Webber hopes for “right decision” on Bahrain

F1 Fanatic round-up

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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:

Mark Webber on Twitter

“When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let’s hope the right decision is made.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Formula 1 teams against restaged Bahrain Grand Prix but money talks (The Guardian)

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.”

Security forces attack Bahraini protesters (Al-Jazeera)

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”.

Bahrain wary of protests before Formula One ruling (Reuters)

“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.”

Letter to Federation Internationale de l’Automobile and Formula One Teams Association Regarding Bahrain Event (Human Rights Watch)

“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)

Bahrain Travel Advice (Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

“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.”

Sauber on Twitter

“After a final medical check-up in Zurich, Checo [Sergio Perez] is on his way to Mexico!”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

‘As racing drivers we sign up to take risks’ (ESPN)

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.”

Lewis Hamilton ‘has to learn to lose’ after Monaco GP mayhem (Daily Mirror)

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.”

Virgin cut ties with controversial Nick Wirth (The Times, subscription required)

“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.”

Circuit of The Americas’s Photos – Aerial Photos 5.27.11 (Facebook)

Pictures of the home of the 2012 United States Grand Prix taking shape.

Adam Parr Heads to FOTA Fans Forum in Montreal (Williams)

Williams chairman Adam Parr will join the panel for the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) Fans Forum in Canada next week.”

Paul Greengrass Choosing Between Pirates and Race Cars for His Next Project (NY Mag)

“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.”

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

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.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

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

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

142 comments on “Webber hopes for “right decision” on Bahrain”

  1. I just can’t see how the FiA can choose to hold the race in Bahrain this season. Surely they’re not that stupid a to realise that just because the government says everything is fine, doesn’t mean it is when it’s that same government that’s imprisoning the people who disagree with them.

    1. And that’s my first ever first post on the daily update!!

    2. Well I’m glad that Bahrain made you post your 1st comment on F1F :). I live in Bahrain and I can tell you things are way better and everything feels back to normal! Over the past few months so many reports were exaggerated because the opposition members were the ones to contact the media, this is why you’d find conflicting reports on Bahrain. There can only be one truth and I hope it will start to come out as Bahrain is safe! We have left the protesting behind, even the opposition members agreed to enter dialogue!

      Bahrain is moving on, please stop the negativity and support us! The Bahrain GP will help us move on! Forget the glamour of the event, Bahrain benefits immensely from it so please support it. Help us rebuild and unite!

      Check out the #BahrainWantsF1 tag on twitter it’s been going non stop! I have never seen this many Bahrainis this excited about F1 ever, not even when the GP is in town! Amazing! Feeling very optimistic already!

      To those who haven’t checked out this article, plz do it’s a long but great read http://bit.ly/lJdM4u It basically says if you cliam to support the Bahraini people, then you’ll have to support the GP because it will help our country and help our businesses.

      1. Pretty easy to say that stuff if you’re not one of the people being persecuted LAK

        “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.”

        “even the opposition members agreed to enter dialogue!”

        what have enough of them been killed and beaten in public that they finally gave up?

        A civil rights movement does not appear or go away without reason. If no atrocities were commited by the government why was there a media black out? If it’s been peacefull why wern’t we allowed to see you all dancing in the streets hand in hand why hadn’t the government ended the state of emergency and declared it safe to travel and host the race until a week before the wmsc meeting? Why are there still threats of protests now before the meeting and at the grandprix if it were to be reinstated?

        support bahrain and the gp?

        support a genocidial dictator in wipeing out a large population of his country because they have the wrong 4 or 5 letters after their first name is what you actually mean.

        1. Pretty easy to say that stuff if you’re not one of the people being persecuted LAK


          1. Nail, on, the, head.

          2. That’s because I haven’t murdered, injured, assualted, or committed treason – the rest did!

          3. So the staff previously working for the Bahrain GP track all, withing a year committed murder, assault and/or treason?

            Your joking right?

        2. support a genocidial dictator in wipeing out a large population of his country because they have the wrong 4 or 5 letters after their first name is what you actually mean.

          Omg! Lol this did not happen here! See this is what I’m talking about! Believe me if I was in a country that was ruled by a “genocidal dictator” who’s “wiping out a large part of the population” I would NOT be defending my country! Nothing like that or even close to that happened!

          We have a serious problem, and I don’t know how to solve it.. We need some sort of reality check, and I don’t know how can I provide that.. Maybe when F1 comes you can all see it for yourselves on tv! :)

      2. The fact is, your government injured, tortured and killed people who were exercising their right to protest. Furthermore you punished the medical professionals whose duty is to save lives – irrelevant of political opinion. Whatever you say does not justify that. People have the right to voice their opinion, no one has the right the exterminate these people as a result of disagreeing.

        1. We haven’t the Govt allowed them to do as they wish for a whole month, they broke all sorts of rules and laws with out any interference, it’s when they started killing innocent civilians is when we all drew the line.

          1. Well thats a lie. What I have mentioned is all well documented by various independent new sources – that is until you kicked them out of your country.

            Fact is, no one wants this race and the fact that it has gone ahead only emphasises what a selfish and smug-like country you live in.

            Address the real issues, then we may possibly consider taking you and your country serious. Until then, you are yet another corrupt draconian nation whose rulers live in luxury while the rest are subject to fear, intimidation and a draconian way of life.

          2. LAK, i think you do not really understand. Even if they would protest for half a year, it would not be their mistake but a fault in the system to not take up the discontent and start changing thing. Laws prohibiting this are just as stupid.

            In the 1960′ there were masses of people protesting their own countries regularly. In the end the governments changed and their ideas became part of the establishement.

            The biggest reason why those talks did not get on, was nothing to do with Bahrain as such, but with some of your rulers and the other GCC rulers being afraid to have to give up their overwhelming power to the people.

            I agree, that talking about a dictatorship and genocide is very wide off the mark here. And I am sorry that was mentioned.

            But you just cannot send in the armed forces for people demanding meaningfull elections, equal rights to employment in the government agencies and a stop to possible discrimination.

            The protesters were not killing nor beating up anyone before the police and security forces started the violence escalating. And then the military was brought in for a heavy handed crackdown still continuing.

      3. I tend to wonder LAK like I have since the reports on this site about Bahrain have flowed in if you are in fact working for the Gov’t of Bahrain. I can not see any logical reason why someone not living in Bahrain would make these claims, so the next logical answer(s) would be you work for the Bahrain Gov’t or you are just the brain washed. That site you give has a comment from a man living or claiming like you, to be in Bahrain as well and also an F1 fan but doesn’t believe stability has been seen in your region. The site also looks like rhetoric as well. So I tend to believe that you are just here to calm things down or try but your talking on your soap box to the wrong crowd. The thing is just like an outside source and inside source from Bahrain can give just as much information if not more and be more likely to be accepted just because it is from Bahrain. At this point I nit pick all source on Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iran when it comes to the protest. Lately it seems I have to use a fine tooth comb more so with Bahrain however. You’re govt if it truly is yours is doing a great job of mincing the information than the others. At the end of the day I don’t have first hand account and I can only accept you’re first hand accounts to some degree before I wonder if it is really true. Maybe LAK you should video tape a enter week around all of Bahrain for us and then post it on youtube, so the visual evidence will help us understand and suffice all question surrounding the subject.

        1. LAK has been here a lot longer than this, He’s and F1 Fanatic, just a terribly misguided one.

        2. Maybe I should go around with a video.. :p Idea noted.. There are many like me who think this.. This is a fact you have to accept.. I’m just trying to show ppl what it is like here…

      4. Just read your forum post, and reacted. I think that
        1. The race resceduling just does not fit into the calendar
        2. No one will be able to guarantee safety for over 3000 team members and media, not even thinking about the 50.000+ fans it might get in close together.
        4. With a large part of circuit personell and medics imprisoned etc, will everyting really work?
        3. Let Bahrain focus on rebuilding itself and getting a move on these reform discussions. Then look at staging a race next year or further in the future.

        1. Agreed. And what about the fans who’ve bought tickets, booked time off work and paid for hotels to attend the Indian GP (if as suggested that is the one to move to accommodate Bahrain)?

          And what about Brazil who are looking forward to being the season finale after Abu Dull-bi having it for the last couple of years?

        2. 1,2,4,3… Oh Bas, you need to go back to school :P

          1. Yeah, I keep telling my son to pay attention to that and now i do it myself! Actually I decided to put the last point in 3rd just before posting.

      5. I don’t mean to attack you, but unfortunately a lot of what you say sounds so much like propaganda it’s hard to tell if the sentiment is real or forced. If you are right then that is great, but I’m not sure it tells the whole story. I doubt the people who have been persecuted- although perhaps glad they are no longer being targeted (we hope)- will be as enthusiastic to see F1 as you.

      6. “We have left the protesting behind, even the opposition members agreed to enter dialogue!”

        1. Al Jazeera was reporting yesterday that protesters have again been attacked in villages near Bahrain’s capital.

        2. It wasn’t the opposition not willing to have a dialogue about moving towards democracy, it was Bahrain’s ruling class who wasn’t prepared to discuss it.

        LAK, I get the impression that you are none of those who protested – probably because you’re a Bahrain inhabitant who is happy with the status quo. You’ve got a right to be content, of course, but then your view probably isn’t that representative for what’s been happening in Bahrain in the last months, I guess.

        1. It was the opposition my dear, now they may have claimed that it wasn’t them out of embarrassment and the will to fit back in after the mess they created.

          We all agree we need to move on, and all of a sudden they looked like the bad ones, so they finally decided to tag a long, yay..

          1. “it was the opposition”
            – for what? having opinions that they decided to express as a group?

            “the mess they created”
            – So they forced the government to shoot them?? What about the paramedics? Did they deserve to be shot for acting like decent human beings and treating those in need??

            ” and all of a sudden they look like the bad ones”
            – Lak, if it was not such a serious matter your opinions would be laughable. That is not the perception held by vast swathes of people around the world. Instead, you country nows looks like another mid-east dictatorial backwater with leaders and a ruling class too timid, arrogant and belligerent to accept the will of the people (having a growing economy, and some flash buildings is not the prerequisite for being “developed” by the way. The first step is how all citizens are treated, regardless of their religious, political or sexual orientation).

            Your comments smak of “let them eat cake”

    3. “there are now no travel restrictions in place in Bahrain.”

      That pretty much says it all.

    4. I have been absent these three days and what do I find out? That Bahrain’s back!

  2. “When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let’s hope the right decision is made.”

    It pains me to say it, but i wouldnt count on it Mark. If F1 from the last 20years has taught us anything, its Money talks.

    The best hope the drivers have, who are worried about the whole situation, is that the teams and their sponsors will opt out of Bahrain 2011. Thats the only way i can see that this wont happen. Bahrain wants the Gp, Bernie wants the GP and short of the above, India will come later in the calender and Formula one will die a little inside.

    1. MVEilenstein
      3rd June 2011, 0:54

      The cynic in me thinks that some, but not most, teams will stay home in protest. The others will pounce on the opportunity for easy points, confirming what we all suspect; namely, that most F1 teams have moral conviction, until it affects their bottom line.

      I would love to be proven wrong.

      1. They go to China, Singapore, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi and even Bahrain before there were protests. Why not now?

    2. Well even in commercial terms, any ‘profit’ from Bahrain will be short term. The long term damage to Formula One will be much higher, maybe even huge.

      1. This is the same sport that had USA 2005. People forget way too quickly. As much as I don’t want them to go to Bahrain, certain people will be gambling that fans forget F1’s sins as quickly as possible.

    3. To make you feel better about it check out the #BahrainWantsF1 hashtag on twitter to be convinced how much the people (not govt) of Bahrain want the race, see above comment and the forum post :)

      1. How much does the Bahrain gov’t pay you exactly…

      2. I am sure there are quite a few people who want to race, but that doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do, nor that there is a bigger group who would rather not have it, or is too busy being persecuted to bother twittering about it.

        1. Well, to be honest, there were over 300.000 people supporting a petition presented against going on with the Bahrain GP!

          1. I presume everyone on here will also be signing a petition against the Chinese GP as well…

          2. Or the Malaysian, Singaporese or Abu Dhabian (sp?)

            The whole thing is ridiculous. Iran wants Bahrain as their next province so they make their religious subjects stir up trouble. Where we live we call these people terrorists. Sitting thousands of miles away, these people are suddenly freedom fighters.

          3. Well, Patrickl, from all I understand of these protest, the people actually taking to the streets are not more friendly of Iran than the people actually trying to do exactly the same on Iranian streets and getting shot for it just like those in Bahrain.

          4. So you don’t understand the whole picture. What’s your point?

      3. With all the good will LAK, im not on, nor do i use twitter. And i also tend not to believe my own government on things they say (and im from the UK), so i think yours will have a harder time of it. Besides, if anyone in any country is going to try the hardest to get their point accorss, its members of the government.

      4. I don’t agree with you, but I think it would be very difficult to be in your position.

        Don’t take what people say personally.

  3. The McNish quotes are spot on. What I found strange in that article though was this:

    He is still waiting to find out if the authorities are to take any further action over his outburst.

    Is that just speculation, or has the FIA indicated in some way there may be further penalties for his outburst? That’s the first I’ve heard of it in any case.

    1. The BBC are reporting that he may get another reprimand.

      1. Lewis has had enough reprimands.

    2. I guess the WMSC might decide today, that they will not tolerate the remarks on behalve of the Stewarding and will take some actions.

      1. Didn’t he have to BACK to the stewards and apologise?

        1. He did, but in FIA speak the WMSC has their own responsibility and can act without regards to what the Stewards say!

          I hope they do not make it an even bigger joke and do not prove Lewis right by handing out a penalty.

          1. What he did was quite serious.

            Don’t forget any reprimand will be for his actions after the race, and not the race itself, for which he already was reprimanded.

      2. I have to say, if this is worth another reprimand while Ferrari and Alonso last year pretending (at the end of the race) they were surprised about Massa letting Alonso by for the team isn’t, it once again means: if you are open about something, you get punished, so please just pretend everything is fine, we want the PR robots please.

        1. They had to pay a 100K fine for that.

          1. =.= He said “reprimand”.

          2. Ah so a reprimand is more severe than a big fine. Of course. How silly of me.

  4. MVEilenstein
    3rd June 2011, 0:48

    “When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let’s hope the right decision is made.”

    The question, Mark, is whether RBR agrees. I suspect they don’t.

    1. yes, are the issues bigger than Red Bull Energy Drink mark? “no, i guess not mate!”

      1. MVEilenstein
        3rd June 2011, 0:58

        I suspect we’ll see a lot of hand wringing and concerned faces, but in the end they’ll still race.

        1. Tom M in Australia
          3rd June 2011, 9:33


    2. Who cares if they agree Mark isn’t signed on with them for next year. And he’s had enough issue with them that he may sit out and they may fill his seat with someone else if the race happens. However, you don’t stick your neck out like that and then when on the spot go back on what you said in the first place. In other words if the race happens we will all remember what mark said and sitting out would be best to stand strong for his beliefs.

      1. Yep – If ONE driver grows a backbone sits it out the knock on effect could be huge. If the driver won’t go the staff sure as hell shouldn’t be made to go.

      2. MVEilenstein
        3rd June 2011, 14:25

        I care.

    3. Indeed. The fewer races, the better it is for Red Bull.

      And the politically correct crowd laps it up like it’s the best milk on the planet.

  5. wow, packed lineup today!

    on Bahrain, i fear alot more trouble if the GP goes ahead. I can imagine on race day, a large violent protest looking to disrupt the race itself. It’s entirely possible…

    1. I live here and I can say that the country have moved on, even the opposition members agreed to go to dialogue! :) Check this out

      The only way forward is through dialogue and reforms and not violent protesting and anarchy. If they were really peaceful all this would not have happened (check out http://bit.ly/lJdM4u to know more).

      Anyone who tries to stop the reforms and dialogue form happening by doing violent acts is to be blamed as no one will be on their side anymore!

      We are fed up and ready to move on, reassigning the GP would be a great step and help us move forward! Support us instead of bringing us backwards!

      1. Sorry forgot to link to the Financial Times article about the Opposition agreeing to dialogue: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6f890a66-8d4a-11e0-bf23-00144feab49a.html#axzz1OAl1fUAW

        1. Great news, I hope it works out. It will all depend on how much the opposition party can get the people who went out on the streets involved and feeling its them having influence.

          Thing, is it will not prevent some more radical part of disconsent to have a go. Especially if they feel that to little progress has been made come the time of the GP. And with the complicated background and widespread distrust now present, it will be hard to make considerable progress in relatively short notice.

          In effect it might turn out that people will use the GP date as a means of pressure. That might be positively, but is very risky. And I do not think the FIA should let that happen, if they want to stay non political.

      2. Anyone who tries to stop the reforms and dialogue form happening by doing violent acts is to be blamed as no one will be on their side anymore

        Hard to tell if that sounds more like the protestors or Bahraini government. I put shooting doctors in that bracket to be honest.

      3. so do you think there’d be absolutely no chance of the race being interupted by protesters (many or few…)? It may seem peaceful now but it only takes one or two to change things.

  6. I don’t think moral or ethics are going to be considered in the case of Bahrain. After all Bernie went behind the Iron Curtain in 1986 which was considered to be a pretty unholy thing at that time I suppose. People or democratic cultures won’t raise their voices if the Grand Prix goes on.

    The only condition is going to be safety I think.

    Personally – though thanks to the aforementioned decision in 1986 I got a race in my country which I went to see in 1997 and 2005 – I don’t agree with it, it doesn’t fit into my value system. Grand Prix racing and sport itsself is kind of democratic on its own, I mean it has this plurality and competition which has been found lacking in de facto dictatorships like Bahrain. Not to mention the oppression of the people there.

    1. If morality was an issue, F1 wouldn’t have gone to ANY of these new countries. China, Malaysia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Turkey ALL have major human rights issues.

  7. Pedro Andrade
    3rd June 2011, 0:54

    Not that it makes much of a diference, but at least you can make your opinion heard: Petition: No F1 in brutal Bahrain

    Keith, do you think you can give this some relevance?

    1. A journo mentioned on Twitter the other day that FOTA are seeking fans’ views on the matter.

      Their email address is: info@teamsassociation.org
      And the subject line should be Bahrain IIRC

      1. Pedro Andrade
        3rd June 2011, 1:05

        Thanks for the tip Ned!

    2. FYI that petition turned out to be fake! The numbers are automatically adding up without real signatures! This is what ppl on twitter have been saying. Just thought I’d pass on the word! :D

      Here are two twititions that you may want to look at

      This one started a while ago: http://twitition/fghkk
      This one was started yesterday night only http://twitition.com/99kzj

      To add, according on the main opposition party’s tweets, they said that they are supporting any economic development, the GP is the biggest so it’s safe to assume they are on board too! Bahrain is starting to unite!

      1. Does anyone else get the feeling this guy works for the Bahrain government?

        1. I thought it might be Bernie.

          1. I’ve said it before that he/she works for the Bahrainian gov’t and seems to go to the most populus F1 sites to get people to fall for his/her rhetoric. So yes I agree with you.

          2. I don’t think Bernie would know how to add emoticons to a post!

        2. I get the feeling you are a shiite muslim working for the Iranian government.

      2. graham228221
        3rd June 2011, 8:24

        Avaaz are a well known activist organisation – they’ll have a lot of press today for delivering this to the UN today, accompanying the Global Commission for Drug Policy’s report: http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2011/05/avaaz-seeks-1-million-supporters-for.html

        And recently have also helped to achieve this: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uganda_stop_homophobia_petition/

        The counter on the site might just be symbolic, but the actual petition is real.

        1. i’ve been signed up with Avaaz for ages!

        2. I already supported them in the Ugandan thing as well.

      3. Just want to warn you that this is starting to feel like spam to me.

      4. Pedro Andrade
        3rd June 2011, 9:52

        I’m sorry LAK, but it really does seem you are connected to the Bahrain government. The petition is genuine.

  8. Great CotD Pope!

    Argh I hate seeing interesting looking articles in the round up which require subscription. Stupid greedy Times! I have no idea whether The Times is a Murdoch paper, but he’s the usual scapegoat for these matters, so I’m going to direct my ire at him regardless

    1. The Times is a murdoch one, yes!

      1. Google the headline and chances are you’ll get to read the article.

        1. I tried that… it didn’t even show up on google

          1. Try your local library. Most of them have an institution-level subscription, so you’ll be able to see as much stuff from the Times there as you like.

  9. We’re dying here in our poor villages in Bahrain which are all surrounded by police and military just to shut our mouths. Do you know why? That’s all because this Formula 1. Bahrain Royal Family wants it back on our blood. They want to show you that Bahrain is safe now. Nobody bleeding or dying. Everything is fine. They want your money because they now the majority of Bahraini people can’t purchase a meal from Sakhir circuit rather than buying a ticket! Majority of people including me have not seen this F1 since it started 2004 in Bahrain. The more the money that you put in this tyrant royal family pockets, the more the weapons that they can purchase to suppress us!!!

    That what’s happening in our villages everyday, they don’t want anybody walk in the street. That’s why they said Bahrain is calm now!

    Youtube Video has taken June 2 in Sitra City ‘Bahrain’
    This is just a small example!

    Sign on this petition please:

    1. MVEilenstein
      3rd June 2011, 1:02

      Clearly, you need to be re-educated.

      LAK will be here soon to correct you.

      1. Just like clockwork.

      2. God that was funny, thank you for the laugh and the hint of 1984 you’re doing great double speak work here. LOL

    2. Dear fellow Bahraini,

      The fact that you are online typing a comment is a good sign that you are not being shot at, so that is a good thing :) The money the Formula 1 brings to Bahrain is millions in revenue that will in turn benefit you and me, after all, weren’t the protests about reforms and a better living?

      About the tickets price, I agree they are expensive, and Formula 1 fans all over the world are complaining about the ticket prices, so this problem is not the Bahraini government’s but FOM’s problem. I think we should have public viewing sections to allow more people to enjoy this spectacle so that everyone enjoys it.

      Yes not everyone affords to attend the race, but that does not mean they do not benefit from having it in town! Lots of businesses, shops, restaurants, cafes, souks, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, printing presses, etc… all benefit from the GP in town as you know Bahrain is filled with tourists. How is this bad for the country? Why stop your fellow citizens from benefiting?

      Formula 1 has managed to put Bahrain in the map and it is an honor to be able to host such an honorable event, why don’t you want something good for your country?

      We are tired of the protests and violence, and want our old Bahrain back! We want to go back seeing ourselves as Bahrainis and not care about each others sects. Dear Bahraini, the protests have divided and damaged the country to no end, we were never like this! Why do you want this to continue?

      The opposition already agreed to dialogue, the people are ready to move, we want to reunite and rebuild so please help in doing so! Let us try to put what happened behind us, and for the sake of reconciliation let’s assume both sides made mistakes and move on. Let’s show the world what it means to be a Bahraini! Our country has been shamed repeatedly in the past few months for things we were never known for. It is time to move forward, dwelling in the past will only bring the country down.

      Let’s stay peaceful, let’s start thinking about dialogue, after all we all want reforms don’t we.. We are Bahrainis and we will overcome this because we do not know how to live in hatred. Let’s work to bring our Bahrain back!


      P.S. Thanx @MVEilenstein for pointing this comment out :)

      1. MVEilenstein
        3rd June 2011, 3:30

        Like clockwork, LAK shows up right on time, with irrefutable logic.

        How is this bad for the country? Why stop your fellow citizens from benefiting?

        why don’t you want something good for your country?

        Dear Bahraini, the protests have divided and damaged the country to no end, we were never like this! Why do you want this to continue?

        Are you being paid for this?

        Our country has been shamed repeatedly in the past few months for things we were never known for.

        Oppressive regimes are pretty good at hiding atrocities committed against their subjects.

        I don’t know why you shill incessantly for your government, and I don’t know why you insult the intelligence of your countrymen, but I don’t fall for your propaganda, and there are few here who do.

        1. You ask me to reply and then accuse me of being paid.. Funny.. Anyway it’s your opinion, you can believe what you wish, it doesn’t seem you want to hear what we have to say..

          1. MVEilenstein
            4th June 2011, 7:24

            That is true.

      2. The fact that you say

        We are tired of the protests and violence, and want our old Bahrain back!

        Indicates that you are far from neutral in this situation and are not in favour of those protesting for reforms, and so would of course tell everyone that it is all fine and ‘nothing to see here’.

        To be honest it is like hearing Ferrari insist that three car teams and unlimited testing is for the benefit of everyone in F1, not just themselves. Doesn’t wash really.

      3. If everything is nice and peaceful and safe and good and happy… Explain the video…

        Also, MV wasn’t helping you, he was luring you into insulting your own intelligence… I’m rather surprised that it worked.

    3. If it’s so bad there, why not go back to Iran?

  10. “Lauda so detested Hunt and was so obsessed with beating him that just six weeks later, he dragged himself out of bed and finished fourth at the Italian Grand Prix.”

    This is 100% false…Hopefully the film will be an accurate portrayal of their rivalry & friendship.

  11. Sure. Whatever you say, Renault.

    Given that the judge agreed Group Lotus were well within their rights to terminate the contract with Fernandes, I’d say they have every right to try and defend their use of the name further. After all, they felt Fernandes mis-used their name. So why should he be entitled to keep using a name that is identical to theirs simply because most fans don’t like Dany Bahar despite a court ruling that says he has done nothing wrong?

    1. So why should he be entitled to keep using a name that is identical to theirs simply because most fans don’t like Dany Bahar despite a court ruling that says he has done nothing wrong?

      Because according to the same court ruling, he owns the rights to do so?

      1. No, Fernandes owns the rights to the Team Lotus name. The court agreed that Group Lotus was allowed to terminate the licencing agreement in 2010. They claim that Fernandes mis-used their name. By extension of that, he did damage to their brand name. Now he’s running a team under a name that is identical, even though it has been established that there is a difference between the two. While fans and commentators might refer to the two teams and Renault and Lotus, and the judge’s verdict might state that fans should have enough knowledge to distinguish between the two, Renault have made it quite clear that they feel there is no longer a place in the sport for them as a constructor. That’s why Genii Capital took control of the team – Renault want out. And given Lotus Cars’ latest campaign of getting heavily involved in multiple tiers of motorsport, it’s a fair bet that they’ll buy into Renault in the immediate future. They’ve already said they’ll do as much. And that becomes a problem because we will then have two teams known as Lotus.

        1. How did Fernandes misuse the name?

          1. Group Lotus claim he misused it in merchandising, attaching it to a prduct that they did not approve of. It’s unknown what product that is, but I suspect it was LR8 (“Lotus Racing 8”), the “official” energy drink of the team. It appeared on the car at Spa 2010, but was removed from the cars before Singapore, which was the week that Group Lotus announced their plans to sponsor ART Grand Prix rather than Team AirAsia, the first sign that things were wrong.

          2. PM, please go read the verdict.

            The thing with that energy drink is a nice theory of yours, but its just not true.

            Fernandes broke the clause telling them to get GL pre approval for every product of merchandise. The judge found they did not even try to comply with this and GL was fully in its right to cancel the agreement.
            Nothing there about an energy drink. Not coming from GL, nor Fernandes, nor mentioned by the judge.
            Do you want a quote on that?

        2. If Fernandes would not have agreed with David Hunt on taking over the old Team Lotus rights, he would have to rename the team. But as he did, he can use that name just like anyone else owning something.

          The fact that Renault wants to get rid of the connections to the team is not Fernandes fault. GenII and Bahar should have thought about that a year ago.
          And the thought of a cash struck Lotus Cars buying into a pretty successfull Renault (the car manufacturer) is downright prepostorous (look at who owns Renault here). They will rather go bankrupt big time, possibly pulling Proton with them. Then maybe Renault will invest in proton just like they use Dacia!

          1. The fact that Renault wants to get rid of the connections to the team is not Fernandes fault.

            Actually, it’s entirely Fernandes’ fault. Group Lotus terminated the licencing agreement with him because he mis-used their name.

        3. Atanu (@ilovevettel)
          3rd June 2011, 8:49

          PM this is from the verdict:

          The provisos seem to me to be reasonably clear. If the 1985 Agreement is terminated GL can enter car racing. It can do so under the name Lotus. However it cannot use the word Lotus alone and must use a word submitted to TLIL and cannot use the word Team. Under the 1985 Agreement there was a clear separation of activities. GL made and sold sports cars. TLIL raced cars. Neither interfered in the other’s operation. However the provisos clearly contemplated that after the Agreement ceased to be of effect GL could enter for the first time into racing. If it did so it could use the word Lotus but only in association with another word and that other word could not be Team.

    2. Did you read the verdict PM? If yes, correct your own nonsensical statement. If not read on.

      The judge clearly stated, that the Team Lotus goodwill is older than the whole GL/Car manufacturer. Therefore its preposturous to even think they own any rights or preference to such a name. Bahar might not like it, but on this he will be very unlikely to win.

      As for similarity. Then Bahar would have to get into a court room with Lotus Bakeries and the owners to the Lotus Notes etc. goodwill as well. That would make almost as much sense.

      The court did certainly not state Bahar did nothing wrong, far from that actually. Yes, Fernandes were clearly doing the wrong thing with regards to the merchandising. But that does not mean Bahar is perfectly right. Probably both were wrong not to sit down and agree on something, but that is a different story altogether.

      1. Atanu (@ilovevettel)
        3rd June 2011, 9:01

        To add to that, the verdict states:

        First there is the issue as to whether or not the Claimants and/or the Defendants have the right to race in Formula 1 (“F1”) racing in cars which bear the name “Lotus” or “Lotus” in combination with the word “Team”.
        Second (and perhaps less important) is a dispute over a License Agreement (“the License”) dated 21st December 2009 granted by the First Claimant Group Lotus (“GL”) to the First Defendant 1Malaysia Racing Team (“1MRT”) whereby GL granted 1MRT various rights including the right to race in Formula 1 under the name “Lotus Racing”.

  12. Hopefully we get some decision at all. Heck, I don’t even care anymore. Have the race or not. However, do something for once.

  13. Instant comment from me on The New Pope’s CotD alone.

    Re: McNish. I have a hard time calling out Hamilton on anything slightly personal because of my handle, but he would rarely fall out of my given grid’s T5. But unlike anyone else at the sharp end, he succumbs to red mist time and time again, in his fifth season mind you.

    I don’t want to make such a broad statement, but it’s almost as if he wants to emulate Senna in more ways than anyone else. On and off the track. Almost everything he did on Sunday was over the top and it made me wince.

    I have a feeling he’ll fare much better in Montreal if he could spare a passing moment to exhale.

    1. Red mist? He OVERTAKES cars. I know it’s a shocking concept, but some drivers actually attempt this. Even outside DRS zones … *shudder*.

      Look at how Schumacher, Senna, Kobayashi and .. indeed Hmailton overtake time and time again. They brake later and slide up on the inside (or outside) of their opponent.

      If then the other driver turns inm there is a crash. If not then there is a “brilliant” overtake.

  14. Stupid Football thing is now Stupider Football Thing. They’ve gone and announced their lineup for the 2011 season, and while thing were looking up with the number of entries and rounds they had at the end of 2010, they’ve gone and modelled things on A1 Grand Prix.

    1. MVEilenstein
      3rd June 2011, 3:34

      I do love Superleague, but not being a soccer fan, the livery/team concept does nothing for me.

      1. If they want to model it on Football, they should have an actual division structure. Division 1 teams compete in both races at a meeting. Division 2 teams only compete in the sprint event, with the best teams moving up to Division 1 at the end of the season; likewise, the worst Division 2 teams move down. Mid-season changes may also be possible if Division 2 teams excel and Division 1 teams have a horrible run of races.

    2. So now they’re trying to be A1 Grand Prix?

      I could get on board with that if they get rid of all the silly football stuff which I always found rather cynical.

      1. So now they’re trying to be A1 Grand Prix?

        I think they tried to get other international clubs involved, but when there were no takers, they reverted to national teams.

        I could get on board with that if they get rid of all the silly football stuff which I always found rather cynical.

        I don’t think “cynical” is the right word. To be cynical is to assume that a person’s motivations and intentions are something other than what they claim.

        I just think they blew the concept of “motorsports and football”. Aside from having racing teams that were parallel with football clubs, there is nothing about the series that resembles football.

    3. Who cares what they use for sponsoring?

      You don’t see people whining about how F1 was trying to be a cigarette competition, then turned to a touring car championship and now is run as a drinks company championship?

      1. It was looking like becoming a telephone championship earlier this century. Anyway, your comment made me laugh, Patrickl! :D

  15. I honestly have no idea which way the FIA are going to go. Perhaps they would like to take the opportunity to defy Bernie? Must be tempting.

    1. Maybe Ross Brawn can have a quiet word with his old mate Jean…

  16. Mark Hitchcock
    3rd June 2011, 9:06

    Sid Watkins and someone else (cant remember who, wasnt really listening) are going to be on BBC Breakfast talking about the Senna film in literally 1 or 2 minutes if anyone cares.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      3rd June 2011, 9:07

      It’s Asif who’s with Prof Watkins.

    2. Mark Hitchcock
      3rd June 2011, 9:14

      Unsurprisingly it turned out to be a waste of time to watch.

      1. I was just about to comment the same thing. :)

      2. I can imagine how it went without seeing it…

        “Senna was a really fast driver wasn’t he? And then died, didn’t he? Ok, thanks for joining us: next up we’ve got Tamara Ecclestone in the studio talking about Llama conservation.”

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          3rd June 2011, 11:39

          Pretty much. And having an old, disinterested man there in Sid Watkins didn’t help. Whenever they asked him a question (questions he had no doubt been asked a million times already) he would just say “Yeah” or “That is correct”.
          Not exactly riveting television.

          A lesson in interview technique as well. Surely it’s best to avoid yes/no questions wherever possible!

  17. Even Max Mosley is saying the race shouldn’t go ahead…

    1. link please?

  18. Apparently it is going ahead:

    12.42pm: Fawaz al-Khalifa is the Bahraini government official who appears to have broken the news – via Twitter.

    @fawaz_alkhalifa Mabrook, Bahrain will host f1..

    Al-Khalifa has since tweeted saying that FIA are now “finalising [the] date”.

    12.32pm: A Bahraini government official has said that the Bahrain grand prix will go ahead. More as we get it.

    From the Guardian website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2011/jun/03/yemen-bahrain-syria-middle-east-live

    1. If you look further down the Guardian site you can see how ridiculous the decision is (provided it is true). How many insurers are going to be keen on covering teams travelling to a country where RPGs are being fired in cities and riot police seem to be permanently in action?

      1. Sorry, should have said ‘area where RPGs are being fired in cities’

    2. Greatest update ever there:

      1.11pm: No confirmation from the FIA – formula one’s governing body – about the Bahrain grand prix yet. I have just called the organisation’s head office in France, but unfortunately the only press officer able to speak on this issue is out for the next hour.

      Guess where the press officer went. Have a nice lunch then.
      I would seriously doubt that Todt and/or Bernie would not give an official press conference, for announcing this kind of thing.

  19. Reuters is reporting that it’s going ahead on their newswire.

  20. Max Mosley says that it will be a PR disaster if it goes ahead. Oh well. LOL


    1. It’s amusing how quickly the comment thread on that article unraveled into an “I’m right, you’re wrong” match. F1Fanatic is spoiling other F1 fan sites for me :P
      But seriously, thanks Keith!

  21. Lewis Hamilton ‘has to learn to lose’

    No chance. This is what makes him so exciting. Don’t listen to McNish!

  22. It is the awesomest blog I have ever visited

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