Ecclestone: Media ‘made up stories’ over Bahrain Grand Prix

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone accuses the media of “making up stories” over the Bahrain Grand Prix.

New Unibet column

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would be taking on some new projects in 2012 and here’s one of them. I’m writing a new column for betting company Unibet.

The column will appear every Tuesday, plus on race weekends on Friday and Saturday. Here’s my first Tuesday column as well as two for the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bernie Ecclestone has no doubts about holding Bahrain race (BBC)

“The problem is people like you who make the concerns not the teams and not the people in Bahrain. Seriously, the press should just be quiet and deal with the facts rather than make up stories.”

Indecision rules (Darren Heath Photographer)

“The Bahrain event – inextricably linked as it is to the rulers of the country, not a politically disinterested third party promoter – runs a clear and present danger of being the focus of the protesters’ ire. That’s a situation far removed from a grand prix such as that held in China, for instance. Formula 1 effectively put Bahrain on the international map, and for the sport to return to the kingdom while unrest is still very much an almost daily occurrence serves only to endorse the actions of those in power.”

F1 bosses stage show of support for Bahrain GP (Reuters)

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani: “We are not witnessing [attacks on foreigners] in Bahrain. There hasn’t been any assaults on foreigners… maybe you are referring to the British guy who got his fingers chopped off, but that was an isolated incident.”

CVC prepares to refinance F1 loan (FT, registration required)

“The refinancing, being handled by Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland, and expected to be completed by the end of April, will take place at the same time as F1 finalises a deal with the teams on a share of revenues, expected to last until the end of the decade.”

Red Bull find fault with Formula One cost-cutting measures (The Guardian)

“When FOTA was first created there were clear and tangible restrictions in personnel, amount of engines, gearboxes, in testing, all things you can see policed and genuinely save costs. They’re the type of things that should be focused on rather than apportionment of people’s time and equivalence which is, in any formula or mechanism, fraught with problems and difficulties.”

Felipe Massa desperate to save Ferrari career (The Independent)

“Instead of returning home to Brazil as initially planned, Massa today headed to Ferrari’s base in Maranello to assess where it has all gone wrong for him in the first two races of the season.”

A small party to celebrate the win with an old friend (Ferrari)

Luca di Montezemolo: “This victory must not be an isolated one, but rather the starting point to a season in which we want to be the best. To succeed, we have to be the best in our daily work in every sector. We know there is a lot to do, but we also know it’s not impossible.”

Kimi Malaysian Grand Prix review (Kimi Raikkonen)

“For me it was my debut with the rain tyres. While the lights went off, I had to take it easy, because I simply didn’t know how the tyres are behaving. Obviously, we had done only one installation lap before with the wet tyre, so we didn’t even know how to adjust the front wing for the wet race.”

Ticket sales open for Korea’s third F1 Grand Prix (The Korea Herald)

South Jeolla Province Governor Park Joon-yung: “We didn’t know what F1 was exactly when we first held the event and had many problems. Last year, we undertook a major overhaul of our organization, so there were some difficulties in preparations.”

What happened in the Malaysian GP: Engineers’ debrief (Caterham via YouTube)

Australian Grand Prix video highlights (F1)

Warning: Contains excessive amounts of Nicole Scherzinger.

Comment of the day

Stefano Domenicali points out that press criticism of Felipe Massa is much as it was at the Malaysian Grand Prix four years ago.

Fer no.65 doesn’t see it that way:

The difference between then and now is that Massa was running second at Malaysia, and then he retired. He was beaten by his team mate but not by much. Last Saturday, he was three-tenths slower than Alonso in Q1 even after trying with the softer compound.

Yes the car is bad, but the difference between the two has been enormous for quite a while now. In 2008, he was being beaten by Raikkonen for quite a while too but not by much and he was able to match his speed most of the time.
Fer no.65

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Blake, Hatebreeder and thekingofspa!

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

Today in 2008 the FIA confirmed the eighth change to F1’s qualifying system within the space of five years.

Fortunately they now seem to have found a version they are content to stick with, in the form of the current ‘knockout’ format:

Image © Bryn Williams/

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.

102 comments on “Ecclestone: Media ‘made up stories’ over Bahrain Grand Prix”

  1. Making things up… how about this from Ecclestone ?
    “The good thing about Bahrain is it seems more democratic there than most places. People are allowed to speak when they want, they can protest if they want to.”

    Such self serving nonsense is beneath contempt.

    1. It’s truly staggering. It’s one thing for him to lie in his daily business dealings. It’s another thing entirely to try to sweep human rights abuses of this magnitude under the proverbial carpet.

    2. Let’s not forget this is the guy that publicly praised Hitler as efficient.

      1. The guys that decked him a couple of years ago obviously didn’t hit him hard enough to knock some sense into him!

      2. Let’s not forget this is the guy that publicly praised Hitler as efficient.

        I think you’ll find he said nothing of the sort. At the time, Bernie was commenting on the state of the FIA, and said that it needed strong leadership, not unlike Germany after the first World War. That was all lost in the media, though. They zeroed in on the Hitler comments, and while those comments were indeed unfounded, they also skewed Bernie’s words.

        1. Regardless, it was still a pretty poor choice of analogy for him to use.

        2. Excusing Ecclestone on this point is close to as tasteless as his original comments. Ecclestone plainly said in an interview with The Times that

          apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people able to get things done

          (direct link needs subscription so

          thus not only praising Hitler’s leadership abilities, but vaguely suggesting that whatever else he did, there’s no way to tell if it was his fault or not. The only things that are skewed is Ecclestone’s senses of truth in history and morality in the present. There is no excuse for praising industrial scale mass murderers. None, Zip, Zero. And taken together with Ecclestone’s other comments on democracy and related issues, it certainly does point to a state of mind which views the world strictly through the eyes of power and excuses their actions whoever those in power happen to be and whatever they happen to choose to do.

          1. If we have to have the discussion again on whether Ecclestone endorsed Hitler (he did) that’s fine.

            But wider discussions about the Nazis, as posted in some (deleted) comments, strays too far off-topic for an F1 website. And it’s a bit close to Godwin’s Law for comfort too.

        3. Well, he did have to apologize for those remarks, so he must have made them.

    3. Bernie knows more about Bahrain than any of us posters on this blog. I would much rather believe him than any of you.

      1. So believe what all billionaires with vested interests tell people to believe? I guess that means you believe that News of the World never did anything wrong, and that the Australian Greens Party is funded by the CIA.

        1. So believe what all billionaires with vested interests tell people to believe?

          Well put.

          Surely by now we have realised that Ecclestone will put any formulation of words together to serve his business purposes?

          I have to think that taking anything he says at face value, or assuming it is motivated by anything other than finding the shortest route to maximum profit at the exclusion of all else, is hopelessly naive.

      2. Is that you Bernie?

      3. Knowing more about it, doesn’t mean he is telling us what he truly knows or that he is doing the right thing in regards to that knowledge.

      4. It’s very far from that. He’s the one trying to make the race, and he’s constantly talking with the race organizers, which, of course, also want the event to go ahead.

        So Bernie’s a one-side view, and it’s ALWAYS going to be optimistic. Because it’s a massive let-down if the race is not held in the end as it surely compromises Bernie’s involvement in Bahrain and the future deals with the organizers of the race.

        Even if the situation is okay, he’s always going to make it look much better than it really is. Maybe he’s saying the truth, but I’d not fully belive in what he says…

      5. I would believe he knows more, but not that he chooses to tell us anything about it. For then he couldn’t let the race go ahead CNSZU!

      6. Does he knows more than us who lives in Bahrain?!?!

        1. Unless you’re a member of the ruling party, with their vested interests in the race, I’d say yes.

    4. Indeed, someone is making things up, but I am pretty certain its not the press doing the most of the fantasy and wishfull thinking here.

      1. @bascb What would be more interesting would be the teams’ stand on all of this come Bahrain. Last year they were pretty adamant about not going. This year in light of the virtual nullification of FOTA and that Ferrari and Bernie seem to have come to an agreement would lead to an interesting situation if opinion is divided on going.

        On another note, Bahrain was pretty fun to race on F1 2010.

        1. @mahavirshah, seems the teams have now fallen in line with the “we listen to the FIA, and they deem it to be save” reasoning. I guess there is simply money behind it.

          It was interesting to hear P. Windsor’s reaction to a question from someone yesterday in his “the flying lap” online-show. He started off with more or less the same as the official line, but in the end he came to “I rather not say more about it, or I will be in trouble”.

          1. @bascb Yeah a lot of cloak and dagger stuff must be going on around now. I guess as viewers we will have to wait and watch as things develop. From a pure media point of view, nothing much is being said about the situation there and last year the point was that the current situation was not conducive for the event. If things stay low key then the event will be a go most likely. For the winner it means an addition of 7 points over the next guy which is always welcome, especially in this season.

    5. I think Bernie should keep quiet, he’s not making anybody a favour with his constant claims that Bahrain is just as calm as Switzerland.

  2. “Maybe you are referring to the British guy who got his fingers chopped off…”

    Well now.

    1. I found this quite funny ‘There hasn’t been any assaults on foreigners… ‘

      Is it just me or did anyone else start thinking of this as soon as they read it?

      NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise….

      1. If I was a Bahraini citizen protesting status quo, I’d take the GP as a great opportunity to show my anger to the world, it’s simple. The problem is, those protesters really will try to make their voice heard and to stop them, authorities will use force and then Bernie will burry his head on shame (actually I don’t think he’s ever embarrassed).

      2. Brilliant!

    2. Oh he wasn’t a really foreigner anyway… And really, who needs fingers anyway?

  3. Keith, well done on the Unibet gig. Strange reading for me as I’ve never placed a bet in my life.

  4. the press should just be quiet

    This says it all really.

    1. Also my new favorite quote for when people say it shouldn’t be about politics.

      “So my message to Formula 1 is ‘be part of unifying my country’.”

    2. I actually think “the press should just be quiet” on many things. They are playing to the masses and making mountains out of hills (not quite molehills) in most of what they write, and the public is generally stupid enough to lap it all up. My own personal oppinion is that the press have made the whole financial crisis much worse, for example, by portraying it as being worse.

      The one area I do not think they should be quiet about is situations like Syria, and possibly Bahrain. I do not know enough to say categorically that Bahrain is abusing human rights or unsafe, but it should be reported on (honestly) so we know. The press should not “just be quiet”.

      1. The problem with the press (and by extension your reasoning) is that when you start selectively demanding the cover certain stuff with one level of attention to detail whilst ignoring another, you’re on the slippery slope to censorship where someone else decides what gets covered.

        The press should report everything. The only problem is when a) they garnish the truth and b) the masses believe the garnished truth.

  5. Nice video from Caterham, it would be good to see that from some other teams.

  6. Warning: Contains excessive amounts of Nicole Scherzinger.??? there was just as much footage of jenson’s cat. Someone is abit Jealous of Lewis. Keith?.

    1. Give me Nichole anyday ;)

      1. @matt2208 If by Jenson’s cat you’re referring to Jessica Michibata, then I think you’ll find it only shows her at the end of the video. And there is a huge amount of Lewis’ girlfriend in that video. It was one of the first things I noticed. Not only is she one of the most annoying people in the paddock to look at (over-the-top is an understatement), but FOM seem determined to cut to shots of her whenever possible.

        1. @damonsmedley Perhaps I’m very naive, I took it to literally mean that Button has a pet cat…

          1. @keithcollantine According to Twitter, you’re not wrong! Ooh, but is that an euphemism too?

    2. @matt2208 No I’m just bored of being shown celebrities when I want to watch a motor race.

      1. @keithcollantine, it’s also a TV show. I understand all that jazz about Monaco GP (which I dislike) but what can we do, people like that too. It’s like a NY Knicks game not showing Spike Lee yelling…

        1. She is much better to look at than most of the cars this year….lol.

        2. Sure @jcost, I can understand it during a 90-120 minute live broadcast of the race (not that there was nothing more interesting to see during the MalaysianGP, but i can accept it), but in a race edit that should give us the most important, stunning and game-changing moments of a race in a few minutes it really is a waste of precious time.

          1. Yes you’re right.

      2. This exactly. This is F1 pinnacle of motor racing. Lets focus on the racing, drivers, tracks, cars and technology.

        Just say no to the footage of celebrities and also a big NO to political stuff such as Bahrain.

        F1 is not the UN. It’s a purely commercial entertainment spectacle.

        People want to comment or get involved with politics should find better more productive ways to be active. Commenting on Bahrain in a F1 blog helps no one.

        1. thats right put your blinkers on mate. I only hope that one day when your embroiled in a teutonic struggle, as small of a struggle that may be comparatively in your comfortable western lifestyle, may someone pop a champagne bottle in your garden and may there be a grand old party with the whole world invited…right in your face…Its not politics dude, its the world you live in

          1. No, no blinkers. I go to different websites for political news and comments. I come to F1F for F1.

            Just sick of people like you who can’t let people like me express my view without being a mean girl.

        2. No I just find celebrity fluff indescribably tedious.

          The question of whether F1 should race in Bahrain is a very important one, has been covered here at length before and will continue to be.

          There is no separating sport from politics – pretending that you can is a political stance.

        3. F1 and celebrities kind of go hand in hand and is not a new thing at all – as much as we would like everything to be about just the ‘motor-race’. Think about what has made Monte-Carlo so special for the last 40 years and you’ll undestand that it doesn’t hurt to have some glamour/celebs/pretty girls (or whatever you want to call it) associated with F1 now and again.

          I’m sure Stirling Moss would agree.

          1. Just to add, I also disdain the celebrity culture we live in too but who could say that Rowan Atkinson didn’t add something special to the Indian GP last year?!!

          2. But Rowan Atkinson gave a genuinely great moment, and he is a celebrity for positive contribution to our culture (Mr Bean aside). Not sure you can say the same of a pussycat doll!

  7. Congrats on the Unibet gig!

  8. Good to see Felipe trying to get to the bottom of his struggles

    1. Yes, it is intriguing to see Felipe try to evaluate what has gone wrong. It’s been unfortunate to watch, and from here, surely the only way is up. Although I thought that after 2011 as well…

      1. There’s really not much else FM can do, is there? I don’t image he would have really enjoyed his time at home in Brazil knowing there are so many outstanding questions about his struggles with the car. Good on him for spending time with the team to try to solve this, but I would expect nothing less of a driver in F1 who can’t be happy with his results, whether his job is in jeopardy or not. That said, FA, MS et al seem to get accolades for spending time ‘at the shop’ so why shouldn’t FM. I hope FM and the team get it sorted out…it is not just FM that needs to find solutions to that car. FA won’t be winning the WDC with it either, as it stands. So they ALL need to get on it, not just FM.

  9. You can’t trust most of what the media says and you certainly can’t trust anything Bernie says. I say pull Bahrain off the calendar completely. It’s a boring bog-standard track with no redeeming corners. The desert setting is extremely dull. It’s had these problems for well over a year now and most of us don’t agree with what’s going on and like it or not, by going there, F1 is condoning what the people in power are doing. It’s not safe to go there, regardless of what they say to the media. Last but not least, if a European country was having anything like the problems Bahrain is, I think Bernie would be more inclined to remove them from the calendar than he is to remove a rich Arab country.

    1. @goodyear92

      It’s a boring bog-standard track with no redeeming corners.

      The run down the hill from Turn 4 to Turn 8 is actually quite nice. But more importantly, Turns 9 and 10 are some of the best Tilke has created. The reason for this is that in order to set a reasonably quick time, a driver has to get the best line possible through Turn 10. And getting the best possible line through 10 means that the driver needs to brake and steer at the same time – which is very difficult – through 9. I think it will be quite interesting to see the drivers trying to manage fuel-heavy cars on the Pirelli tyres and without the aid of an off-throttle blown diffuser through that complex (assuming the race goes ahead).

      1. Ok maybe it’s not fair to say there are no good corners, but there are similar corners at other tracks he has created, that overall are better, like Malaysia. I just think overall it’s a fairly average track and it annoys me that with all the problems it’s having in the country, it’s still being allowed to host a race. It’s not deserving, in my opinion, to stay. It doesn’t have the heritage of tracks like Silverstone, Spa and Melbourne, all great tracks with great heritage, that have been at risk of being removed for far less.

        1. @goodyear92

          It doesn’t have the heritage of tracks like Silverstone, Spa and Melbourne, all great tracks with great heritage

          Ugh. “Heritage” is perhaps the most over-used (and hence, my least-favourite) word in the average fan’s vocabulary. Of course it doesn’t have the heritage – heritage means history, and Bahrain has only been around since 2004. Compare that to Spa and Silverstone, which have been around since the 1950s. Of course they’re going to have more heritage, so arguing that Bahrain doesn’t have the heritage of those circuits is a) stating the obvious, and b) unfair because there i no way Bahrain can compete with the other circuits. It’s a bit like the medieval witchcraft tests: if a woman was accused of being a witch, she was tied up and thrown into a river. If she sank (and drowned), she was considered innocent. If she floated, she was guilty, and promptly executed. Either way, the accused died. So I think that saying that Bahrain is undeserving because (in part) it does not have the history of other circuits is really unfair. Your other reasons are valid, but “It doesn’t deserve a race because it doesn’t have the heritage of other circuits” is just flawed logic.

          1. I worded it wrong. Firstly I don’t consider heritage to just mean history, it also means it has produced and still does produce great races. I don’t think bahrain has or will produce races that we will remember for years to come and like it or not, heritage is important to fans. We all have our favourite tracks and it’s not just because of how long they’ve been there. For example, Monaco is not a favourite of mine, sure I respect it’s challenge and wouldn’t wish it to be removed, but it produces processions 9 times out of 10. Now my second point. Take the issues Bahrain has. Now apply them to Melbourne or Spa or any other great track. Don’t you think that due to what they have contributed to the sport in terms of racing and popularity of the tracks that they should have more effort put into keeping them on the calendar. I don’t think Bernie would though.

          2. I think heritage is over-stated and over-valued, the go-to excuse for fans who feel that the sport is moving in the wrong direction.

          3. I’m with @prisoner-monkeys with regards the track. The Sakhir circuit (pre-stupid changes) is actually very good, a great challenge for the drivers and has produced some interesting racing and results.

            I think heritage is over-stated and over-valued, the go-to excuse for fans who feel that the sport is moving in the wrong direction.

            Also agree with this PM. However, having praised the track there is one major thing wrong with having a race in Bahrain – no one is there to watch! It’s the same at Abu Dhabi but worse, because the track is also terrible. The sense of occasion is just not there, and as a result the overall weekend has a kind of ‘non-event’ feel to it.

            Formula 1 should be moving to new places just as much as it should at least value some of its ‘heritage’. That’s why we should be going to places like Sochi that have a chance of establishing some local support for races and not just rich oil countries where not even one man and his camel are seen attending Friday practice.

    2. Pick pedantically at James’s @goodyear92 wording all you want PM @prisoner-monkeys, but he is dead right.

      1. “it also means it has produced and still does produce great races. I don’t think bahrain has or will produce races”

        I’d disagree that point. Bahrain has produced good races, I think some of the earlier races there were great.

        2004 had some good racing & overtaking, especially down at turns 1/2, 2005 was much the same.
        2006 was also a great race, More overtaking than had been seen for a long time in F1 (36 on track overtakes from memory), A great racing scrap between Alonso/Schumacher & Rosberg fighting through the field having dropped to the back.
        2007 also featured a lot of good racing/overtaking, I recall Coulthard flying through the field overtaking just about everyone before his gearbox failed.

        The only races at Bahrain that have been truly dreadfull were the 2009/2010 races & the biggest reason the 2010 race was so bad was mainly because of the extended layout but also partly because everyone was taking it easy to see how everything was working with refueling banned.

        Looking outside of F1, Bahrain has produced some of the best GP2 races I’ve seen. The last 2 GP2 races held there on the original layout were fantastic with loads of great racing & a ton of overtaking.
        It was actually GP2 which showed just how bad the 2010 extended loop was as 2 weeks after putting on 2 fantastic races on the original layout, The same cars/drivers put on the 2 worse GP2 races on the extended loop.

        While going back to Bahrain now may not be the right thing to do, I’d actually like to see it come back at some point in the future.
        I often think that those who dislike Bahrain do so simply because its a Tilke track as the critisism’s about poor racing & lack of overtaking are simply incorrect when you look back at all the races held there, There’s only really been 2 F1 races at Bahrain that have been dull, The rest all featured good racing & a reasonable amount of overtaking (Often more than places like Spa, Silverstone, Monza & Suzuka).

        1. I enjoy, and forever will, each and every F1 race.
          And on my computer games I love Bahrain, I like the layout.

          But in real terms, the world has more worthy tracks that aren’t on the calender. And it’s only on their due to the money that the human rights issue are being swept under the carpet.

      2. @mike – If Bahrain and Spa had both joined Formula 1 at the same time, would you be using the “Bahrain doesn’t have a heritage” argument against it? Of course not. How can a circuit be justifiably criticised for “not having a heritage” when denying it a place on the calendar denies it the opportunity to develop a heritage at all?

        1. @prisoner-monkeys Did I say that?

          It’s an at best mediocre track with serious safety concerns for those involved. It’s there because the Bahrain Monarch wants to be highlighted (and accepted) internationally and Bernie’s gets the money.

          If Spa and Bahrain both were built at the same time we’d be asking what went wrong with the guys who did Bahrain?

          I’m sorry, but you put those tracks in the same sentence like a comparison can be made. That’s ridiculous.

  10. Didn’t see that COTD coming…!

    1. I did, good one @Fer-no65!

  11. Zayed Alzayani: “We are not witnessing [attacks on foreigners] in Bahrain. There hasn’t been any assaults on foreigners… maybe you are referring to the British guy who got his fingers chopped off, but that was an isolated incident.”

    It’s terrible, but it made me laugh. I couldn’t help but think of this as a line out of a Monty Python sketch.

    “We didn’t know what F1 was exactly when we first held the event”

    also got a giggle. What did you think it was? Abstract art? $250mil church fete? What?

  12. Warning: Contains excessive amounts of Nicole Scherzinger

    If it was Jessica, I’d not complain at all!

    1. I think I would. Its only a few minutes of footage over the whole weekend, and instead of seeing the cars race we get long shots of Nicole (would not be much better seeing any wife/father/friend … of a driver that much) talking, frowning, cheering, … .

    2. C’mon, this is a non-starter. Both Jessica and Nicole got the same amount of shots in the video and it’s minute compared to the overall footage. Lenny Kravitz got a slow-mo focus early on and he’s not being ribbed… Keep the celebs in the video! Keep the grid girls too!

      1. I rather watch the cars and drivers over the celebrities if I’m honest, specially during the race, unless they act like Rowan Atkinson.

        But… if they are going to show any of the wives, I’d rather watch Jessica over Nicole, @Bascb. That was my point :P! I like her more…!

  13. Yaay! it’s my bday!

    1. Yeah, make it a good one. Happy birthday @Hatebreeder!

      And also to Blake and @thekingofspa

      1. Thank you! :)

      2. Thanks!!

  14. Kimi’s quote on the wet tyres puts him in a bit of a stupid position. Let us not forget that he does not have previous with the tyres as he flat out refused to run in the rain in Melbourne because it was of no relevance. Erm, Kimi, that seems to be a bit more relevant now, doesn’t it? Please don’t just half-do your comeback when you can be bothered!

    1. In Melbourne the team took a decision not to take any risks with either car in the rain since they didn’t have many spare parts so early in the season. Since they knew that Sunday would be dry I think that’s quite a sensible decision. Nothing to do with Kimi being bothered or not.

      1. FP2, Melbourne, Kimi did 7 laps. Only De La Rosa did less. 3rd highest was Perez on 23 laps (he also did 22 in FP1). Surely that running will have been useful knowledge for him in Malaysia and look what happened there. Plus, it was even said that Kimi told the team he was not going out as he thought it was pointless. After a few years and a different tyre supplier, surely no wet weather practice is completely pointless. As he also says, he did not know how to set up the car well for wet weather. Although it would not directly translate, he would have had a better idea of how to get this done had he done a few more laps in melbourne, to put him at least in line with the amount RoGro did in the same session.

        1. He didn’t “refuse” to run, he was trying to fix the steering as his liking. In FP1, the whole front was dismantled.

          Besides, he’s saying he didn’t know how the wet tyres would react. I think they used Inters in Australia, and they’d not waste time when it was really wet as qualy would be dry anyway.

          I think you’re overreacting a bit. Half the field didn’t run at Australia either… it’s not just Kimi!

  15. @keithcollantine Nicely adapted stories for Unibet. I’ve never been one to bet on sporting events, except the odd Grand National, so I find it slightly amusing to read a betting form weaved into a formula 1 report.
    How long before you use the “Alonso on his prancing horse”? :D

  16. i think the Bahrain GP could help attract worldwide attention to what is happening in Bahrain as protesters will surely use it to their advantage. The worst thing that could happen is if Bahrain is out of the news and out of peoples minds. Then nothing will change. Having the worlds media in Bahrain and putting the spotlight on the country for 4 days would not be a bad thing.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. Spot on. Keeping a spotlight on them will force them to do something positive. We should put Harare on the GP calendar.

  17. I find Al Khalifa’s reasoning extremely arrogant. He says that no foreigners were hurt so far, but what about locals? People died in those clashes, and the resistance is obviously still fighting with the authorities. Indeed, the race is organized by the regime associates, and instead of acknowledging human rights issues Al Khalifa and Bernie put forward a false idea that the race will somehow work towards the unification. It wont. If anything it will anger protesters even more, since their fight is handwaved by powerful folks with influence like Bernie.

  18. I said Bahrain would be the cause of this season’s biggest F1 row, and I’m feeling pretty confident about that now. It’s not even the next race, yet it has taken the top three stories in this round-up and a lion’s share of the comments. I think it has passed the Mercedes DRS thing already and will not go away until the race has taken place (or not, but it looks like it’s going to happen).

    1. Looks like the teams are all going to just roll over to Bernie and go to Bahrain though. While most teams have already submitted to Bernie’s superior mind control, a few are still holding out on signing the new Concorde Agreement, so I expect that to still be the larger political battle this year.

  19. Find myself in some agreement with Christian Horner on how equivalency is not what the cost cutting measures should be about and that poilicing it would indeed be way too complicated and the potential to exploit it too high,
    Practical things that I think have helped are Powertrains for a price, i think it was something like €5mill for a season, having a common ECU also has some benefits,we already just have 1 tyre supplier
    I think they should look towards having a central purchaisng agreement on some items which are done on an F1 tender type basis and the price split evenly amongst all teams, whilst it may not do much for the big teams the benefits lower down the grid in terms of better quality parts and lower prices would certainly reduce some of the burden
    off the top of my head
    Wheel Nuts,
    Air guns & Hoses
    Brakes calipers and Varying Brake Materials, having dseveral compound options for personal preference
    Trucks and Packing Crates
    Fluids for the car (though i think some teams get this free)
    Fuel Cells (though i think they all use the same provider anyway but probably at different prices and sizes)
    you could even look at the carbon fibre being provided which i accept is an area of research in materials but a base spec minimum??
    i dont know as i dont want to push a spec series but its practial and if a team wants to spend more then they could

  20. Yes Bernie, the media do make up stories.
    They just don’t write them on their tax returns the way you do.

  21. Typical Bernie Ecclestone comments. The facts though are different, the media did not cancel last years Bahrain Grands Prix and we all saw the pictures of protesters being shot dead on the streets. Those things you can’t deny, in in that enviroment how can you expect to have a grands prix?
    The media reported the facts, and they were that Bahrain was not a safe place to be at that moment in time. If F1 fans had been caught up in that and killed, I doubt Ecclestone’s attitude would be as cocky as it is now!
    This year we will race at Bahrain, but I still think this circuit will soon be put to pasture in much the same way the Turkish event was. The events of 2011 were a negative factor outside the circuit owners control, but the event itself has been about as entertaining over the years as the one in Valencia. I think that says it all!

  22. Bernie –
    “The rich cannot live on a island
    Surrounded by poverty
    We all breathe the same air.
    We should give everyone a chance,
    At least a fundemental chance” – Ayrton Senna

  23. I’m pretty bored of the Bahrain issue to be honest. If the race does go ahead, which it likely will do, there will be a big scandal about it for the weekend then it will all be forgotten in a week.

    I get the impression people only really care so much BECAUSE Formula 1 is going. I imagine the level of attention Bahrain gets would be significantly less if the F1 circus didn’t show up.

    Do the race, get it over with. Let’s not pretend that most people care beyond the race weekend.

    1. Don’t judge others by what appear to be your own low standards. I get the feeling you may not be so bored if you were getting your head caved in because you felt it was maybe your right to say you didn’t like the way things were.

      No one is pretending anything here – people are voicing their resentment at the events in Bahrain. As well as the association of the sport they love being dragged into a political quagmire. Plus the fact that the guy that holds the purse strings has no other interest in mind apart from its fattening.

      Just because you go about life without regard for others does not mean others should suffer because of it. Such antipathy and misanthropy is the root cause of most of the ills of which we speak.

      F1 provides a platform not just for aristocrats to flaunt their power. It also presents an opportunity for people to rally round and try do something about the troubles by disrupting the event. And best wishes to them.

      Just remind me the next time YOU may need help that I should just walk on by.

      1. @psynrg I never said I didn’t care. I’m just taking a very cynical view of the whole thing. Fact is, these atrocities are happening, but would we all be so worried if F1 wasn’t on the agenda? I really doubt there would be so many people voicing their concern. Which is fine, if it’s not in the news, no one knows about it, but there are tragedies all over the world every day.

        You’re right, I’m not getting my head caved in and chances are I would be more vocal if I was. But this isn’t about me and we could play the ‘put yourself in their position’ game all day long.

  24. IMHO we should not race in any of the islamistic, antidemocratic & antiwestern Gulf states. No matter what megastructures they build to entice people. You could more or less see all racing activities in these states as funded by bribes to you know who in you know which companies attending the races. Shame on you all.
    I might abandon the F1 circus by jumping out of the 727 with some of the aforementioned bribes, better not land in any of these states….

  25. Warning: Contains excessive amounts of Nicole Scherzinger.

    I dont mind seeing Nicole or any other doll drivers are with, it is just like the old times. Who could forget Mrs Hakkinen, and hotties DC was dating in late 90s, not to mention Flavios Briatore’s model friends.
    I would rather warn about excessive amount of drivers’ daddies. I wish they just kept them at home.

  26. What a sad little man, time for Bernie to go I reckon.

  27. In min 3:41 of the video with Jody Egginton, he states “…as for (KERS) deployment, RedBull made some extra functionality available to us in the race…”

    So, does this mean that RB, and other manufacturers are hiding, withholding features from their customers? I never really thought that happened, that indeed, the powerplant in Mclaren Mercedes was EXACTLY THE SAME as the one in Shumi’s car, and that Sauber-Ferrari shared the same bits and features as SF.

    Maybe this is something new that RebBull added for all including themselves?
    I would hate to think that there were functions kept only for the maker. If so, no wonder the back-markers are so bad, as they dont get a full deck.

    1. It might just be something they had developed new in the KERS system, but only got to testing it in Australia on their own car, before opening up that functionality to their customer, to make sure it works before handing it on.

      But in the past it was very much usual, that customer teams would have lower spec engines etc. Just think about Sauber in 2010 having numerous blowups, and how long they had to wait until some of the changes Ferrari made to the engine after the first race got on their car as well.

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