MPs repeat call for Bahrain Grand Prix cancellation

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Bahrain calls for the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix.


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MPs call for Bahrain GP cancellation (BBC)

“Last year’s race was held under conditions of martial law. Three hundred protesters were arrested, some spending months in jail.”

Ecclestone willing to meet Bahrain opposition (Reuters)

“I wish they could sort things out. If there are any problems, which there are obviously – people are not making trouble if there are no problems – then they could get it sorted out.”

Bahrain protests precede Formula One race (Al Jazeera)

“There has been a week of protests in the kingdom ahead of the country’s Formula One Grand Prix from April 19 to 21.”

Perceptions and realities in Bahrain (Joe Saward)

“Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt, the men who make the decisions about F1 being in Bahrain, do not want to be involved in Bahraini politics. They don’t want to have to deal with the perceptions that exist that F1 is somehow supporting the government and condoning the violence.”

Ecclestone threatens Brazilian GP shift (Sina English)

“The design of the circuit is among the best in the world but the facilities for the teams and fans are the worst on the calendar.”

F1 needs rookie rethink – Sauber (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “I am not trying to justify [Esteban Gutierrez’s crash], but to not have any Friday sessions to practice in, and then come in to a world of F1 where there is a lot of pressure because there are only a limited amount of opportunities to score points, is very hard.”

Paul Hembery on the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

Perfect prediction (Sky)

Mark Hughes: “The crucial moment of understanding for Alonso came in Friday afternoon practice as he did his qualifying simulation on the very delicate soft option tyre.”

Chinese Fireworks (ESPN)

“This was a weird moment down at Red Bull on Saturday morning. I captured it as a mechanic sprayed an extinguisher on to the exhaust and engine cover, but I couldn’t see if there had actually been a fire.”

Why Sir Stirling Moss is wrong about women and motor racing (The Guardian)

“[GT4 racer Zoe] Wenham believes she can compete on an equal footing with men. ‘It’s really good to be in the helmet and the car. You’re all equal at that point – there’s no long hair or big blue eyes coming into play,’ she says. ‘There’s always going to be these comments, ‘Oh, you were beaten by that girl,’ but there are more women in motor racing than ever. So hopefully someone can prove Sir Stirling wrong.'”

Crumpet-gate (The Buxton Blog)

“While I have the utmost respect for Sir Stirling Moss and all that he has achieved, his opinions on the suitability of women to drive Formula 1 cars in the modern era is really rather inconsequential.”


Comment of the day

Are the tyre complaints just history repeating?

We were faced with the same problem last year: the teams complained bitterly about the tyres. And yet, by the middle of the season, they understood the tyres so well that the complaints simply melted away.

Did anybody protest the tyres after the German Grand Prix? I can’t recall a single complaint, much less a chorus of them. Even the drivers who were the most critical – Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher – quietened down before long. The tyres worked in 2012 once the teams and drivers understood them; it was just a matter of figuring them out.

I think we need to take the teams’ complaints with a grain of salt as they will always lobby for what is best for them. Are they really struggling as much as they are making out, or are they just trying to get out of doing some work and maybe pick up an advantage along the way?

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost scored a home win for himself and Renault in the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard 30 years ago today.

Prost’s team mate Eddie Cheever finished third behind Nelson Piquet.

Niki Lauda and Elio de Angelis retired from the race, but not before this battle between the normally-aspirated McLaren-Cosworth and the turbocharged Lotus-Renault:

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68 comments on “MPs repeat call for Bahrain Grand Prix cancellation”

  1. I wonder what Fernando and Mark spoke about…

    1. Fernando: Where’s Lewis, is he going to show up?
      Mark: No but Seb is free tonight we can call him.
      Fernando: NO!

    2. Job interview :P

      1. Alonso: would you move aside while leading a GP?

    3. Who took the picture? Stefano or Massa?

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      17th April 2013, 1:38

      Alonso: Can you see a way to change Vettel’s tyre nuts for yours?

    5. We could use a caption competition for that pic, considering there’s one halfway in progress right here…

    6. who’s the third man?

      1. Harry Lime

    7. Webber: Ready to order?
      Alonso: I’ll get the waiter… Felipe! Felipe!

      1. Fikri Harish (@)
        17th April 2013, 8:04

        Can’t help but to laugh at this.

      2. Ha haa, good one.
        Do you think Felipe will answer? Alonso hasn’t tipped him very often :)

    8. Mark: Remember the time you used to drive a Minardi?
      Alo: Lol, remember the time you used to drive a Jaguar?

      1. Surely ‘Remember the time we both used to drive a Minardi’..?

        1. Webber used to drive a Minardi?

          1. @aish Yep, 2002, the year after Alonso.

    9. Webber showing Vettel who has his support for the rest of the year?

    10. They went there expecting to find pretty girls to look at. But the restaurant had curtains around tables!

    11. The Blade Runner (@)
      18th April 2013, 9:19

      Webber: “Waiter, there’s a chip on my shoulder.”
      Waiter: “That was already there when you got here sir!”

      Fernando: “I’ll have the “Pirelli Steak” please.”
      Waiter: “How would you like that done sir?”
      Fernando: “Medium… Definitely MEDIUM!!!”

  2. Are they really struggling as much as they are making out, or are they just trying to get out of doing some work and maybe pick up an advantage along the way?

    Exactly. If Pirelli changes the tyres and suddenly made them conservative now, then that would be unfair.

    1. I expect that the reality of the situation lies halfway between the two extremes: the tyres aren’t perfect, but nor are they atrocious.

      1. And we have had so much common ground lately then this.

  3. Well done MPs, making protests a few days before the event, when there is no chance of it having the tinniest impact. Well worth your salary as per usual.

    1. Its just a token gesture. They know it wont be cancelled.

  4. Dear MPs, a better way to support the people of bahrain would be to stop supporting oppressive regimes in the first place.

    1. and an even better way is to stop harassing and bullying the bahraini people by protesting thugs and forcing their agenda when the majority in bahrain disagree , this is a sport and it shouldn’t be mixed with politics ! when countries with no democracy and regimes based on full dictatorial oppression are allowed to compete in other sports no one says a word !! “iran,north korea, etc.. “

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        17th April 2013, 17:10

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these people protesting especially when Bahrain has a porr record of torture since 2010.
        Sport and politics are heavily intertwined and to just say they shouldn’t mix is an incredibly simplistic view, at least in my view anyway.

  5. the bahrain protests are only on the news on an f1 weekend. gives bahrain a bad name and formula 1 too.

  6. I don’t know what Moss said that was so wrong. I agree with Moss. He said that there were talented girls back in his day and there are some skilled girls these days. Moss questioned if women and in particular current drivers have the guts to be ruthless and aggressive like other drivers. At the moment there isn’t a major champion that is a woman anywhere else, so he is right to question that. I hope that Moss hopes too that someday we will have a talented women worthy enough to drive in F1. Maybe someday we will have more women than men on the grid in the end women have arguably one physiological advantage, body mass ratio.

  7. Abdurahman (@)
    17th April 2013, 2:34

    Maybe woman are better at some things and men are better at others. What the heck is wrong with that? It’s this ridiculous notion that if a woman can’t do everything a man can do than she’s not equal. Why can’t men and woman be different yet equal? It’s in your head is all.

  8. The photo was taken just before Mark’s dinner came out cold and half eaten by Seb in the kitchen. Then his fork exploded, his chair collapsed and he was fined for damaging restaurant property.

    1. Thank you, lol.

    2. Rofl nice one !!

    3. Meanwhile in the Red Bull camp heads were rolling for Seb’s Bahrain strategy.

    4. Rofl. That made both me and my wife laugh. Thanks MartyF1 for a laugh at the start of the day

  9. please stop these lies, i have just come back from bahrain and everything is more than perfect concerts going on every week , night clubs partying, and people going to their work like normal this is all a bunch of propaganda aiming at increasing the news agency’s popularity !! cheers

    1. It is great to hear from a person who went to Bahrain that there is nothing going on in Bahrain despite the media going overboard with these protests. So Bernie was right? It’s seems that he is right that it will go trouble free

  10. Not perfectly sure it would work, but I like the idea of having an extra set of tyres ready for any team that chooses to give a talent, or a local driver a shot at some F1 experience in FP1.

  11. I admit I had not been aware of Winham in GT4, but when you really have a look at female racing drivers active, I would say it shows that there certainly is talent do draw from. Made me wonder about Buemi’s niece, did she ever recover from that shunt that had her break here legs to race again?

    1. thatscienceguy
      17th April 2013, 9:57

      Buemi’s cousin, not neice. He’s not that old nor is she that young.

      Natacha Gachnang. Yeah she drove later that season, has done some stuff since and this year is driving in the World Endurance Championship.

      1. YEah, thats her, his cousin

  12. I really start to get the idea Lauda and Hunt were not the rivals Rush claims them to be: Hunt cheering on Lauda in that video (“come on, Niki!”) and photos like these. I haven’t fully read up on the 1976 story, so I’m not sure about any of this: is there anyone who knows more about this?

    1. yes they were friends.

    2. @andae23 How do you know how “Rush” portraits them? AFAIK Hunt and Lauda were rivals on the track but not enemies off it and had huge respect for one another. There were some tensions between them at various times but not beyond that. From the trailer I couldn’t see enough to decipher their relationship in the movie

        1. In the second trailer we hear Hunt blaming himself for contributing to Lauda’s accident, and Lauda telling him that he was also responsible for his return. The conversation feels like friends talking, not bitter rivals. Makes me hopeful that their relationship will not be “Hollywoodizationed”.

          1. Word of the day :)

  13. In the end, Bahrain GP only serves the cause of those dissatisfied with monarchs. Somehow, it’s the best stage to make their voice eared despite efforts from race organizers and Bernie, by this time of the year the world is remembered that Bahraini monarchy is anything but inclusive.

    Monarchy wants to use the race to showcase their country but protests, even minor, overshadow their PR arsenal because it’s the nature of media: blood and scream sells more than milk and smile. Bernie wants his 40 millions but he’s just putting the sport in a not so glamorous spot and making it vulnerable to criticism.

    Nobody but the protesters is getting good publicity from this and somehow, it feels like poetic justice.

    1. @jcost

      Nobody but the protesters is getting good publicity from this and somehow, it feels like poetic justice.

      The protesters make a noise for the four days of the year that Formula 1 is in Bahrain, but what about during the other three hundred and sixty-one days?

      I must admit, I haven’t really heard anything about the protests since last year’s race. There’s obviously some kind of movement in Bahrain at the moment, but for the most part, the government won.

      So I have to wonder if the protesters are out for serious reforms this time around, or if they’re just trying to be disruptive.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys

        I’m don’t think they do that to kill time. They have an agenda, like it or not, and they are smart enough to understand that when Formula 1 is in town, it’s time to show up with their most flamboyant shoes because the world is watching and eventually their counterpart will feel the pressure.

        If I had demands to make, I’d do the same.

        1. @jcost

          They have an agenda, like it or not, and they are smart enough to understand that when Formula 1 is in town, it’s time to show up with their most flamboyant shoes because the world is watching and eventually their counterpart will feel the pressure.

          If I had demands to make, I’d do the same.

          It’s a problem if this is the only time they are showing up, though. Students threatened to crash the Canadian Grand Prix last year as a form of protect against the Quebecois government making changes to university funding and tuition fees. They, too, had an agenda. And they understood that the Grand Prix was the time and the place to raise hell because the world was watching. But they were largely seen as a public nuisance, and while some of them might have had a legitimate greivance, the situation was mostly characterised as a first-world problem.

          Showing up doesn’t automatically make the protesters in Bahrain right. Especially if they are only doing it for the publicity.

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          17th April 2013, 11:49

          Agreed. In Montreal last year students who were unhappy with some government decisions protested at the race and metro, but in the end hardly made an impact because the media barely noticed. Probably because nobody was being killed or anything like that.

      2. really @prisoner-monkeys ?

        The protesters make a noise for the four days of the year that Formula 1 is in Bahrain, but what about during the other three hundred and sixty-one days?

        I must admit, I haven’t really heard anything about the protests since last year’s race. There’s obviously some kind of movement in Bahrain at the moment, but for the most part, the government won.

        That you haven’t bothered to look for any news, or that there was far less interest from media apart from when F1 hits town, does certainly not mean everything has in fact been silent and calm before.
        Sure, its nothing like 2010, and there are some bids for really getting talks to start (but that has never gotten off the ground yet, mostly because of distrust and both sides hardliners frustrating it), but protests have never really stopped. Certainly there is also an element of people wanting to use the race to boost their cause (on both sides), but pre-emptively taking people in custody because you think they might want to protest (and doing so without any kind of legal process) is not something that should happen in an ideal state either.

  14. @Prisoner-Monkeys congrats on COTD.

    I however disagree with your comment in the respect that you’re comparing a set of tyres that lasted no more than 7 laps in a race, this was unprecedented.

    Last year, I admit, I jumped too soon on criticising the tyres, however, I don’t think that having tyres last a max of 7 laps is a good thing for the sport. Take into consideration that everyone was conserving those tyres and didn’t thrash them, so in essence you are really talking about a tyre that could last 3-4 laps at 100% pace.

    If we’re talking about 15 Laps, then that isn’t too extraordinary, but 7 laps, that’s no good.

    1. I agree with you that the tyres which last just a few laps are generally useless but for qualifying. But in my opinion it’s not that the tyres were bad, but the tyre allocation was simply misjudged this time and that’s all that happened.
      I think it’s not really that easy to hit the spot with the tyre compound choice, especially at the beginning of a season. Please remember that last year the allocation was criticised a few times for being too conservative.
      I like the fact that Pirelli & F1 responded quickly and reasonably, and the allocation for Bahrain was changed.

    2. @dragoll & @phildick

      It’s always gonna be difficult to get tyres to last as long on every circuit, they will behave better on others.

      “Soft and medium” was the right combination in china, coz “medium and hard” compounds would have meant a one stop race. At least we had some split strategy, and several pit stops to help make the race more interesting.

      As others have said, the teams will also make them last longer as they understand them better. Perhaps Pirelli expected them to understand them better by this stage.

    3. @dragoll, watching Vettels last stint showed that at 100% the soft tyres lost a couple of seconds performance every lap, having come out 11 seconds behind a slowing LH, he gained 5 seconds in his 1st.lap but failed to catch LH in the next 3 final laps.

  15. No matter what your opinion with thw tyres, you have to applaud Paul Hembery for how much you see him publicly and explaining why certain decisions are made. Ok, I don’t agree with him most of the time, but good on him!

  16. As from the Pirelli video, when Paul Hembery was talking about different race strategy between the drivers did you notice Button 3 stints all with medium tyres? Was that for real? Didn’t he use the softer compound somewhere in the race? I saw the race Sunday morning but I can’t actually remember his tyre choice.

    1. Yeah it’s a mistake in the video. Button’s last stint was on softs.

  17. Kimi couldn’t be in the picture with Webber and Alonso……..he was having a ****.

  18. If MPs were so concerned about Bahrain, they would have been urging for Bernie to cancel it weeks ago, not 3 days before Practice when all the teams are already there. Surely if the situation was that bad all the popular media would be jumping on the bandwagon as well. Not seen anything on the main BBC page or anything like that so far.

    1. well said mate

    2. Some protesters from recent years have been sentenced lifelong imprisonment for even non-violent protests against the Kingdom’s non-democratic rule. We don’t hear much about these protesters, because they can’t protest any more. Perhaps Bernie don’t care because his rule over F1 has more resemblance with the Bahrain Kingdom, than with a modern democracy. Last year I didn’t watch the race and I didn’t vote, but this year I think I’ll enjoy the show, because my protest doesn’t change anything in Bahrain.

  19. I suppose if you made the tyres out of wood the teams, by the second half of the season, would have found a way to get the maximum out of wooden tyres.

    It does not follow that wooden tyres are a good idea though.

    If F1 fans are so desirous of a level playing field then there are a number of better and more honest ways of getting it instead of this cynical fiddling with the tyres. One option would be to abolish the current teams and simply make F1 another spec series. I get the impression that’s what a lot of people want anyway.

  20. @keithcollantine will we have the predictions championship for Bahrain this time?

  21. “Ecclestone willing to meet Bahrain opposition (Reuters)” . He’ll ask the oppositon: well ok, let’s talk about the money.

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