The FIA’s World Motor Sport Council meets today and all attention is focused on whether it will reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix on the calendar.
Here’s today’s round-up:
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let’s hope the right decision is made.”
Damon Hill: “It is important that Formula 1 is not seen to be only interested in putting on the show, whatever the circumstances. You can’t just base your decision to hold a race in a country on that country’s ability to pay.”
Vice president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Nabeel Rajab: “I think we are going to see more protests in the coming days. The lifting [of the] state [of] emergency it was more to attract the Formula 1… which was going to act as an indicator if Bahrain has come to normal or not”.
“An employee of the state-owned Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) said 28 of 108 staff members had been fired. He said all 28 were detained and abused, and five remain in detention, including its chief financial officer, Jaafar Almansoor.”
“We seriously question whether a successful Formula One event can be staged in an environment characterized by an unrelenting official campaign of punitive retribution against many who participated in or otherwise supported the pro-democracy protests, which authorities from the prime minister on down have retrospectively characterised, with zero evidence, as a treasonous coup inspired by Iran”. (May 26th)
“The overall level of advice has changed; we no longer advise against all but essential travel to Bahrain; there are now no travel restrictions in place in Bahrain.”
“After a final medical check-up in Zurich, Checo [Sergio Perez] is on his way to Mexico!”
Karun Chandhok on what might have caused the crashes in Monaco: “One was that they have resurfaced the circuit in that part – I’m not sure why because the old surface was fine last year – and the bumps have actually got a lot worse. The other theory I heard was that with the blown diffuser development at its peak today, the rear ride height of the car has become more sensitive to the stall point for rear downforce. So when the rear of the car goes light over the crest and over the bumps the cars lose downforce momentarily at exactly the wrong moment. The answer probably lies in a combination of the two.”
Allan McNish: “There are limited opportunities to be successful at the very top and that brings its own pressures. But there can be only one winner and you have to be able to handle that.”
“Sir Richard Branson, Virgin’s founder, whose name is on the car, was in Monaco last weekend to soak up the glamour of the Grand Prix and hold a photocall. But it is understood he plays almost no part in the business and does not even fund the outfit. The name carries weight but the Virgin team might soon be looking to strengthen ties with partners who have more to offer.”
Pictures of the home of the 2012 United States Grand Prix taking shape.
“Williams chairman Adam Parr will join the panel for the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) Fans Forum in Canada next week.”
“Greengrass may choose instead to make Rush, the Formula One drama written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon), that we hear he has also been flirting with at Working Title Films. […] Niki Lauda confirmed that the Oscar-nominated screenwriter Morgan was working on a screenplay about the driver’s near-fatal 1976 racing season. We’re told by knowledgeable insiders that Morgan’s screenplay deals closely with Lauda’s famed rivalry with the English race driver James Hunt, both on and off the track.”
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Comment of the day
The New Pope’s reaction to Dany Bahar’s demand to use the name ‘Lotus’ in F1:
Sure. Whatever you say, Renault.
The New Pope
From the forum
More from LAK in Bahrain on the developments surrounding the race.
On this day in F1
Peter Collins won the Belgian Grand Prix for Ferrari on this day 55 years ago.
He inherited the win when team mate Juan Manuel Fangio retired with transmission problems.
Paul Frere finished second ahead of Stirling Moss, who had taken over Cesare Perdisa’s Maserati after his own had lost a wheel.
Image © Red Bull/Getty images