Webber affirms opposition to Bahrain Grand Prix

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Mark Webber syas F1 should have “taken a much firmer stance” on Bahrain.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix (Mark Webber)

“In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in hope of being able to re-schedule it in 2011. It would have sent a very clear message about F1’s position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues.”

Bernie Ecclestone defends decision to stage Bahrain Grand Prix (The Times, subscription required)

Bernie Ecclestone: “It’s obvious that everybody feels they need to be safe when we get there. In the end we’ll have to wait and see what happens in Bahrain. If there is peace and no problems then I suppose the teams will be all right.”

Max Mosley: Bahrain decision must be reversed (Daily Telegraph)

“Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions. If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If Formula One allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalise unarmed protesters.”

Formula One teams must come together over Bahrain issue (The Guardian)

Allan McNish: “The drivers are the lucky ones; in January we can go off on holiday, but the engineers and mechanics have to go straight back into the office. It may lead teams to have increase their number of staff and employ double shift rotations – similar to the ‘test’ teams of the past.”

Verizon solution key to Colao’s reputation (FT, registration required)

“There was more intrigue in the impromptu appearance of Verizon Wireless’s logo alongside that of Vodafone, which is a team sponsor. The official explanation that it was a one-off "gift" from Vodafone to a network partner, is touching but implausible.”

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

Comment of the day

PT wants to see more attention given to Ayrton Senna’s rivals:

I’m tired of so much emotionalism (don’t know if such a word exists) attached to Senna.

OK he was an out-of-this-world driver, exceptionally talented and way above the rest, but it’s time something is done about the other great drivers of the time particularly Prost and Piquet – the multiple champions. I consider Prost and Piquet among the best drivers of all time and their lack of charisma or basic manners (in the case of Piquet during the Mansell rivalry) only makes them unique and larger than life.

I wish I had the resources to tell the world about Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet. Personally, doing something like that would give me far more satisfaction than basically telling the already told and retold emotional Senna stories. I’m not saying this to discredit the work of Manish Pandey and his team – they’ve done a sterling job. But we’ve got to move on!

From the forum

It may have been out for a while but there’s still plenty of people finishing off their F1 2010 careers.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ratboy!

On this day in F1

Gunnar Nilsson scored his single F1 victory on this day in 1977.

He was one of two Swedish drivers on the podium as Ronnie Peterson finished third behind Niki Lauda.

Nilsson’s Lotus team amte Mario Andretti started from pole position but retired after tangling with fellow front-row starer John Watson on the first lap:

Author information

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

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138 comments on “Webber affirms opposition to Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. Its my birthday too, forgot to add it to the list haha, Happy Birthday too Ratboy

    1. Happy Birthday to you and to the other Mr Collantine!

    2. Happy birthday to both you and Rat!

      1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY To you & Ratboy.

        1. Happy Birthday to you JustAnF1Fanatic and Ratboy!.

          It’d be funny if Keith forgot to get his brother a present,
          “sorry, I was busy at work!”
          “NO YOU WEREN’T!, its not an F1 weekend!”

    3. Well, have a great birthday then! Same for Ratboy, enjoy your birhthday!

    4. Happy Birthday to all who have birthdays on this day :D

      1. Happy birthday Rat… You obnoxious T*** ;)

    5. Happy birthday then, you Fanatic!

      And a happy birthday to Ratboy as well.

    6. Happy birthday!

      1. Very big happy birthday to you both! :D

    7. Many wishes to both!

    8. Here’s Ratboy’s Senna cake (baked by yours truly!):


      1. Ohh very nice!

  2. I’ve just got back in from watching the film in Soho, and it was the most overwhelmingly beautiful experience I’ve had.
    Prost says he hasn’t watched it because he’s ‘suspicious’ of it – well he’s been misinformed. Only on a superfluous level do he and Balestre come off badly. The film isn’t about rivalry or politics by the end; it’s an exploration into the potential difference one man can make in this world; a narrative, from the people who know most about it, that tells the story of the most remarkable man of recent history. What sets Senna apart from the likes of Muhammed Ali and Pele, is that while they transcended their sport, they did so knowing there was always a life afterwards. Senna kept his foot on the accelerator knowing that at any moment everything he enjoyed could be taken away. That everything was not just a World Championship or a pole-position but his life.
    Mas que un film, as the Catalans might say.

    1. I think Prost’s suspicion is more to do with the film being errr…. Not exactly a documentary.

      1. I’m in agreement with PT about people forgetting the other greats of our chosen sport.

        I also find the philosophical ramblings with regards to Senna somewhat irksome, its as if there was some sort of pagan ritual whenever he raced.

        What sets Senna apart from the likes of Muhammed Ali and Pele, is that while they transcended their sport, they did so knowing there was always a life afterwards.

        A lot of people mistake this, Senna transcended the sport because he became a Martyr in death, Senna is James Dean to Piquet’s Marlon Brando.

        Also what sets Senna apart from Ali and Pele is that they took part in Barbaric contact sports, they brute forced their way to the top echelons of their sports while Ayrton tamed fire breathing hell machines with finesse and precision.

        Its also why Bruce Lee is held in such high regards, no machines but Finesse and Grace.

        Naturally people are going to jump me for the above.

        1. I can see why the whole spirituality thing would annoy people, and wouldn’t ‘jump’ anyone for simply disagreeing with me.
          It’s just certain moments – stopping his car on track to help Comas, finishing the Brazilian GP with only sixth gear, lapping the entire field at Donnington – that, for me, stand him apart from other drivers.
          Don’t post what you said about Pele on Football Fanatic either, someone would jump you for that.

          1. Pele on Football Fanatic either

            I’m a Michel Platini fan, so I’m instantly banned from all football conversations/forums.

          2. LOL Sush.

        2. If by “jump me” you mean agree wholeheartedly then consider yourself jumped.

          That mythology springs up around a great person who dies young, suddenly and violently is not an uncommon phenomenon. You mentioned Bruce Lee and James Dean. JFK, Princess Diana, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain are other obvious examples. The legend takes over – achievements are exaggerated, failings played down or ignored. Any self-expectation of their own premature death takes on increased significance in hindsight.

          In many ways it’s perfectly understandable – people naturally wonder what might have been and tend not to consider the possible futures that would have been less satisfactory. Using your analogy, James Dean is forever young and beautiful but Marlon Brando grew old and fat. The legend is spotless, the probable reality rather less so.

          I had the privilege of seeing Senna at his best – I was at the European GP in 1993. I thought and still think of Senna as one of the greatest drivers of all-time. But I was also very aware of his flaws as a person (which no one is without) and as a driver.

          I haven’t seen the Senna film yet, and what makes me slightly nervous about it is that it will be about Senna the legend not Senna the man.

    2. Shame you had to couple your admiration of the film with putting down such sporting greats as Pele and Muhammed Ali.

  3. If F1 is not going to make a stand about the whole Bahrain issure, then we as fans should! You think Bernie might notice if no one watches the race on TV?

    1. Viewing figures (in the UK at least) are measured and then extrapolated by boxes in a small minority of homes. Unfortunately the only effect of not watching will be on your own morality.

      1. What about writting a petition to the sponsors, stressing to them how disgusted the F1 fan community is with this disgraceful decision of racing in Bahrain and how we might as well decide not to buy their products if they don’t make it clear to Bernie who is responsible for this whole river of money that is F1: the consumer (a.k.a. the fan).

        1. Might work if we got enough signatures and sent it to enough sponsors.

    2. let’s extrapolate that a little bit; since most regimes in middle east are very similar… let us stop using imported oil & other derived products from oil too. lets first set an example by quiting oil & then we can ask bernie to follow our lead.

      1. I hate this argument as a reason for the Bahrain gp to go ahead. Because we race in China or Abu Dhabi we should reinstate the Bahrain GP because F1 should remain out of politics.

        Whilst I agree F1 should remain out of politics, the decision the FIA have taken is political. If a country misses their race date, for whatever reason, they should wait till next year for F1 to return again. However pushing back deadline upon deadline, reshuffling the calendar, racing in december, shortening winter break. F1 bending over backwards to reinstate a GP that could wait a couple of months is very much going out of your way to make a statement. The Bahrain GP is the love child of the crown prince and even though the race makes a loss the government fund it because they know it does a lot for the image of Bahrain.

        If F1 stayed out of politics then when the prince approached Bernie about reinstating the race Bernie would have told them to wait till next March, we arent here to help you in your political agendas. The fact the race is on again shows that F1 can be used as a political tool and thats what angers me.

        When China or Abu Dhabi came to Bernie and said we want to host a race and he turned them down because of their human rights record or their views on womens rights then that would be wrong because it wouldnt be an apolitical stance. If we refused to go to Bahrain next season that again would be wrong because its not an apolitical stance. Reinstating the GP this year is not an apolitical stance and I dont understand how some people dont realise this

        1. there is no reason why f1 should not race if it’s safe; f1 is not a political platform… the people who are protesting against F1 race are taking a very myopic view; Race has nothing to do with politics. Bahrain is not the only country which is having political problems… there are other countries where F1 will go & is still going with much worse human rights record.

          Will people stop using petroleum products coming out of middle east in protest? they won’t… will people stop using products made in china in protest of human rights violation there? they won’t!!

          then what right does anyone have to tell Bernie to forget his millions just to please their false moral virtuousness

          1. You have missed his point so entirely that I have to wonder if it’s deliberate.

            F1 has gone to massive lengths to accommodate Bahrain even though it was their own fault the race had to be cancelled. Apologists can plead about Iranian terrorists and the more violent of the protesters all they want, fact is it was government policy of inequality and muted freedoms that led to this situation. It was their fault, they should have to pay for it where it hurts.

            No doubt this had a lot to do with F1 trying to break into the Middle Eastern market and even more to do with the fact Todt owes some of his re-election to Middle East support.

            This race has politics smeared all over it and it stinks.

          2. I think you just about totally missed the point of the post you replied to, actually.

            While what you say is true to some extent, as Zahir says, by going out of their way to get a Bahrain GP this season, F1/the FIA took a lot of effort to help Bahrain use the GP as a political tool. That rather weakens your point, doesn’t it?

          3. I think you just about totally missed the point of the post you replied to, actually.

            Not really, because my point was what the had missed the point of what he was replying to.

            While what you say is true to some extent, as Zahir says, by going out of their way to get a Bahrain GP this season, F1/the FIA took a lot of effort to help Bahrain use the GP as a political tool. That rather weakens your point, doesn’t it?

            Um, you’ve just basically repeated what I said. How does that weaken my point?

          4. Awful proof-reading skills!

            “My point was that he had missed the point of what he replied to”

          5. Oh wait, you weren’t talking. I can’t tell, sorry. It’s a bit ambivalent.

          6. Ambiguous! I give up!

          7. Sigh… “Weren’t talking to me”

            Keith could you just delete everything I said :)

          8. LOL, Icthyes. Reading this back makes it a comic exchange.

            Both of you are right about Dev’s post off course.

          9. This made me GLOL! I think Boysber was on your side

          10. Safe for who?

          11. Icthyes…. You’re not Murry walker are you? :D

            That was hilarious!

          12. I think its wrong because it sets a dangerous precedent – and I dont mean politics.

            It suugesst FOM and Bernie are perfectly happy to go agains the teams wishes.

            It means that host countries can suddently back out of a Grand Prix and expect it to be placed back later in the season – pushing out another event through no fault of its own. Which is no bad thing if there is a technical issue with the track or an act of God occurs. This suggests that upon provisionally cancelling the event they have already identified a date when it can be rescheduled (without pusing out another race).

            But in the case of Bahrain, it was an indeterminate length of time. Its been three months. The right thing to do was to go next year, you cant just reinstate a race at will when it had no provisional place on the calendar.

            Lastly, it extends the year too far into December. The people have families. If you must add more races, start the season slightly earlier, dont just perpetually extend it later and later into December. Condense testing if you must.

        2. A lot of good points in your post there Zahir. Shame Dev chose not to read it through, but just wanted his own rant over with.

          1. I’m reading this through, and it looks like Icthyes is talking to himself! What’s going on here?! :O

          2. @Damon Smedley – You’re not the only one who thinks that!

  4. Other than safety, I never thought I would agree with Mosely on any issue. This is being used by the government as a political tool- at this point the arguement that F1 shouldn’t be affected by politics is moot. Don’t allow Bahrain to use F1 to portray peace when the government is attacking its own citizens.

    1. Agreed, much respect to Moseley and Mark Webber for saying what everyone else is either too afraid or too callous to say.

      1. MVEilenstein
        5th June 2011, 1:10

        LAK and the many Bahraini boosters will be here soon to correct you with such sanguine arguments as “why do you hate civilization?” “F1 will unite Bahrain and help us get over these little troubles” and my favorite “the only ones who oppose us are Iranian terrorists.”

        1. Yep, I had a very direct response to LAK yesterday. Unfortunately it is before the moderators.

          1. MVEilenstein
            5th June 2011, 2:48

            That’s unfortunate.

        2. To be fair though, it’s naive in the extreme to think that Iran has nothing to do with this, and as ridiculous as saying that Iran is the single force behind it.

          1. Well, from all reports I have seen, I would say Iran had very little to do with the protests starting; I am sure that when they did, Iran must have tried to stir them up, but it is unclear in how far that was effective, if at all. I don’t think that Iran being involved is a relevant argument here.

          2. Well then, we must have seen different reports. In addition, what we know is the following:

            1) Iran has its agents in every significant Shi’a population around the world, including even places like South America.

            2) Iran has claimed Bahrain as it’s own territory ever since the ayatollahs came to power, same as Saddam did with relation to Kuwait and the only thing that stopped them from taking it by force is the fear of the repeat of operation “Desert Storm”.

            3)Iranian agents are very good at flaring up the scene, so to speak, and exploiting the existing lines of breakage in the societies they want to brake for their benefit, at the time they want it. A prime example of this is the Lebanon situation.

            And the oppressed Shi’ite population of Bahrain looks like perfect fertile ground for their incursions. The timing is perfect too. Now, Shi’ites of Bahrain don’t neccesarily agree with Iranian policies or want to be a part of Iran but that’s not what’s required of them, most of them probably don’t even know about Iranian involvement.

            To sum it up, I wouldn’t bet a single penny on Iran not being involved in this from the beginning, though the theocratic gov’t of Bahrain brought it on themselves.

    2. Too true. Looking to Max Moseley as a voice of reason… it’s like the Twilight Zone, only weirder.

      1. I’m sure there must’ve been some point when Max really was a voice of reason, just like when Bernie was the rallying point for all the teams.

        It’s been so long since then that whenever Max says something sensible we’re all “Whoa, where did that come from?”

      2. The reason Max opposes the race is because he was snubbed by the prince of Bahrain during the prostitute scandal. What he is doing is getting back at them, to fulfill his need for revenge, so he is not the voice of reason in this case. It is moreover a reason to hate Max even more.

  5. Five bucks on Webber becoming a hypocrite and racing there and (assuming he has success) shaking the hands of the leading persons when given a throphy. Self-righteous smartass.

    1. Deal. 5 bucks it is.

      @MVEilenstein – You know LAK quite well!

    2. MVEilenstein
      5th June 2011, 1:38

      Double it.

    3. If they all race there, he will race there. But I wouldn’t be putting money on his shaking hands with dignitaries should he have success.

      1. I wouldn’t put money on him being on the podium.

        1. LOL..nice one mate.

        2. Nice one.

          In fairness Webber will probably qualify in the top three, find himself 10th at the first corner, and spend the rest of the race fighting his way back up to 6th.

  6. MVEilenstein
    5th June 2011, 1:05

    MVEilenstein reaffirms his appreciation for Mark Webber.

    1. I’ve never been a big fan of him, but I have to say I have a newfound respect for his candor on this matter and will respect him from here on out regardless of whether or not I happen to agree with him.

      1. I like Webber, I do, but I can’t help but feel that if he was in Vettel’s position be would be keeping his mouth shut. You can afford to criticise when you’ve got nothing to lose.

        1. You’ve hung out with too many mice

          1. I don’t follow…

        2. Surely the man leading the championship would be happy to cancel the race, less chance for others to catch up… don’t see the benefit to Webber.

          1. Well that is one way of looking at it, yes :)

        3. Erm, his race seat? They’d be more willing to keep him around if he kept his mouth shut…

    2. Yeah, he has proven himself with that statement. Well done for showing where the moral high-ground is

    3. I hope Webber stands by his principes. In fact, if any driver is likley to boycott the race, its weeber and his position allows him to with less-consequences then others. He’s at the end or near end of his career with less then a season on his contract left, retirement has been mentioned. Whats he got to loose by boycotting? his seat? Some would say he might not keep it next season anyway, and theres only a few races left once Bahrain comes around.

      I hope Mark and Max inspire drivers & teams to comeforward and be as brave in choices off the track as they undoubtedly are on it.

  7. “Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions. If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If Formula One allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalise unarmed protesters.”

    I wonder how many people are going to backflip and say that the sport should go to Bahrain simply because Mosley says it shouldn’t.

    Don’t laugh. The prevailing attitude towards Mosley is that anything he says is completely wrong, and therefore everyone should do the opposite. If he said the sky was blue, a fair number of people would argue that the sky is, in fact, green. Not because they believe it is, but because Mosley was the one saying it is blue.

    1. MVEilenstein
      5th June 2011, 2:18

      I don’t care for the man, but what he said is correct. I don’t know if he has purely altruistic motives, but he isn’t wrong.

    2. When it comes to peoples lives and human rights issues, you’d have to be a pretty jaded and mindless individual to disagree simply to disagree. If you truly believe he’s wrong that’s one thing, but to be for the race just to be against Moseley? I’d like to think no one is that reactionary, but who knows…

    3. I wonder how many people are going to backflip and say that the sport should go to Bahrain simply because Mosley says it shouldn’t.

      Way to deviate from the real issue by pre-emptively accusing your fellow posters of holding superficially convenient views without a hint of proof and for no reason other than it conveniently fits your own cynical take on the subject.

      Making outlandish claims that rile people and then ignoring any and all solid arguments that show the gaps in your logic… I think it deserves it’s own name; something like ‘hit-and-run posting’.

      1. Sounds like you just summed up PM’s philosophy for commenting on the blog there Maciek!

      2. accusing your fellow posters of holding superficially convenient views without a hint of proof

        Like Bas says, that’s Prisoner Monkeys in a nutshell. He knows exactly what we’re thinking, it’s scary!

    4. Thats a very far fetched thought.

    5. I think it’s exactly the opposite. When people hear something they want to hear they swap their opinion on that person.

      Mosley will now be heralded as the speaking the truth.

  8. I think you missed this :
    Buemi runs over spectator http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/50699.html

    1. Crazy dude! More like the spectator runs over Buemi.

    2. Wow! Did he think he could hurdle over the car or something? That’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen in connection with an F1 car. Thanks for the link.

    3. That was one bizarre incident.

    4. It really does almost look like he wanted to jump over the car from the start, if that wasn’t so crazy. Glad to know they are both alright, that must have been quite the scare for Buemi, sort of the thing nightmares are made of.

    5. Very bizarre indeed!

  9. Story about WMSC approving the 2013 regs some of the teams will not be happy

      1. could you try again? I don’t see the link, sounds interesting though.

  10. I’m as big a Senna fan as it is capable of being, but I have to agree with PT’s COTD, particularly in respect of Nelson Piquet. The man won three world championships in an era that included Senna, Prost, Mansell, Lauda, Rosberg (the Elder) and many other legends of the sport but when we speak of the great champions, he is a bit of an after thought.

    Sure his conduct wasn’t always of the highest standard (neither was Senna’s at times I admit), yes he lacked the charisma of Keke or Nige (who doesn’t) and yes he didn’t have the finess of Prost or Lauda (again, who does) but the man took on the best and beat them, and he should be praised for that. It seems all we credit him with these days is spawning Nelson Jnr!

    1. And happy birthday Ratboy!

    2. I also think he overshadows the great crop of drivers from the 60s as well. That era is knonw for the great danger, but I dont think people know how great the drivers were. Sure Sennas story was that of a true legend and hero, but I think you could make equally strong doccumentaries charting the life of Graham Hill, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, and in my opnion, the greatest of them all, Jim Clark.

    3. That’s a good point. For a 3 times champion, Piquet really doesn’t get the credit he probably deserves

    4. Its just the way humans are. Its the same with music – look at the fascination with Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, 2Pac, Dimebag Darrell etc. Would they be held in this amount of regard if they were still alive – no.

      With Senna, yes he was an amazing driver. So when you apply the same theory to him, you get the god like status that we have.

  11. Random thought on Max: While I completely agree with what he says, it’s easy for him to say it because he’s no longer FIA President. If he were still FIA President, would he have made sure that F1 doesn’t go to Bahrain? I’m not totally sure he would’ve.

  12. Well done Mark!

  13. Watching the video of the 1977 race two things crossed my mind, demon machines from the 70’s with REAR TYRES THE SIZE OF A SMALL AFRICAN COUNTRY! HELL YEAH!

    Secondly, seeing the “proper” Team Lotus gave me a thought (ouch), since Tony Fernandes now in the eyes of the law consider him the rightly heir (as it was) to Team Lotus are they entitled to extra money from FOM due to their heritage and the amount of time they’ve been in the sport?.

    You know where teams like Ferrari get a bigger payout thanks to them being in F1 the longest, are Team Lotus going to get the same treatment?.

    1. Some of the cars in that footage still race today in historic events, including the Tyrrell six-wheeler.

      And the drivers in those events really do race. I took my father-in-law to Brands Hatch to the HSCC Superprix a couple of years ago and he assumed it would be some sort of parade – then six drivers crashed into one another on the first lap!

      An excellent way of seeing F1 cars up close for a fraction of the cost of attending a GP.

    2. Interesting questin. I bet Fernandes would like a shot at getting that money from Bernie!

      Seeing the video I just appreciated again how great some of those cars looked, and how big the difference between 2-3 basic concepts was that were raced at the same time.

    3. Interesting point…Mercedes should try that too. They could either go back to 54 (as Mercedes) or the 60’s (as Tyrrell, BAR, Honda, Brawn)!

  14. Good to see some drivers are still allowed to speak there minds. Well said Webber, if only you can gain support from other drivers, morals and human rights are more important in life than a paycheck.

  15. Just saw a news report on a marshall who collided with Sebastien Buemi while Buemi was driving a Toro Rosso at a charity event in Japan. From the video, it’s pretty obvious this guy was trying to jump over the car while it was moving. He walked away without injuries; Buemi was only doing 50km/h at the time.

    But the question has to be asked: what the hell compelled him to do that!?

    1. But the question has to be asked: what the hell compelled him to do that!?

      Its why I can’t go to an F1 race, I’d feel compelled to do the same.

      Cool story to tell the grandkids one day.

    2. There is a video posted just above of that very incident.

    3. Some reports (or rumours, rather) say that he was drunk, and just a spectator, not a marshal.

  16. Hmm not really with PT on his COTD. I think plenty of drivers have had and continue to have the recognition they deserve. Senna managed to embrace his country like i’ve never seen before.

    The biggest legacy he could leave was to pursue safety above everything. That’s why I respect him more than most drivers.

  17. Good for Webber! He may not be the first driver across the finish line, but he’s the first to voice his conscience.

    I’m sure all of you arm chair F1 experts who support a Bahrain GP know a bit more about the situation there and are certainly much faster drivers.

  18. Webber is obviously missing that F1 DID take a very clear stance.

    It goes to China, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, India, Brazil and yes … Bahrain. All countries with their issues (human rights and/or safety)

    So the “stance” is that F1 does not care about these issues.

    1. But have all those other countries missed races because of the human rights issues and then had F1 mess about with the calendar because Bernie is so desperate to help the government and give them their race? It is political because F1 has bent over backwards to make sure the race goes ahead. If it was not political he would have said “Better luck next year.” rather than “What can we do to save your government funded race?”

      1. No, they didn’t miss a race because of their human rights violations. So why should Bahrain?

        1. Because the human rights violations of protestors in Bahrain directly impacted the holding of the race! The Crown Prince of Bahrain cancelled the originally scheduled race, so I think it is safe to say that at the time it was not safe. So tough luck, try again next year.

          If China had civil unrest that caused a race to be cancelled I wouldn’t like to see them be given special treatment to make sure it happened, or with any country.

  19. For all this nay-saying, there is one thing that stands out in my mind: the votes. It’s not like the Bahrain Grand Prix was reinstated by just two votes – all twenty-six members of the World Motorsports Council voted in favour of going.

    1. I thought so as well PM. But I think Reuters (or was it James Allen?, not sure) cleared that yesterday.

      Bahrain likes to present it that way, but the fact seems to be, that all did cast their vote, did so in favour of the event. The others abstained from voting.
      Sorry, I do not remember the source, exaclty.

      1. – that should read: all of those who did cast their vote …

      2. According to Wikipedia, there are only 26 members of the WMSC.

        1. Yeah, but it seems that while the votes cast were indeed all for reinstating, not all of those 26 did actually vote.

          1. There’s a difference between abstaining and not voting in favour of something. People who abstain do not vote at all.

          2. Exaclty my point.

          3. Uh, what? The people who abstained did not vote to go to Bahrain. But they did not vote not to go, either.

          4. That is right, they didn’t vote against it, for whatever reasons.

            But it does somewhat change the impression of this being an unanimous WMSC in favour of reinstating the GP this year.

          5. Actually, the votes would have had to have been unanimous in order for the race to go ahead. The WMSC needed at least 14 votes for the race to be reinstated. Certainly the standing majority.

          6. Yes, indeed.

            A majority but not unanimous is a big difference.

          7. It’s certainly fairly telling that nobody voted not to go to Bahrain. Like I said, this outcome wasn’t riding on a single vote in favour – everyone who voted, voted to go.

        2. Alan Baldwin tweeted about it shortly after midnight (UK time):

          On Bahrain decision, am hearing from non-FIA source that there was a vote but some may have abstained. Those who voted were unanimous.

    2. Surely a conflict of interest with Sheikh Abdulla Bin Isa Alkhalifa voting.

      1. Maybe, but he is one vote of twenty-six – and as has been established, the decision to go to Bahrain did not come down to one vote.

        1. Maybe so, but we don’t really know as the FIA has not published any information. I would like to see more transparency in the process and in the FIA overall, as it looks like an old boys’ club … which makes one think of FIFA and all its exchanges of favours and incentives.

          1. Maybe so, but we don’t really know as the FIA has not published any information.

            What we do know is that the majority of WMSC members voted to go to Bahrain – and none of them voted not to go. And that’s my point: the decision did not hinge on a single vote being cast one way or the other because everyone who voted voted to reinstate Bahrain.

  20. I absolutely love the COTD. I completely agree. I hate how Prost is often only mentioned in reference to his rivalry with Senna because he was so much more than that and I’d actually argue he was better than Senna anyway but that’s just subjective. He was a genius with how he raced and how he thought.

    Piquet is overlooked for all the reasons PT stated which I find unusual as he has so many great stories; he was a practical joker, often outspoken so it’s even more surprising he is overshadowed, his rivalry with Nigel was possibly more intense than Alain’s and Ayrton’s, he raced so hard he collapsed on the podium at possibly Brazil in 83 but I’d have to check to be certain, for a while looked like he was on his way out in F1 then bounced back to grab a few wins (one thanks to his old rival) and suffered a fairly large crash and injuries in practice for the Indy 500 in ’92. I think the biggest problem for Piquet’s image is timing as Nigel showed up and looked the quicker of the two so won the fans over and then the era of Senna vs Prost captured everyone’s attention and during that time he was pretty much nowhere.

    I do have to disagree that Nigel had any charisma though he might have behind the wheel but outside the car I always thought he was a bit of a moaner :P I’d also extend PT’s sentiments to Lauda who is often just dismissed for his OTT interviews these days.

    1. Wait, is Lauda over-the-top? Or do they ask him over-the-top questions in interviews? I’ve not heard much from the man.

      1. Lauda always criticises Ferrari ;)

  21. I tend to like MW more not for his sometimes too caustious driving style but for his thoughtful mind and the courage to say that…

  22. It’s really starting to get prepostorous to read the comments under articles that have the Bahrain GP as subject. There are actually people on MW’s website demanding apologies for the injustices the world has put Bahrain through. How far off the grid can you be when there’s an American military base on Bahrain’s soil?

    If certain replies aren’t from people working for the government, then i applaud them. It would mean they have reached the ‘mother Russia’ level of propaganda.

    “Haha. Is about time a pro-gov troll showed up. I was beginning to think you were boycotting mark too.” – This remark on MW’s site sums it up quite nicely for me.

  23. Again, Mark proves he’s the only driver out there with the balls to speak out on what is proper and correct.

  24. This is the account of one Shia member of staff at the Bahrain International Circuit, which hosts the Grand Prix, who was arrested in April. Still suffering from injuries inflicted by his interrogators, he has now left the country.


  25. It was under the FIA leadership of Mosley that we saw all these repressive regimes get F1 races. Now all of a sudden he speaks out against one of these regimes?

    Could that … perhaps … have something to do with the fact that the crown prince of Bahrain insulted Mosley? He told Mosley that he didn’t want him to come to the race in Bahrain after Mosley was caught in his “nazi sex schandal”.

    On the same matter, Hamilton was one of the few drivers who voiced his opinion and called for Mosley’s resignation. Look at what Mosley did to him. Mosley appointed his lakey to try and wrestle away the 2008 championship from Hamilton.

    Mosley is just a perverted megalomanic freak. Nothing has changed.

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