Questions over invisible Force Indias in qualifying coverage

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

The Force India team were conspicuous by their absence to anyone watching TV coverage of today’s qualifying session.

The world television feed produced by Formula One Management featured no substantial footage of either driver during the session.

This was despite Paul di Resta advancing as far as the final stage of qualifying.

Force India did not run in the second practice session yesterday as the team made arrangements to ensure they left the circuit before nightfall.

This came after members of their team were caught up in a petrol bomb attack earlier in the week. Two members of the team chose to return home afterwards.

This prompted speculation that the lack of coverage of their cars in qualifying was retribution by FOM – something which is understood to have happened with other teams in the past.

Tensions continue to rise in Bahrain following further violent clashes between protesters and security forces. The Bahraini opposition blamed the government for the death of a man yesterday.

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

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.

145 comments on “Questions over invisible Force Indias in qualifying coverage”

  1. It’d be hilarious if a Force India won tomorrow. Bernie will probably force the Bahrain directors to erase the entire race off tape and create a graphical race of a Mac/RB/Merc winning. :P

    1. Its actually a pity one of the Force India’s didn’t get pole!

    2. @Kingshark this is a contender for Comment of the Day!

    3. Hey Force Indias were shown on Tv, im sure i saw one from an Rosberg\Schumacher onboard.

      1. To be honest maybe the timing when the force indias chose to run made them invisible, no one really wants to watch the FI in Q3 but the FI fans anyway we also saw little of the HRT and still little of the Sauber and very little also from Alonso, i only saw an oversteering moment and its replay.

        1. If I were driving Di Resta’s Force India, I would park my car on the main straight, causing a red flag in Q3 simply to see what the directors would do. :)

    4. Apparently during the race broadcast, the SFI cars will be pixelated.

  2. I’m going to reserve judgment until tomorrow, see how it goes then. We always complain about FOM’s coverage so I want to see if this is an honest oversight or something more sinister. If it’s the latter, that really is a poor do. They clearly don’t understand the power of social media.

    1. Either way, this post currently has as many comments as the Vettel pole article does. If the intention was to punish Force India with zero coverage, it has spectacularly backfired. Ask people about Bahrain quali in a months time and I bet half of them couldn’t tell you who made Q3, but almost all of them would be able to tell you what happened to Force India.

      Bernie really doesn’t “get” the internet.

      1. @hawkii That’s what surprises me so much. We know he’s not exactly quick to embrace new technology but this would be just absurd.

      2. Force India sponsors are basically Force India footage cover usually grants new and better sponsorships if you dont get to tv you will lost hipotetically millions on sponsorship, especially when the products advertised arent really tweeting matter.

    2. sid_prasher (@)
      21st April 2012, 19:41

      I agree. I did notice the miss but really didnt think of it too much until i started seeing the tweets. We ll see how it goes tomorrow but if indeed this is intentional then it is a very cheap.

  3. Robert McKay
    21st April 2012, 13:50

    Seems blatantly obvious that Force India got a bit of a message today.


    1. I noticed this while watching and put it to my friends that it might have had something to do with their abscence in FP2. Although I kind of dissmissed it as a genuine reason and put it down to a cooincidence, but hearing that this type of thing has allegedley happend before makes me think that maybe it was deliberate. If it is true, it’s a pathetic and pety way to dish out some ‘revenge’. As Andrew says above, we’ll see how tomorrow goes for them.

  4. I don’t get the hoohah about this, they’ve been invisible all season. By all means take up issue with that, not just because they’ve got on their bad side and there’s suddenly a reason for it…

    1. lotus virgin and hrt have been more invisible this season in terms of race pace but they got more coverage today than force india.

  5. Speculation on twitter is not evidence that something has happened.

    1. It is if you’re pushing an agenda.

      1. Damn right there’s an agenda. People appear to be sick and tired of the manipulation of F1 by certain individuals.

        We have an FIA who sanctioned the use of slogans “uniF1ed = one nation in celebration”, a slogan that was propose and run from February. This is clearly in breach of article 1
        of the FIA statute.

        Ecclestone is under criminal investigation around the aquisition of the rights for F1 and sale to CVC. $1m a year to buy them from his mate head of the FIA. He is a present trying to sell these rights for $10billion.

        The bullying tactics ove the concorde agreements are a matter of historical fact, and are happening again this year.

        The decision by the FIA to go to Bahrain has been proven ridculous, the world’s media has had a field day in criticising F1 this weekend.

        Ross Brawn has gone on record today saying, “it is important for the sport to ask whether they did the right thing coming here racing”. If it was clear there was no problem with the decision, why suggest this?

        These people (Ecclestone and Todt) have to be removed from positions of authority in our fantastic sport. The sooner the better.

        And the social media is taken vary seriously in these times – capable of applying pressure from the otherwise silent majority. Cf. the arab spring, Iran the year before.

        It is our right to comment. It is our right to expect fairness and justice within our sport. It is our duty to speak out.

        1. Comment of the Forever.

          Completely agree, 100%.

          1. From the heart AJ. From the heart.

    2. Writers on this site believe anything and feel free to use it to push their own agendas.

      Some one died in Bahrain… bias OPPOSITION claim it was due to the government. How on earth can we take anything like that seriously when the source is as bias as can be?

      1. @infy The article makes the nature of the claim quite clear so I don’t know what you’re objecting to there. In this situation it could take time before the exact details of the death are confirmed and verified – particularly as the government will not want to admit to killing a protester on a race weekend.

        1. Having said that, the government have just made their attempt at controlling the story:

          “He reminded everyone, both journalists and the public, to wait for the facts to be established and not to believe unconfirmed reports on social media channels.”

          1. In that case it will probably turn out to have been a suicide.

      2. What are the chances that a protester who is suspiciously dead wasn’t killed by the notoriously harsh security forces, who have past form of killing civilians? Maybe it was sufficiently provoked, maybe it wasn’t. But my mind is mostly made up on who killed him.

        1. Libya was a good example where a number of old scores between people were settled under the cover of the insurgency.

          1. Perhaps, and I sort of hope that this is the same thing, as it would be worse for the country if I’m right. But given the past year, I’m inclined to jump to what for me is the most obvious conclusion, and will gladly look a fool if it’s proved to have nothing to do with the security forces in the end.

      3. I take it you are a Bahrain official then? The death of a protestor in a country that has already killed so many of its own people and has openly used tear gas and stun grenades on protestors suggests that it is entirely possible that the brutal police were invloved.

        1. I have spent just 30 minutes a day following for the past week following #Bahrain. Much of the contribution is in arabic but a fair bit is in English.

          Times and dates and places are even listed

          I have seen scores and scores of different pictures and videos showing everything from dead children/adults, to bodies shredded by shotgun pellets, videos that have shocked me with the clear brutality of the violence committed by security forces on civilians.

          Try it. NOT for the fainthearted.

      4. The irony of some UK #F1 fans complaining about lack of support for protesters in Bahrain is rich. Brits living under a constitutional monarchy suggesting that disgruntled Bahrainis be supported in a subversive quest to overthrow *their* constitutional monarchy is priceless.

        1. I don’t really think you understand anything about either country if you make a comment like that.

        2. Mate, Queen Liz SERVES THE PEOPLE, she has no dictatorial powers!

          You could argue that it is rich for Westerners to complain because Western governments are not helping the people, same in Syria, all us 1st worlders should feel some shame.

  6. If Force India makes it to the podium tomorrow, they will just show Nicole Scherzinger.

    1. @ glee halen


      They could also go for at least 2 hours of Erja Häkkinen footage from the late 90’s.

      1. Oooer. Fine by me. She was hot!!!

  7. There was a gem of a tweet from EliGP I believe:

    If I were Force India, I’d use shortcuts during the whole race.

    1. ^ ROFL. That’s a great idea. :D

    2. sid_prasher (@)
      21st April 2012, 19:53

      Haha! Brilliant :)

    21st April 2012, 13:58

    If I was paying big dollars to put my company on the side of that car I’d definitely be looking at F1’s contractual

    1. What about Force India’s contractual obligations to THEIR sponsors? …something it would seem they failed to meet by running away and hiding rather than participating in a scheduled, televised practice session. Serves them right and it’s great to see the powers-that-be squishing an uppity team as an example to others.

      1. Have you ever been petrol bombed…. No thought not, so don’t judge those who choose safety above a practice session.

  9. Hope they really complain about it. It wasn’t normal… I remember seeing all the teams today, except Force India, a team which, surprise surprise, chose to leave the track early during friday.

    1. If these suspicions are proved right we will have to accept that FOM and the FIA are consciously lending political support to the regime. There is no other way of interpreting such behaviour.

      1. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are backing the regime. I think it is far simpler than that; FOM and Bernie made the decision to race so they could claim the “fee”. Force India are being punished for daring to go against Bernie’s decision to pretend everything is OK and therefore to race. But whatever you think of Bernie he did not get so rich by being naiive.

        If Force India want to get even their car(s) have to do something that means Bernie and FOM cannot omit them – winning the race, breaking the rules, or taking one of the front runners out.

        As someone already said, Sponsors of Force India might have a claim to make against Bernie and the race organisers.

  10. something which is understood to have happened with other teams in the past

    Any more info on that other than a vague rumour? I’m not saying it hasn’t happened and isn’t happening now, but unless that tweeter is actually qualified to comment- I hardly know as I have never heard of him before- that seems like a funny inclusion in the article compared to the normal quality of sources.

    Of course if it is true then it is absolutely shocking, and further evidence that this race is actually more political in being run than if it had been cancelled. The temerity of a team to encounter a dangerous situation and then try and do right by its employees, having been put in such a position by Ecclestone and the FIA! Shame!

    The funniest thing was in practice yesterday when Ecclestone was interviewed- he said he’d personally offered to run with Force India back from the circuit after FP2, without a police escort. Because that’s all the defence you need- a frail old man who seems to think he’s immortal and that people should feel safe merely being in his presence as he can extend his Godly protection over those in his company.

    1. @matt90 He’s an accredited F1 journalist. But he wouldn’t be drawn on which team:!/AdamHayNicholls/status/193665921968111617

      Also added this:!/AdamHayNicholls/status/193670777399296002

      1. Thanks for that, Keith. It still sounds like hearsay without any other source/s, although it certainly adds credit to the rumour. I’d love to know what information he’s holding back!

          1. @keithcollantine Very cryptic! It’d be entertaining if the connotations weren’t of utter corruption. Thanks for all this Keith, great reporting as always.

            Speculation: trying to think who caused an obvious upset in the time I’ve been watching- maybe Renault as some kind of crash-gate fallout. Although I wonder if it means there’s a deeper political story buried, being concorde related or some other factor of the internal working of F1.

          2. Take note: he said, “name of the team”. So they were there in a different guise before.

            I dunno why, but I’m guessing Jordan or Minardi.

          3. @journeyer Yeah, that’s why I didn’t suspect McLaren for spygate for instance. Nay idea why you suspect Jordan and Minardi? I don’t recall any notable stories about ether.

          4. @matt90 I doubt it’s Renault because they clearly showed Grosjean spinning at Singapore FP1 at the exact same spot Piquet did.

            Jordan and Minardi are perfect because they are both outspoken teams, but are generally backmarkers (especially from late 2003-2005) and are unmissed when the midfield show up.

            One good reason it could be Minardi is that they fought against teams rejecting the fighting fund bid – Stoddy even had that presscon blowup in Canada 2003.

          5. Tried to find out about that incident. Couldn’t find anything on youtube unfortunately, but I did find this:
            I wish they hadn’t become Toro Rosso.

        1. @matt90 exactly. The “journalist” in question has done the twitter equivalent of the “OMG I can’t believe what happened, but I don’t wanna talk about it” posts my 15 year old cousin makes on facebook.

          If you don’t wanna open a can of worms, don’t tweet about it in the first place.

          1. exactly.

            until it’s backed up with fact, it is merely rumour.

    2. Robert McKay
      21st April 2012, 14:30

      Jordan and Minardi were my first thoughts too…particularly with Stoddart making waves as much as he did during his time.

      1. Yeah I’d say Minardi, Stoddart always said what he thought and caused a few ripples…

        1. Probably Minardi when there was that argument about using previous years cars’ bits in Australia (2004-2005?). They didn’t take part in some practice sessions that weekend, similar to Force India this weekend.

          Being a Minardi fan, it was hard to get coverage of them at the best of times, but I can’t remember if it was any worse that year or not.

          1. I may be wrong but were Arrows not shown when they deliberately failed to qualify at the French GP in 2002?

          2. It wasn’t minardi as they were already gone by the time we took over the coverage of most races.

            I was at FOM from 97-07 & can honestly not recall any team been left off our broadcast’s in that time.
            There was talk of leaving Arrows off the F1 Digital+ broadcast in 2002 after they played there games in qualifying for the French Gp, However that never actually happened.

          3. @keithcollantine I’d love to see GT_Racer’s comment put to Adam Hay-Nicholls to see if he had a reply (I don’t have twitter myself, although I have been keeping tabs on several F1 journalists open, including Adam Cooper who just said that he saw a fire roadblock).

    3. Bernie has already shown how well he can handle himself in a dicey situation

  11. If there is any shred of truth to this, I will have lost what little respect I did have for F1 leadership.

  12. Wonder when Vijay Mallya will stick his oar in about all this? (or the Sahara guy, whichever one is team principal now)

    Presumably he is away at the Indian Premier League or something, which is of course a pure sporting contest and nothing to do with money.

    1. Lol,are you Indian/do you watch the IPL??? Or do i sense sarcasm in the last line of your comment??

      1. Hehe, just being sarcastic. There was a lot of fuss here in England, mainly back when the IPL started, with players missing tours to go and play in it and so on.

    2. IPL is pretty amazing, Vijay was there on wednesday. There’s a match live everying evening (gmt) on itv4. There;s one on right now, good entertainment

      1. Yeah, I’ve seen a few of them, and watching it now. I love the way Kevin Pietersen’s wearing a mic while he’s fielding, chatting away with the commentator! Never seen that before.

        They should try that in F1, during the safety cars or whatever. I know Ben Edwards talked to them in BTCC. Would be great to hear the drivers nearer the heat of battle, away from their PR minders, they might even say what they really think…

  13. I don’t recall seeing them on the TV feed for final practice either. Message is as always you don’t bust Bernie’s balls and expect to get away with it.

    1. I thought bernie said that f1 is not involved in politics ;-)…..

  14. This was despite Paul di Resta advancing as far as the final stage of qualifying.

    Di Resta didn’t do a lap. And if he did, he went out and set some sector times before returning to the pits. Who wants to see that?

    Of all the teams this year, I think Force India have received the least coverage. We see very little of them, the HRTs, and the Toro Rosso, unless Vergne or Ricciardo puts in a good lap at the end of Q2. We haven’t seen much of Kobayashi this year, either.

    1. Robert McKay
      21st April 2012, 14:22

      It’s not so much the Q3 stage.

      In Q1 and Q2 they were both the first two cars to set times and were running around in the opening minutes with noone else on track. FOM chose to look through all the garages for several minutes, watch Narain and Pedro walking down the pitlane, and finally once one other car was on track go to them to watch their outlap, regardless of the fact that FI were doing hotlaps.

      There is no doubt in my mind at all that FOM deliberately avoided focusing on a Force India today.

      1. FOM chose to look through all the garages for several minutes, watch Narain and Pedro walking down the pitlane, and finally once one other car was on track go to them to watch their outlap, regardless of the fact that FI were doing hotlaps.

        The opening laps of Q1 are generally just drivers doing banker laps. Nothing really exciting happens until about five minutes from the end.

    2. while like you said “unless Vergne or Ricciardo puts in a good lap at the end of Q2”, well in this case Di Resta got 5th in q2, but nothing was shown when it should have.

      1. Paul di Resta was not the only driver to make it through to Q3 with his final lap. Ricciardo, Perez, Alonso, Grosjean and Raikkonen (even though he was then knocked out) all managed it. FOM didn’t show Grosjean’s lap until he emerged on the front straight; does Bernie have a grudge against Lotus?

        I think it is far more likely that with so many drivers on fast laps, the TV director had to decide which drivers to show. And with Ricciardo, Perez, Alonso and Grosjean all setting laps in quick succession, the obvious choice was to show them. With di Resta out of sequence, it was more exciting to watch everyone else.

  15. FOM have set a very bad precedent. This certainly won’t attract new entities to F1. Running a Formula One team is already expensive and we wont see a new team if FOM behaves in this manner

    1. Dude, seriously? If anyone set a “bad precedent” it was Force India, by refusing to run in practice, whining about overblown concerns for their quote-unquote safety, and then not even having the guts to stick by that and instead backtracking and claiming that they didn’t participate b/c they’d already achieved all of their sporting goals in the previous session. Yeah right! Good on FOM for giving a beat-down to those jokers – if in fact that’s what happened. Everybody in F1 better row in the same direction if they want to keep lining their pockets, b/c there’s no room for dissent.

  16. The behaviour of Ecclestone in banning Force Indias cars from TV coverage is a further sign of the mess this race has become.
    The team chose safety and who can blame them, I have had a petrol bomb thrown at me and I know from personal experience, it is very very scary .
    The sooner this ridiculous pantomime is over the better.
    I really really hope Ecclestone goes sooner rather than later.
    As for Todt, I never wanted him to be elected, he has no integrity and that was fully demonstrated by his televised cheating when at Ferrari,
    So we now have a sport run by a cheat and an 80 something who has no grasp of reality. …wonderful

    1. @smudgersmith1 – Televised cheating?

      1. He could be referring to team orders in 2002.

        1. Absolutely, find it on YouTube

          1. @smudgersmith1 , @pjtierney – Team orders aren’t nice, but they are not cheating. You’re upset about Ecclestone’s handling of Bahrain, I understand that, but it’s no reason to lash out at Ferrari.

          2. @david-a – how was what smudger wrote lashing out at ferrari? the dig was at todt, qualified by the issuing of team orders during his tenure at ferrari.
            that said, what JT would have to do with this, i don’t know. the tv coverage, if i’m not mistaken, is provided by FOM, not the FIA

          3. @@spankythewondermonkey – Smudger may have been concentrating on Todt, but he still effectively accusing the organisation, considering that JT was at the helm.

            Regardless, smudger definitely didn’t “qualify” or justify his accusation by bringing up team orders in 2002 because they were not cheating. When you consider that Todt has very little to do with the current situation, smudger’s post comes across as just an unfair and unnecessary attack.

          4. This is a lift from the last time Ferrari were caught cheating.
            “Ferrari have escaped further punishment for using banned team orders.
            The FIA, world motorsport’s governing body, upheld Ferrari’s $100,000 (£65,100) fine, but will review the rule banning team orders.”
            Todt wasn’t caught at the time he cheated, therefore he went unpunished. I have no beef with Ferrari, its Mr Todt whose integrity i have no faith in, the fact he has sanctioned this race staggers me and |I wonder what motivation he has for going ahead, he has brought the sport into a total shambles this weekend. What will be the reaction if someone throws themselves in front of a car??
            A human being died last night solely because this race went ahead, without the race no demo of this size and he would still be alive. Mr Todt runs the FIA and they decided to go ahead…what planet are you on to say its nothing to do with him ????

          5. @smudgersmith1 Get your facts straight before you attack people. Team orders were perfectly legal when Todt used them, and as such, they could not have been punished. Therefore Todt wasn’t caught because there was nothing to incriminate.
            I will give you the right quote instead of 2010 one you used:
            “The WMSC deplored the manner in which team orders were given and executed at the Austrian Grand Prix. Nevertheless the Council finds it impossible to sanction the two drivers, because they were both contractually bound to execute orders given by the team.
            The Council also recognised the long-standing and traditional right of a team to decree the finishing order of its drivers in what it believes to be the best interest of its attempt to win both world championships.
            In the circumstances, the Council decided; with some reluctance; that it could take no action over the team orders given by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro at the Austrian Grand Prix.” 26.06.2002
            Since then, however, they were made illegal, so, by 2010, to which your quote refers, such actions were punishable. But by that time a certain Mr Domenicali was at the helm of Ferrari, while Todt has been long gone. The events of 2010 lead to the reinstatement of team orders (allegedly because almost everyone was using them anyway, very thinly disguised as the requests to save fuel and such) but that’s a different story.

  17. I’ve had a great idea for Force India for more coverage: encourage their drivers to drift the entire race.
    OR, they could fir some crazy addition to their car that won’t affect performnce, but will look plain odd

    1. They should go out there with a 2011-spec nose! :)

      1. or both drivers cause a crash in the first corner.

  18. Martin Brundle and Damon Hill were right, they are living over there in a bubble….people are actually being killed in the clashes now. Imagine the breast beating and gnashing of teeth and wailing if a member of the F1 fraternity was to be injured or killed. But a protestors death does not worry Bernie, his F1 empire is not that disimilar it seems to that of Bahrain.

  19. Did they show the grandstands as well? I don’t remember seeing those at all. Were there any spectators today?

    1. I meant did they decide not to show not to show the grandstands too ?

      Sorry for the triple post. Internet issues.

      1. the main stand looked sparse to me and very few in the stands at turn 1,2 and 3. Don’t think there is any other granstands

      2. @mixwell Actually they haven’t shown the Grandstands up close the entire weekend, only what you can observe as the car enters and leaves the frame. This is as opposed to how Grandstands are shown sometimes at Singapore or Malaysia.

      3. I’ve just watched the BBC Qualy highlight show and from the little you could see of the grandstands they were almost empty. Jake and DC spent a long time broadcasting from an almost deserted paddock. When they interviewed Vettel, the pole winner, there was only one couple taking pictures in the background. The paddock was almost all officials and team personnel and a large number of cleaners with seemingly nothing to do.

  20. If this is a deliberate act (and I’m not saying it is, some teams do get left out occasionally) it’d be interesting to see who was behind it.

    The obvious person is Bernie but I remember hearing at some races that they use a local TV director to decide which shots to show. I think the Japanese GP was one where the commentators mentioned that the local director was showing a lot of Kobayashi.

    If that is the case then it could have been a Bahraini director who was calling the shots. Since the whole GP is paid for and organised by the government it’s possible that Bernie or FOM had nothing to do with it. The again it could just be an unfortunate coincidence.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the teams kept track of how much time they get on camera for marketing and selling sponsorship. If that is the case then it would be pretty easy for Force India to show whether this kind of thing can happen on occasion or that it is way out of the ordinary.

    1. I think Japan is not a rule but an exception, due to the fact that the whole production is outsourced for that particular race. The same reason why Japanese GP was shown in HD in Japan years ahead of the rest of the season.

  21. i hope it doesn’t happen tomorrow but what will they do if people in the grandstands make a protest during the race?
    As for Force India, i think Brundle was having the same thoughts during qually does seem rather odd.
    Hopefully it will hit the value of F1 and Bernie’s pocket; as in this debacle cant really help when they might be thinking of selling it?

  22. and maybe force india asked fia to not show them during this weekend ;
    but for me-for now- this is only one tweet rumour and is funny and scary to see how rumours can quickly spread

  23. Well at least we in Britain will be able to check this out at 17:20 when the BBC finally air their pointless qualifying rerun. Let’s all play ‘SPOT THE FORCE INDIA’ If the gnome or the gargoyle are behind this they should be kicked out of F1. Bring back Flavio!

  24. Bernie should be fired. Unfortunately there is nobody who can fire him. He thinks of F1 as his own toy. Thanks for Keith for this blog.
    (I hope his F1 pass is not in danger.)

  25. Relating to this article – Why is there always someone trying to create something from nothing ?

  26. Didn’t see much of Sauber.
    Maybe they are in FOM’s bad books, or maybe the FOM coverage director is biased to showing drivers who are likely to be on pole, which is why it was a Rosberg, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton show.

    1. Robert McKay
      21st April 2012, 17:55

      But we did see them, and indeed even ran onboard with a Sauber. And we saw every other car as the main focus of a shot – apart from Force India.

      1. I agree Robert. They even showed a Hrt for a full lap at the beginning of Q1 even though Di Resta was ahead of him on track posting a lap

  27. Bernie + retribution, no-ones surprised are they? ITV got frozen out when Bernie didn’t like what they were saying/broadcasting, BBC will suffer and already is i find from there coverage. Bernie is a vindictive man, always has been and it’s the main reason 99% of the paddock is scared stiff of him (how he likes it)

  28. I understand that whatever happened with Force India today was not down to them not taking part in FP2 yesterday but down to what they were saying they would do in a meeting this morning.

    In a meeting with Bernie just prior to FP3 Force India allegedly said they intented to do qualifying & start the race but then retire both cars early on & leave the track before the end of the race.

    Also having worked with FOM & knowing the guys/girls who are still there like I do, They would not have intentionally left any team off the TV feed of there own will. The guys there have all been in Motorsport/MotorSport TV for years & are all very professional & all aim to produce the best broadcast they can.
    If they did do this intentionally then they must have had orders from the top & been put under a lot of pressure to do it.

    The FOM TV team are already under a lot of pressure as do not forget they have to stay in Bahrain another week to cover next weekends GP2 races.

    1. Very interesting post, thanks for sharing.

  29. In the whole mess of Bahrain GP situation let us not forget that FIA hasn’t objected to the race, but is also supporting it (although not in high-profile fashion). Here is what Jean Todt said on the matter today:

    I have a scenario in my mind that is clearly anti-Ecclestone for the benefit of other parties, but as a person far distant from politics I’ll let others judge for themselves without saying anything further.

  30. No matter your stance on the race – a quick glance at worldwide headlines since yesterday is plenty enough to see that this is very quickly turning into a black eye for F1 in terms of worldwide PR. Bernie may well have overplayed his hand this time. This whole thing’s got bad vibe on it, big time.

  31. Bernie Ecclestone, whose FOM company is responsible for producing the live coverage, scotched the suggestions that Force India was deliberately ignored.

    He insisted that fans are interested only in frontrunners, hence the lack of Force India screen time.

    “Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th,” Ecclestone told Reuters. “Only the people that are watching a particular team.

    “I spoke to our people and they were more or less concentrating on who was going to be on pole, rather than somebody going to be 10th.”

    makes you wonder why FOM director showed Charles Pic instead of Force India in Q1… according to Bernie, nobody wants to see Charles Pic. we shoulda had a garage shot of Vettel instead!

    1. Having just watched the BBC coverage, with a stopwatch in hand I only managed to spot Force India twice, for a total of 3 tenths of a second in total. Charles Pic was featured for an entire lap and a prolonged exposure of him parked in his garage. So FOM must have thought that he had a good chance on being on pole. Every time that little man opens his mouth this weekend he puts his foot in it with blatant lies. Presumably, if Force India become the victims of a Bernie vendetta then the other teams will continue to bite their tongues and hope to keep in with Bernie. What a bunch of spineless ********.

    2. As usual Ecclestone is talking demonstrable ********.

      They were not concentrating on “who was going to be on pole”. They showed most of Ricciardo’s out lap while Di Resta was setting his quick time – and while no one else was out on track.

      And since when was Ecclestone appointed spokesman for the fans ?

    3. if nobody wants to see whos going to be 9th backwards whats the point in 3 part qually? Or even turning up for the race, the midfeild battles have been excellent this year. Bernie really hasnt got a clue! If nobody wants to see them then why did he make such a fuss about them not going out in P2?

  32. bernie, u silly little man!!

  33. If im to be honest I didn’t notice the absence of Force India in qualifying, Be nice to hear from anyone who spotted that their was no footage of Force India straight away and get their take on the event. Also is it likely to be the same in the race?

  34. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    21st April 2012, 20:05

    Id actually like to see what each team got coverage-wise. I mean everybody bar the top five ie. Red Bull, Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes and ‘The team formally known as Renault’ get most the coverage anyway. The others never get much. tbh can’t really recall how much i saw or didn’t see the Force Indias or anyone else for that matter. I know they didn’t show Di Resta flying, but i cant remember them showing when Ricciardo was either. Maybe i just didnt notice but i’d like to see the actual coverage time for each team before jumping to conclusions.

    1. dont remember seeing karthikeyan, glock, petrov, senna or maldonardo either & i think grosjean only got a very short time on tv.
      we also didnt see anything but the final corner of heikki kovalainens lap.

      i dont really see what the fuss is about, yes di restas good lap was not shown on tv but thats not uncommon, many of the laps from q1/2 from the lower teams are often not covered as the focus is nearly always on the bigger teams. there has also been plenty of q3 sessions where the drivers from the lower end positions have not been seen at all.

      there are 24 cars out there & not all can be shown when there are more than 1 on track.

    2. “I know they didn’t show Di Resta flying, but i cant remember them showing when Ricciardo was either.”

      In Q2 they showed almost the whole of Ricciardo’s flying lap – and also his warmup lap while Di Resta was setting his time, unseen. At the time, the leaders were all in the pits.

  35. Spoke to someone at FOM & the official line seems to be that they were asked not to show Force India because there is a whisky sponsor (Whyte & Mackay) on the car & Bahrain law prohibits alcohol branding been displayed. I was told that they were asked to remove the branding from the car Friday afternoon but for whatever reason left it on.

    I actually seem to recall Force India removed that branding from there cars at Abu-Dhabi last year for similar reasons.

    1. @keithcollantine in case you didn’t see this yet ^

      1. However, McLaren have removed the little alcohol sponsorship they did have (on the wing mirrors) just for this race apparently. If it is a Bahrain regulation, haven’t they had better things to be doing over the last 2 years than reforming their alcohol-advertising policy?


      bernie quote below

      Instead, he said their TV no-show could be due to legal reasons that prohibit advertising hard liquor in Bahrain – a dry country – as their cars contain a whiskey brand on their car.

      He said: “I was busy and didn’t notice Force India were not on. I will look into it.

      “It could be technical but I suspect it was more to do with the Bahrain laws on no alcohol advertising.

      “They have a whisky company prominently on the car. They should have taken it off. The TV could not show that.”

      He later added: “I spoke to our people and they were more or less concentrating on who was going to be on pole, rather than somebody going to be 10th.

      1. However, SunSport understands that Force India were given the green light to run with the logos of whiskey brand Whyte & Mackay.

        If true, alcohol maybe used as a cover? Although I’ll wait until tomorrow for any conspiracy theories.

    3. Interesting – I’ve dropped Force India a line to ask.

      On one hand I’d be surprised if this is the explanation as teams are used to having to alter their liveries to suit different territories, and Force India have (to the best of my knowledge) had alcohol sponsors since they first competed in F1.

      And if it is the case, presumably the law has changed since 2010, as Force India had both Kingfisher Premium and Whyte & MacKay logos (and possibly other alcohol brands) on their cars the last time F1 raced in Bahrain:

      Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, Bahrain, 2010

      On the other hand, if ever there was a weekend to be preoccupied by more pressing matters and forget to take unsuitable advertising off the car, it’s this one.

      1. If anyone has a recording of FP1, that could solve this little mystery. If the cameras were broadcasting images of the Force India cars in FP1, before they decided not to run in FP2… then obviously alcoholic branding was/is fine and it’s just a lie.

        If they weren’t televising the FI cars even in FP1, then perhaps this isn’t some sort of retaliation over not participating in FP2 and really is about alcohol.

    4. Almost convincing – but how long does it take to peel a sticker off a car, and I thought Whyte & Mackay made “Music CDs” for occasions like this?! Different stickers for different local laws though, same as it’s been for donkey’s years.

      I’ve read that the new Sauber sponsor (currently “True Blue”) is of an alcoholic nature – think Mansell – so maybe the local laws are a reason why they haven’t identified themselves yet.

      It’s sad, and says everything about F1, that so many people are on about this when people are dying.

  36. For those who think remaining neutral is laudable, this guy knows a bit about persecution and torture personally – for nearly 3 decades – and yet when in a posiition of power to “right the wrongs” promoted forgiveness of his persecuters. This is what he has to say…

    “If you are a neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Desmund Tutu

  37. F1 has by and large been a great motor sport to watch over the decades – but why anyone would want to perch their money together with their corporate and personal reputations on the head of this mindless, flailing and uncontrollably schizophrenic sport is beyond me. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if competition applications require teams to be sworn in blood over a picture of The Madonna…

    The silverstone based team has accrued many fans over the years, Paul Di Resta has many fans, Nico Hulkenberg has many fans as does Jules Bianchi. Fans that watch F1 to SEE the team and it’s drivers competing. Fans that also value and respect the decisions of the team. Fans that support the team via merchandise. Fans that ultimately support the championships via tickets and TV subscriptions.

    The FIA should take note, sponsors should take note, TV companies should take note, potential investors should take note and most importantly FOM should take note.

    This weekend is yet another dirty smear on the already opaque public image of F1.

  38. Watching qualy back, just noticed Di Resta shown in the background at the end of Q1 – he’s diving into the pits while Kobayashi crosses the finish line. I guess that’s most TV time they’ve got!

    1. Di Resta was also passed by Webber on the second to last straight on Webber’s last flying lap in Q3. They did cut to in car footage at the time though, which showed less of the Force India car than an aerial shot would have.

  39. just seen a twitter campaign for people to Boycott Gillette. If social media can bring down the Egyptian premier, I guess the corporate sponsors of F1 should be worried.

    I’ve been saying this for 2 days, speaking out and acting can make a difference. Social media connects us little people and gives us power as a collective

    1. Wow. Shell, dell,virgin, hugo boss, vodaphone, casio, pirelli, santander, hilton, jonnie walker, siemens, reebok, proton, intel all being cited.

      Here’s one guy with over 3,000 followers recommending this @peterclifford1

      and I’ve seen others

  40. It does seem a bit strange that they’d rather show Alonso warming his tyres, moving the camera away from the Force India that was just behind him and on a hot lap…

    Guess we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

    1. Well tomorrow (or today I should say) will be a different story, as they now realize that the public can see.

  41. I don’t like F1 racing in Bahrain this year, but the decision to go on with the race wasn’t surprising at all – Bernie & co have gone to communist Hungary back in the 80s, they’ve gone to China; i can imagine Bernies & co F1 would go to 3rd reich or Stalins Russia, they would even go to Syria or North Korea if there was enough money in it. I’m more dissatisfied with teams behavior, like Force Indias, cause if they wanted to demonstrate something, the only way was to not go to Bahrain at all, not just skipping one practice session; assuming it was a demonstration.

  42. Maybe Brundle could spend all 10 minutes or so of his Grid Walk chatting with all the Force India crew on the grid!

    1. That would be superb, in the background you’d see little Rumplestiltskin Ecclestone jumping up and down in rage.

  43. Is F1 a respectable modern sport or something run along more Stalinist lines? Talk about the Emperor’s New Clothes. Look at the ridiculous contortions the team personel (and others) perform so as not to offend BE or JT and risk who-knows-what. I can’t help but think that Bernie and Jean have crossed a line this weekend; the international scrutiny of F1 will increase and its reputation can only suffer. Richard Williams in the Guardian has it right.

Comments are closed.