such as football or tennis since these sports rely predominatly on physical aspects, i.e. strength, speed, physique etc. A general woman’s physique is different to a man’s, on average, men are stronger, faster and bigger than woman…from a physical standpoint. Hence why men and women dont compete in the same leagues, it would be unfair. I still remember a couple years ago, Serena Williams, who is probably the world’s most physically strong woman tennis player, challenged some bloke who was ranked in the 100s on the ATP Tour, and lost.

            As many have pointed out, rightly so, F1 is a different kettle of fish. If a woman can be fit enough, which I dont doubt, cant see why they cant challenge in F1 if they have relevant experience in the lower racing categories.

        2. But, like Bernie said, and others here have pointed out, this is about women running F1, not driving in F1.

          Either way, there are plenty of Women driving in lower formulae, as well as GT and tin-tops of various kinds. Indycar has Danika, The DTM has Suzie Stoddart (having been in F3 & Formula Renault)and Katherine Legge (F3, Toyota Atlantic & Champ Car). Sebastian Buemi’s cousin Natacha Gachnang has been in Formula BMW, Spanish F3, GT and Le Mans. And watching the BTCC on ITV4 last year, a number of the Ginetta Junior, Renault Clio and Formula Renault UK drivers are female. There’s no reason why F1 couldn’t have a female driver in the future.

        3. David, you’ve struck at the heart of the problem; it would indeed be frivolous to put a in F1 “just for the sake of it”. But if they have achieved their place on merit, they have as much right that seat as anyone else. Louise Hamilton or Fiona Alonso could be just as good as their male namesakes, if they’re given the opportunity to reach the highest level of motorsport.

          1. Agreed. Sadly formula 1 and motorsport in general has a lot to do with money (or lack of) so until someone is willing to put a lot of time and money in a grass roots, geniunly talented female drivers will never be in F1. And for all you hamihaters, that situation was the same lewis when he started. Anthony had to work 3 jobs to support him before Mclaren got involved.

            1. Megawatt Herring
              1st March 2011, 17:34

              Since F1 cars have no reverse gear I don’t see anything stopping women from racing in F1

              p.s. this is a joke don’t get too angry.

            2. YOu talk about genuinly talented female drivers… now I’ve watched F1 for a bit and I have read wikipedia and I can’t find a single example of one of these genuinly talented women who could have been as close as Alonso in the same Ferrari last year, or could have done what Hamilton did, or etc… Infact I can’t even find one who has one a GP let alone enough consistancy to win a WDC.

              The best example of a female racing driver is Danica, I don’t know if she really is the best women currently, but she is publicised like it. If she is an an example then we can see why. Only ‘good’ at one ovals I think, useless on actual tracks. Every person is given the same chance, if they don’t take it it’s because their parents don’t want them too or they don’t want to. If they don’t want to then they don’t have the commitment for being a racing driver anyway.

              In short, if you rise through the levels it’s because you deserve it based on skill and with a bit of money. You can’t tell me that no one wants to sponsor the first female F1 driver and hence that is the reason why, and so we must conclude that no women is capable of beating Alonso or Raikkonen or whoever in an F1 car, and hence that there isn’t a competitive women drive for F1.

            3. I’d say Danika Patrick probably couldn’t best Alonso in the same Ferrari or Vettel in the same Red Bull. But surely she’s better than Yuji Ide in the same Super Aguri, or Narain Karthikeyan in the same HRT? Who knows, maybe even better than Petrov in the same Renault.

            4. Also, she wouldn’t be the first, there have been 5 or 6 female F1 drivers before.

    2. Boy it’s going to be hot in August.

      1. Averaging at 30-38 degrees celsius in August, Bernie is joking, isn’t he?

        1. I was working in Bahrain for 5 yrs. I knew the August temp sometimes hit 45 deg celsius or even more. If thats the case I dont think any driver will survive not hitting the wall.

          1. then maybe a guy like maldonado, can have a chance of a podium. The strongest driver could win, instead of the fastest.
            I wouldn’t mind strenth to be the key at a couple of gp’s a year.

          2. Yeah I thought 38 degrees seemed a bit low as the absolute maximum temperature that could be reached. According to wiki that’s the average high, so you could expect some days the max to push toward mid 40s or higher.

            And the average low during August is 31 degrees. So in the middle of the night it will still be over 30.

            And it’s a good idea to do anything in that heat? Drivers passing out from the heat, should make for great racing… Is putting the drivers at risk really worth the few million that F1 may have to pay or lose out on as a result of the grand prix being passed over this year?

            1. shades of dallas ’84?

      2. More to the point, with the most races in one season to date, I dont think the teams will really be keen on stopping short their vital summer break: by that point they are pretty exhausted and I think they all know its vital to the health and sanity of all involved!

      3. I was at the Melbourne GP a couple of years ago when it was 39C on race day. Cars ran fine (and beer sales sky rocketed!)

        1. Well its safe to say that beer sales wont sky rocket in bahrain lol

        2. and beer sales sky rocketed!)

          Not going to happen in Bahrain

      4. At last the real topic…..yep it’s going to be bloody hot in the desert in August.

        But Ecclstone says ‘WE need a race in Bahrain’.

        Now I wonder, which ‘we’ would that be ?
        We the fans…not a hope.
        We the teams…do me a favour !
        We, CVC Capital Partners and our mouthpiece, Mr E ? Well, now..that could just be the real ‘we’ !

        Bernie brings a whole new meaning to words in English don’t ee ?

      5. hot and I read ( per F1 Live), Bernie want’s to put the rain in Bahrain. Drivers better train in the sauna.

        1. “I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support ME.”

          The old billionaire prostitute. Suppose he’d be ok about dumping Melburn, Montreal, Spa, but not Bahrain for Allah’s sake!

    3. The average high in Manama in August is 38 degrees Celsius. From memory, I think they’ve raced in places like Sepang in temperatures as high or higher than that. I think the concerns over temperature are overblown – the question is really whether the four-week break over the summer is necessary, or can afford to be curtailed by a week (and whether a one-week gap between either Bahrain and Hungary or Bahrain and Belgium is logistically feasible).

      1. Difference in places where it’s hotter is there is humidity, which takes the edge of the temperature. There will be no moisture in the air making it extremely hot in the middle of August

        1. I am not too sure, that is right. Having high humidity as well as high temperature is far more demanding on the organism (as you have trouble sweating) than dry hot air.

          Try a steam sauna at 60 degrees and compare a dry sauna with the same temperature.

          Worst is the sun beating down on the visitors there causing dehydration. And the engines would be pretty bad with cooling as well.

          I agree with Red Andy about this being Bernie telling the teams to dump a few weeks of the holidays. This might even be relevant a move towards the commercial negotiations next year.

          1. I agree with Red Andy about this being Bernie telling the teams to dump a few weeks of the holidays. This might even be relevant a move towards the commercial negotiations next year.

            You could be right.

            First he says adamantly that F1 should not be political and should leave that to the politicians, then later says that the race should take place in August “despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country.” If that’s not a giant political statement at the potential expense of the health and well being of the entire paddock, I don’t know what is.

            1. Right on the money Peter !

              Because money is really what it’s all about ain’t it ?

        2. Well from my experience of living here in the UAE, the temperatures in August are unbearable. Its more like 45 than 38 and the humidity is around 85% all day. I imagine Bahrain will be similar, making it impossible for fans to enjoy the race.

          1. Sounds gruelling. Seems Bernie is in for a season of topping the bill. Most GP and topping Phoenix for hottest GP ever.

            That should make Bahrain a TV only event, with maybe some lookers on in the VIP parts, but I can’t see any people wanting to be outside and look at it.

            How will Marshalls be able to cope with that, in their fire proof suits.

            I guess this is a bit of Bernie pushing for summer, to have an easier job getting late fall accepted. Maybe shortening the time between India and the next event, or put it between Abu Dhabi and Brazil.

            1. I guess thats a possible explanation. Bernie is pushing for something nobody wants just so in the end he can make the deal he actually wanted in the first place.

            2. Yasser Mansour
              2nd March 2011, 7:16

              I strongly disagree about the fans not willing to be there ,,
              I think that the majority ( lets say 70% or more) of the fans attending would be either from bahrain or nearby GCC countries , and trust me 38 degrees is something normal ,, yes it a bit hot but it can be easily lived with ,, its the 50 degress we’re afraid of.

              I for example am from Riyadh,SaudiArabia and even if the temp was 45 I will hit the road and go to bahrain ,, and I’m pretty sure there are many fans around the in GCC countries that would do the same.

              Please bernie make it happen.

          2. By the way GeeMac, do you get any clue about political goings on in the area?

            Bahrain is still not very calm, protesters seem to be persistand to get some reforms. And Oman now seems to be worsening (Dutch harbour conglomerate evacuated its 150 people).
            Will it be feasable come summer (the heat will tone down any protests)? Or maybe even the Abu Dhabi time slot might become risky!

            1. It is pretty brutal. I was planning on going to Bahrain for the race in March, but I’d definitly think twice about going to Bahrain in August, sitting in that heat for 5 minutes would kill you, several hours straight for 3 days would be terrible.

              As for the plitical goings on, I rely on the foreign press myself, tend to give a more balanced view, so I can’t shed any more light I’m affraid!

    4. Isnt the mid summer break for the teams to go away for 2 weeks or so? With such long arduous seasons, I though this was to let the crews wind down for a little bit of time.

      Plus, the summer break is there to shut the factories down for two weeks, to prevent the front runners getting miles ahead following the break.

      Furthermore, the logistics of moving whole teams from the middle of Europe, to the Middle East and back to Europe again will be incredibly tight. The freight takes about up to 7-10 days to get there.

      Please Bernie, just bugger off. You’re getting more ridiculous with age.

    5. I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country.

      Formula One must never be political – full stop.

      Decide, please?

      1. Well, there is a difference between politics and humanitarianism. Not that this isn’t typical Bernie BS. I bet there were a few people who weren’t happy at Williams’ comments and Bernie is trying to calm his clients down.

    6. This is going to make the Bahrain Grand Prix a specialist flyaway event. I remember the teams lobbying hard against this last year, and getting the date for the Turkish Grand Prix moved up a week to cut down on costs. I suppose it could be worked in such a way that the teams send stuff out to Bahrain and then have the equipment go on to Singapore after the race, but will they agree to it?

      Average temperatures in Bahrain hit their peak in August in the mid-30s, around 10C warmer than in March when the race is usually held.

      Should make the race more interesting then. Higher temperatures make things harder for the drivers, and put more strain on the cars. It could well throw up an unexpected result if it’s particularly hot. I don’t even being Vitaly Petrov or Nick Heidfeld though. Those black cars and black racing suits will retain a lot of heat. Maybe Renault should invest in those cooling vests that were developed for the Sydney Olympic Games, pumping cooled fliud through a series of tubes nestled between two layers of neoprene (the stuff used in wetsuits).

      1. I’m not worried about their black race suits! It’s the exhaust system they have which pumps heat into the cockpit which will make it unbearable!

        1. Actually, it doesn’t pump heat into the cockpit. The exhaust system leaves the engine, loops back around to travel forwards, then run along the bottom of the car and releases the exhaust fuems out of the sidepods. The drivers might feel the heat around their backs and behinds, but they’ve gone through all the testing to date without any problems. Plus, the exhaust pipes are wrapped in insulation, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      2. I think Heidfeld or someone else used them last year already (remember Brundle commenting on it during his gridwalk). Not sure exactly where it was.

        Worse will be for the viewers, then again Bahrain does not have that many grandstands, so something like a free drinks regime might be plaudible.

    7. I the teams would not be happy if their four week break was interrupted by the Bahrain Grand Prix. They should just leave Bahrain out of the calendar for this year, and wait for next year’s race.

    8. Its ok to say they can cut it down but engineers and mechnaics and all the staff have families and this makes it very tough on them.

      That really needs to be brought into consideration in my opinion, its no ones fault about Bahrain but doesn’t mean it must be replaced at all costs.

    9. because this is the way we can support the country.”

      Why not support a far more interesting country? France maybe…

    10. The real matter is weather the teams will let themselves be pushed into this.
      And even more important, what will the developments in the region do for the GP. Will the Bahrain CK manage to get some reforms going to calm down the protests and make it a suitable event?
      It still is a few months, but serious talks will not be resolves in a matter of weeks.

      1. Doesn’t look like it will happen to me. Protest there seem to still be going strong.

        1. That would be a problem if the race was being planned for next month. Instead, the Powers That Be are looking at an August or November date, six months away at the very least. That’s plenty of time for Bahrain to fix things up.

          1. I would not be too sure about that PM. Especially as they would have to decide now, so no chance to change much if it does not get on in Bahrain.

            Would Bernie risk having the GP taken hostage of any talks about reform getting on? The opposition clearly see that they can use threats to disrupt the GP to make the government give in, and they will (try) to use this whenever progress is seen to be too slow.

            1. The government does not have to complete the talks with the protestors and introduce all of the agreed changes before the race can begin. All they have to do is show progress in instituing reform, enough progress to satisfy the protestors. If there is a splinter group of disagree with the changes the government is making, there is little danger the race would be “hijacked” because such a fringe group would only be relatively small. Provided the population is happy with the progress the government is making, then there is no reason why the race cannot go ahead, even if the government hasn’t fully negotiated with the protestors or introduced all of their demands.

      2. In fact, a few months down the line, the CK will have to be able to show at least a bit of results or patience will have become thin. In any case, either there will be results, but likely less than the protesters want, or there will hardly be any results yet; in all cases having the return of the race might provide a good excuse to once again take to the streets.

    11. I bet Bernie loves Abba, Money, Money, Money. Seriously i love F1 but it really needs to stop thinking it’s so important, if it is then it should setting an example by NOT racing in countries killing it’s citizens. Libyan Grand Prix anyone?

    12. What a coherent set of values the man has: it’s fine for him to say that Hitler was an OK guy, but it’s too political to say that shooting people is wrong. What a Max-Mosley-name-for-Ron-Dennis.

      1. A lot of people took those Hitler comments out of context. Bernie was not talking about the Holocaust and the way Hitler set Europe an the world on a course for war. He was referring to the way Hitler unified a defeated and broken Germany under one rule following the First World War. What Hitler did next was unspeakable, but Bernie was not heaping praise on him for that. It was the media and the fans who put words in his mouth. Bernie was saying that in the wake of of the political crisis of 2009 and Mosley’s departure from the presidency, the sport was in serious trouble of fracturing and needed strong leadership. He went about it in entirely the wrong way, but he never once said that Hitler’s actions in massacaring millions of people was ever right or admirable.

        1. That, to me, does not sound like criticism was due to taking things out of context. A strong leader you say, yeah, I suppose. But the nazi party wasn’t just another party that then turned around and started a terrible war. They deliberately worked to imprison and root out minorities they didn’t like; the war was, officially, not even the biggest point of it, just a means to an end: making the germanic races a big power, under German lead.

          We could take Stalin too, he was a bit in the same mold of strong leader. Bernie might have looked at other strong leaders. I recently watched “the Kings speech”, noted that Churchill has a side role as a real leader; similar to some recent Dr. Who episode – maybe he would be slightly more appropriate, for example?

        2. Praising Hitler for anything implies that you tacitly accept everything he did, because you can’t separate Nazi organisation from what that organisation aimed to do. Hitler did not unify Germany – he violently imposed a brutal dictatorship based on racial hierarchy. People who praise any part of that are either ignorant of facts or willing to overlook industrialised mass murder, and in Bernie’s case I think it was both.

          1. I think Bernie is guilty of nothing more than making comments that were in poor taste. I do not think he is ignorant or amoral; those are labels that have been given to him by the fans and media who disagree with his business practices.

            1. You know PM, I often disagree with what you say but I always like the way you give a well reasoned judgement. On this one, however, I must disagree.

              Bernie seems unable or unwilling to recognise that world view of the Nazi party, which drove Hitler’s political agenda, was a Fascist model. Individual freedom, the right to exist, the relationship with other countries and peoples, were all based on the concept of kill or be killed.

              We have seen very little else like it on a global scale, but it’s been present in regional conflicts. This is not a final crazy product, it is the basis of the model, a model which is almost uniquely focused towards the creation of a ‘strong’ and ‘unified’ nation and state’, at least in the short term.

              I think that Bernie is just focused on perceived end results at a given point in time, and that’s why he made the comment. He does also happen to be a member of a select section of society that might be less affected by such a world view, and by life under such a regime. Even though that implies that Bernie could have authoritarian sympathies I myself don’t dare to believe that. I don’t believe he thinks such a perspective should be applied to politics, but maybe he thinks that in business it’s not such a big deal.

              Anyway, this comment is horribly long, political, and speculative. Sorry about it guys (and PM), but I had to say what I’ve written.

              I do agree (with PM) that many of us are biased against Bernie though, I know I certainly am. But on this issue I think my perspective is objective.

            2. Bernie seems unable or unwilling to recognise that world view of the Nazi party, which drove Hitler’s political agenda, was a Fascist model. Individual freedom, the right to exist, the relationship with other countries and peoples, were all based on the concept of kill or be killed.

              I suspect that he saw the state Germany was in after the war, and the state it was in once Hitler gained power, and considered it a case of strong leadership because of the way the country turned around. He did not, however, consider anything outside that example of what he called strong leadership. None of the factors that contributed to Hitler’s reign before, during or after his rule crossed Bernie’s mind. It’s as if he said “Barack Obama is a good public speaker” without mentioning whether this Barack Obama character is the President or still in grade school. And while they were in poor taste, the intentions behind Bernie’s comments made sense to me, even if I, like everyone else completely disagreed with the example he used (though I can see no other immediately-obvious example to draw parallels with; the suggestion that Winston Churchill would have been more appropriate does not work because England was not falling apart at the seams after the First World War). I also think Bernie expected everyone to understand what he was getting at without letting the whole Hitler issue cloud everyone’s judgement. It’s just in the way that he thinks.

            3. It’s as if he said “Barack Obama is a good public speaker” without mentioning whether this Barack Obama character is the President or still in grade school

              No, it certainly isn’t. It’s as if he said: “I admire the leadership qualities of that mass murderer.” But I guess that’s just my judgment being clouded by “that whole Hitler thing”. PM you, conveniently like Bernie, are unable to accept plain logic and reason when it doesn’t suit your preconceived notions.


      – The race can easily be inserted into the calendar without causing much disruption to other events.
      – Teams and fans do not have to wait an entire month between races; we get nine straight months of racing with no more than a two-week gap between races.
      – Local climate could cause a difficult race with an unexpected result.
      – The race will offer and extra 25 World Championship points for the winner.

      – Teams have opposed special one-off flyaway events in the past and may disagree with the logistics.
      – Local climate conditions could cause concerns for driver safety if they race in incredible heat.

      – Geography of the region makes turn-around from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain very easy.
      – November date gives Bahrain more time to sort out its political troubles.
      – Climate is much easier on the teams and drivers.

      – Turn-around from New Delhi is unknown, which means race would have to take place after Abu Dhabi; this could push the race back as teams race from the Middle East to South America and teams will not like a championship that runs into December.
      – Geography of the region means that two races in close proximity could adversely affect crowd numbers at one or both events.
      – Final away leg would now consist of seven events instead of six, meaning teams would have to shoulder additional costs of flying personnel and equipment out to the extra event.

      Both arguments are fairly evenly-matched. An August race is more appealing because it keeps the championship flowing and doesn’t clutter the calendar at the end of the season. The heat and opposition to a special race from the teams are the biggest concerns, but if the organisers and/or FOM were to shoulder the costs of transporting everything from Hungary to Bahrain to Belgium, the teams may be more amenable to it. And the difficult conditions have the potential to make for an interesting result. Any concerns over driver exhaustion can easily be remedied.

    14. Ah, 38C at max. The drivers will literally melt about that idea. Overheating – not a problem, install additional water tanks and perhaps spray some water on the track to make the race more exciting than the usual dullness.

      1. The drivers will literally melt about that idea.

        Pansies. V8 Supercars regularly get up to 50 or even 60 degrees in the cockpit. 38 is like a winter’s day to them.

        1. 38 air temp in shade, so track temp probably 50-55, so cockpit temp prob around 70. Nice…

      2. What usual dullness? Only last year was the race dull (due to the layout) but that was slightly negated by the fact that it was the season opener. Remember 2009, when we got a Toyota front row? 2008, Kubica got his first pole position? Hamilton in 2007 became the first rookie to have 3 podiums in his first 3 races, and of course Kimi rising no less than 19 places from the grid to the flag in 2006

        Doesn’t seem that boring to me…….

        Personally, I think they should slot it in before Abu Dhabi, tough on the teams I know, but there’s no way they would want to race in near 40 degree heat in the middle of their summer break

        1. To be fair, 2009 was a dull race too, apart from Jenson overtaking Lewis, though ironically that destroyed the prospect of a late-race battle between him and Vettel.

          1. Yeah, only the first 5 laps were exciting in 2009. Those were brilliant, but the final 90% of the race was as boring as they come.

            1. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I thought that Bahrain 2010 was better than 2009, and according to f1 racing mag (2010 bahrain race report) ‘there were 4 morfe overtakes than last year’. I think if that race was put in the 2009 season, we would have considered it to be quite good.

        2. Last year it was dull mostly for the Ferrari Hater Brigade

    15. 38 degrees air temperature, and that’s what’s measured officially using a Stevenson Screen and specific criteria for measurement. The temperature in the sun on a solid piece of concrete or asphalt is going to be much much higher with lots of heat radiating from those materials.

      Many outdoor industries have a temperature where they cannot allow people to work. Bernie is crazy if he thinks that it would be OK for F1 to go to a hot country in the hot season and race around on a hot surface in a heat source.

      Remember, when an area experiences a heat wave of a lesser intensity than the average Bahrain summer, authorities advise people to check on people his age to make sure they haven’t died of heat stroke.

      1. Remember, when an area experiences a heat wave of a lesser intensity than the average Bahrain summer, authorities advise people to check on people his age to make sure they haven’t died of heat stroke.

        True, and Bernie wasn’t even in the heat when he made these comments. Imagine the kinds of things that will be coming out of his mouth if he’s in Bahrain in August.

    16. It’s a bad news for me, i don’t like this circuit, for me it must be cancelled, period.

    17. Whilst I dislike having to wait 4 weeks, it’s ridiculous to ask the teams to give up their one chance of a summer holiday.

      1. The selfish part of me wants a GP in the summer break but you make a good point – these guys work crazy hours throughout the year and this is the only real break they get.

        1. Well I think engineers will work anyway, but more important is the GP that should be held during this break is the hottest of all and should be held during the hottest period of all.

    18. “Formula One must never be political – full stop.

      “If the Crown Prince is of the opinion that his country is able to host a race we will return to Bahrain.

      Sorry Bernie, but your doing not being political wrong.

    19. Some comments have veered well off-topic and have been removed.

    20. Ecclestone’s bank balance may need a race in Bahrain but F1 doesn’t.

      It is all very well to say F1 must never be political but you can’t stop something being political simply by saying it isn’t.

      If the Bahrain GP had gone ahead while protests were being violently put down it would have been seen as a show of support for the regime.

      1. Hear, hear. I’m all for new GPs but we don’t need Bahrain specifically. Give them a year to sort things out and we’ll come back – hopefully on the Outer Circuit!

    21. To alleviate the fly away problem and some of the heat. If the Bahrain race must be inserted, then why not move Spa and Monza ahead one week.
      Then Bahrain could be half way stop off to Singapore. The temps would on average be about 10C lower than August.

      There would still be a summer break but of only three weeks.

      Personally I would rather the Bahrain race were not run this year. Give them some time to sort out their problems, hopefully with some truly democratic elections.

      1. You can’t just move dates willy nilly, Spa and Monza have been planning their events for months and have already started selling tickets. Neither circuit would agree to a date change, it makes no logistical sense for them to do so.

    22. There is a four-week break between the Hungarian Grand Prix (29th-31st July) and Belgian Grand Prix (26th-28th August).

      My gosh! So long!

    23. As much as the selfish part of me wants a race, I do sympathise if the teams don’t get a break. They deserve it. Agree with Bernie on this one, it’s not F1’s job to get political. Of course it should be sensitive to global issues, but leave it to the politicians and let’s race (providing it’s safe!).

      1. Agree, the break is there for a reason, for those that work in F1 and dont get a holiday like us that hold regular jobs hours. Its not there for Bernie or the FIA or anyone else to fill with a race that’s been cancelled.

    24. Personally I think Bahrain should take a year off from F1 as it will hopefully be reforming its political system over the upcoming months.

      But I am surprised that no one has pointed out that if in August they could run a night race to avoid the most extreme temperatures they ran the recent V8 race under flood lights.

      1. Yes, but that would require installing a floodlight system around the entire circuit- and that’s easier said than done, and besides it really shouldn’t be a priority to them this year

        1. Why was this years V8 Supercars race run on a partial circuit?

          Totally agree they have more important issues.

          1. The V8 Supercars race was from Abu Dhabi, not Bahrain

            1. I stand corrected, what a doofus I am

    25. My money is on India not being ready on time. So if F1 start planning on this eventuality, I doubt that they will be disappointed.

      1. Aapparently India is currently ahead of schedule, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Although judging by howbadly they messed up the Commonwealth games, you never know

    26. Rememeber when Fernando Alonso fainted from exhaustion after the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix, held in the (ahem) cool of April?

      Someone ought to show this picture to Ecclestone

      1. Didn’t Alonso’s drinks system fail though?

        1. That’s the point, what if it happens again?

    27. Robert McKay
      1st March 2011, 14:36

      “Formula One must never be political – full stop.

      “My job is it to do the best deals possible for Formula One – to secure jobs. Five thousand people have jobs which are directly or indirectly connected to Formula One, and I want to secure these jobs.

      That sounds pretty political to me.

    28. Ah, Bahrain in August. I look forward to seeing Bernie interviewed during the gridwalk, clad in black roll-neck sweater and sweat pouring from his kitchen-mop hair-do. Or perhaps not…he’ll be wheeled around in his own personal refridgerator telling people the temperature is fine.

      So one moment he is saying F1 should not be political, but in the next he’s saying that there should be a race in August because that way “F1 can help the country”. Maybe one/both of his daughters should be ousting the old chap sooner rather than later.

      1. he’ll be wheeled around in his own personal refridgerator telling people the temperature is fine.

        that one really makes me chuckle : ) bwahaha

    29. Latest on Ecclestone: I notice a message and Ecclestone wants artifacial rain on some circuits. check this: in dutch

      1. The quote is in the article which is linked above.

      2. That’s about as crazy as when Eccelstone suggested having shortcuts that drivers could use a limited number of times.

      3. Hes also insiting on his stupid medals idea – stating that the title race would have been really close last year.

        It was really close last year anyway…

        (Picard facepalm)

      4. The really canny thing (to be expected with Bernie) is that Bernie owns the rights to the system for doing so in Paul Ricard, so in effect he promotes his own business, again!

        As for the shortcuts, there is a really serious “Inventer” here in the Czech Republic who claimes it was his idea orininally, but Bernie told him off (taking the draft idea with him to study), and he has some materials to back that up!

    30. Also think about the public, 38 in the shadow in the desert means 50+ at the sun. Who will pay 100$ for two hours under a mercyless sun in the desert?

      I think they want the GP no matter who shows up just to show some “nothing special happens in Bahrein anymore” PR.

    31. Seems that Bernie don’t have any idea about how its going to feel in Bahrain @ August. I’m pretty sure that no driver will be able to stay in his car more than 5 min with 45 C and no engine will last more than 10 laps.
      The humidity will be also crazy, so even a night race will be a nightmare for everyone!!!
      People living in the Gulf knows well what I’m talking about!
      mission impossible new movie:
      August Race, the last man standing!!!

      1. Bernie wants an artificial rain to put more excitement. Guess it should be applied in Bahrain to cool down the track if the August race will push through..

    32. Regarding the wopmen vs men thing, I’m sure Michèle Mouton (w<ho is doing quite well in the FIA I believe) would beg to differ when someone says women can't compete with men in F1 :èle_Mouton

      1. And there is no physical and technical reason why Danica Patrick, Katherine Legge, Susie Stoddart or Vanica Ickx couldn’t race in F1. I don’t think they would be any worse than Luca Badoer or Alex Yoong were anyway.

        1. I would love to see women racing at any level including F1. Also great to see the caveman chauvinistic comments, just to prove that some are having difficulty evolving into human beings! I would rather see a women racing, (as in really racing) than any of these so called men racers who are only in F1 because someone is prepared to sponsor them.

        2. Yes, but surely F1 wants a higher calibre of driver than “not any worse than Yoong or Badoer” – there is a reason why those two aren’t in it anymore! As a female I would like to see a woman who was good enough to be competitive in F1 but there aren’t any around currently who are that good – and its more important that F1 has the best drivers regardless of gender than it having a woman driver is. Tokenism and positive discrimination are just as damaging as negative discrimination in my opinion.

          1. Kate,

            At present, is F1 based on merit?


            I rest my case.

            1. Should it be?


              So lets concentrate on getting drivers into F1 on merit, irrespective of gender.

        3. Matter of fact is if a female driver manages to become just as good and useful as Luca Badoer was, it would be a huge success for women in motorsport.

          Well, either way, if a female driver manages to get into F1, good for them, I won’t mind.

        4. Except the first one is kinda rubbish.

      2. Many thousands, maybe millions of young men dream of being F1 drivers. Of them, only a handful have the ability/determination/luck to get there.

        How many young women dream of being a F1 driver? I did when I was young. But I guess there are just a few. There may be barriers, but sheer determination can surely overcome them. But unless a lot more young women dream the dream, no one will do the deed.

        1. Hyoko,

          F1 just is not based on merit, it just isn’t. It was in the past, but now the meritocracy is replaced by greed and sponsorship, whilst trying to make the playing field as level as possible. I am trying to think of another Sport that operates like F1?

    33. It was nice to hear Williams CEO Parr voice the teams reluctance to go to Bahrain. At the time I found people calling it bad judgement as they are sponsored by Chavez regime a bit over the top.

      But when now Ghadaffi is still sending in fighter airplanes to battle his own uprising population, and Chavez is by now one of only a few supporting him (not sure about Cuba) this argument is getting more clout. Not good for “F1 not being political”.

      Even Russia and China have by now agreed to openly condemn it, nothwithstanding their reluctance to “meddle in internal affairs”.

    34. “Formula One must never be political – full stop.”

      This one got me laughing for a long time…

    35. A quick search on google found me this: “Given average maximum temperatures and humidity levels you can expect extremely dangerous heat conditions with heatstroke or sunstroke is likely” In august that is. In the cars and with the drivers fireproof suit i doubt it will be anything but unbearable. Furthermore the summer break, would be cut short. I mean, the teams already work like hell to keep going, it must be hard to have a family besides F1 in the first place, without the summer break it would be nearly non stop work for a whole year.
      At least if they put the race in august i would like to see Bernie in the other HRT car just for practice sessions and THEN ask him if it was a good idea.

    36. “My job is it to do the best deals possible for Formula One – to secure jobs”

      COTD surely :D! don’t make me laugh Bernie! You do the best deals possible for your OWN profit. You only want a race in Bahrain because of the money they give you.

      You need to set a date for the race before the season starts, and you’ll never know what could happen in Bahrain in 3 months time.

    37. With the amount they’re all getting paid, i’m sure settling for a three week break in the sun instead of four weeks can’t be too hard for them to cope with.

    38. Anyone else find these debate about women drivers ironic given a recent EU ruling about sexist car insurance?

    39. Over on he’s been harping on about his medals idea again. As well as artificially wetting racetracks at set points during a race. If he brings the “shortcuts” idea back up again in going to look into getting him medical help.

      1. Again, the quotes are in the article linked in the second paragraph.

    40. 7th = no because 3 races in a row
      14th = no because of compulsory 2 week factory closure
      therefore 21st if at all, however would still be too hot.

      1. For the third time, the original story is already linked in the article.

        1. Right ok.

    41. He really is an unfeeling nasty piece of work, but hey that`s capatalism! ,for those of you that think women cant handle racing I urge you to watch this.

      1. I loved that… thanks for sharing it.

    42. I think that is a good idea despite the fact it will be very hot then but they are F1 drivers & they should be put in all sorts of test.

    43. Do women play football with men? Do female tennis players play tennis with men? Make a category for women to race together. Why they have to race in F1?

      Yes! Women do play tennis with men! They play the mixed doubles! Lol

    44. It think we will definitely have a female F1 driver one day and I’d be perfectly happy with that.
      But it’ll take some more years for that to happen.
      Women have only recently started to climb up the ladder within the F1 teams, with Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn topping the ranks, I think.
      Unless a super talented girl with the necessary financial backup emerges any time soon, I think it’ll take a few more years for the F1 men to get fully accustomed to women in key positions, before we’ll see the first female (test)driver.

    45. Bahrain race in August. Mr. Ecclestone, do you not have any compassion for your F1 brotherhood. They have families and loved ones to go back to, but that’s just one point.

      The heat in August will burn the cars and cook the drivers including yourself if that makes any sense. Have you heard of the medical term ‘heatstroke’. The citizens in Bahrain leave their country during August for holidays.

      Let it go Bernie it’s only 20 million, C’mon what’s that to a billionaire.

      No wonder Bernie has not been knighted, it’s very obvious isn’t it.

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