In the round-up: The Bahrain government take steps to prevent a repeat of last year’s protests.
“There have been many disturbances in predominantly Shia villages on the outskirts of the capital. Police are firing rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at demonstrators, who are throwing stones. There was very heavy use of tear gas in Sanabis overnight, and a resident of Sitra said the streets outside his house were littered with spent tear-gas canisters.”
“The re-emergence of armoured personnel carriers for the first time since martial law was lifted in June underlined the concerns of the Sunni Muslim-led monarchy about a new explosion of civil unrest by Bahrain’s disgruntled Shi’ite majority.”
“At this writing, it’s 5pm local time. My flight got in at 2:15am. I have been informed that the director of immigration has decided that I shall not have a visa to enter Bahrain – although in the past it was the practice of the Bahrain authorities to give visas to Americans in the airport pretty much automatically – so the authorities are saying that the only way I am leaving the airport is on a plane out of the country.”
“Those who want Bahrain to continue on the path of genuine reform will do the cause no service by cancelling the Grand Prix this year. Indeed, surely the presence of thousands of Western visitors and journalists in the run-up to and during the event will act as an additional incentive to the authorities in Bahrain to show the international community its sincerity in the cause of reform and that their support for Bahrain is well placed?”
“Just received a call from organisers of Bahrain Grand Prix inviting me to an F1 launch event this Sunday in Sakhir. Clearly no plans to cancel race.”
“There is legal action afoot over the upcoming movie about Niki Lauda, with a European consortium claiming that they had agreed a deal with the Austrian to make a film called 33 Days – To Hell and Back.”
“It definitely has not become easier for the smaller teams. To cut costs in Formula One is a very difficult and thorny issue. The [Resource Restriction Agreement] was a step in the right direction, but now other steps must urgently follow.”
“We really have no choice except to defend our two world titles. The only change is that Mark [Webber] has a new chief mechanic.”
“We were not following the same sort of testing programme as everybody else. I think we are there together with other guys in the midfield but we will only find out for real in Barcelona when people start doing more straightforward test programmes and then we will see.”
“When discussing race advantage, [director of Renault F1 Sport Jean Francois] Caubet explained that Renault-powered cars can line-up on the grid with 15 to 18 litres (approximately 20-24km) less fuel than its rivals.”
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Comment of the day
The thought of a Magnussen in a McLaren has got Supernicebob all nostalgic:
So, a Senna in a Williams-Renault, will we see a Magnussen in a McLaren-Mercedes at a race this year for further mid-nineties nostalgia? Take care of your appendixes Jenson and Lewis!
From the forum
- Stevetlizard asks whether his daughter is too young to go to the British Grand Prix
- Last year’s GP2 runner-up Luca Filippi tipped to move to IndyCar
Happy birthday to East Londoner, Ives F1, Mouse_Nightshirt, Tim P and Tom!
On this day in F1
Asked a year ago today whether the new tyre compounds, DRS and the return of KERS would increase overtaking, Fernando Alonso was sceptical:
“It can be useful to overtake a car that is one or two seconds slower. Maybe the rule’s objective is to favour an overtaking move when a race gets ruined by the impossibility of passing a much slower car, as happened to me with [Vitaly] Petrov in Abu Dhabi. Overtaking between front runners will be difficult in 2011 too.”
As predictions go, that one was up there with me tipping Michael Schumacher to win the world championship in 2010…