A viewing Boycot if Bahrain is now NOT cancelled?

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    Ned Flanders

    Klon- points 3 and 4, fair enough. But 1 and 2 seem remarkably self centred to me. Sounds like you’d rather live in blissful ignorance until something like this affects you personally. Good job not all humans are that selfish.


    I don’t believe the race is going to happen, and I hope for a peaceful end in the favor of the people, but if the race were to happen I would watch it. I completely agree with Klon’s fourth point. If anything more people will tune in due to the situation in the country, more than enough to outset any boycott. And a 1 race boycott is more of a personal symbolic gesture and doesn’t actually accomplish anything. But whatever makes you feel good; its not like your missing more than a Formula 1 parade.


    Mild success so far.

    Klon your point 1. I am amazed to hear you say something about it “taking more than moral objections”, does that mean you have altogether binned morals?

    As for point 4. I honestly think that however small a signal it would be, the more of us worldwide join in, the more sense it would make.

    There is still several weeks to go till the GP. On TFL i understood this site gets over 100.000 visitors per week, so what if a few percent of those join in. It might at least get noticed.

    Bernie looks set on having it go through even with tanks lining the streets to make it “save” for the teams and staff. Journalist will probably have to do without cameras and phones outside the media centre, to keep them from posting pictures of the outside world, but it will be ok right? I do not think so.

    Ned Flanders

    Obviously, a boycott would almost certainly achieve absolutely nothing. Unless, of course, you could persuade millions of casual viewers not to watch, but that is effectively impossible- has there been a large scale TV boycott of anything, ever??

    By not watching the race I’d merely be proving a point to myself, standing up for what I believe in and satisfying my conscience, which can be a right nag sometimes (but I love it really). Look it at like that Simpsons episode where they get cable but Lisa refuses to watch it

    But hopefully none of this will be neccessary, and Bernie will stop thinking about money for once and call the whole thing off. It’s in his interests too- F1’s reputation will just be dragged through the mud yet again if the race goes ahead


    Well Ned, you have nailed the issue squarely there: money.

    Money will do the talking. It will either:

    Cancel the race (i.e. insurance premiums too high – wouldn’t be surprised if HRT didn’t make it for this reason especially)


    Force the race to go ahead (Bahrain have paid for a service after all, and the force majeure clause will not be activated if they can show that the country is safe/visitors can get to the race).

    Money is the key to all of this – F1 is too high profile in this respect. F1 cannot really object on moral grounds because it is a sport – and it has contracts to fulfil.

    Ned Flanders

    “F1 cannot really object on moral grounds because it is a sport”

    I don’t really agree with that. To take this point to its extreme, what if the government were going round houses and executing everyone hundreds of people at a time? What if the government was torturing children? What if the country was engulfed in all out civil war and thousands of people were dying? Would it still not be acceptable for F1 to object??

    Theses are all completely hypothetical situations, and I’m not for a second suggesting that anything like this is happening, but my point is that F1 CAN object on moral grounds, contracts or not. There must be a point where moral issues become too serious to overlook.

    And in that case, the question is: is the killing of several innocent protestors not bad enough to object to? I would say it that it is, but then I suppose China in particular is committing even worse attrocities to this day and I haven’t been nearly so vocal about them. I’d like to think I could extend my boycott to China as well.

    (And yes, this is my heart thinking. My head is aware that the powers that be don’t give a sh!t about ethics)


    Well, at risk of restating, F1 itself cannot object. I’m talking more legally here than morally though – so the argument has little moral value.

    The people who run it might well object, but F1, the brand, the genre, the contract party, cannot object without a severe financial penalty (likely to be huge if the contract is breached). It can only object contractually if there is a clause that allows it to (i.e. a force majeure clause). Thats how GP2 was cancelled, as there is no (real) financial penalty from the cancellation.

    Bernie and F1 won’t risk the financial penalty unless they are sure that the force majeure will be activated in the contract – and right now they aren’t. Morally they may wish to, but contractually they are obliged. The sums of money involved are far too high for it to be a black and white case.

    In your extreme scenarios, a force majeure would be activated. In the GP2 scenario yesterday, it was activated. But F1 cannot say right now whether it will be at Bahrain because there is no contractual way of doing so. This, I believe is why we won’t hear until another 2 weeks or so whether the grand prix will go ahead.

    This then leads to the point that if the race itself does go ahead, then its possible that no-one will actually want to be there, but are instead contractually obliged. In that case, F1 wouldn’t be the problem, thus a boycott against the values of F1 would be for the wrong cause, as they wouldn’t be the issue.

    Of course I may be wrong, but this is how I see it.


    Politics out of sport and sport out of politics? As soon as they are mentioned in the same breath it is too late to separate them as the recent postings have shown. The point about China is interesting as it IS all about where the line is drawn but, if we avoided any race in any country where any injustice occurs, we’d all get back about 20 weekends a year…


    Oh, I’d love to be able to say that I won’t watch if it’s on but I don’t have that kind of willpower (even at that track..)


    Im all for not watching it, If the race happens and i dont think it will if nothing is agreed by the people of Bahrain and its current government. But yes, il try my best to not watch it, seeing as im almost certainly going to be hungover anyway that should make things easier.

    The bigger question would be, would any of the teams boycott it?


    Out of curiosity Ned are you going to boycott China until at least 2017?

    I think what’s going on is horrendous but as I mentioned in the comments there are other countries who host a GP (China in particular as Ned said) that doesn’t have the greatest human rights track record today and perhaps that’s a worse situation in some ways because there isn’t really any mass protests or anyone standing up for their rights on this scale.

    I don’t really know what I’ll do to be honest. I’m generally fascinated by politics and I oftend let my heart rule over my head and I feel strongly about human rights issues but F1 has always distanced itself from politics and I’m all too aware of PM’s argument that this could open a can of worms but I think this is an extreme and unique case. If it was safe for F1 then my head would say go ahead and stay out of it but every other part of me would hate the fact it would be like ignoring what else is going on. I don’t want the race to be held if things stay as they are, I don’t think they should be anyway because it doesn’t seem safe for F1 personnel but if it does go ahead I may well watch but I’ll be hugely uncomfortable if the situation is the same or has worsened.

    Basically, yesterday I felt the same as Dsob’s first psot and now I feel the same as his second.


    I wont watch it.

    Ned Flanders

    Steph, it kind of sets a precadent, doesn’t it. If I don’t watch Bahrain for moral reasons then I should certainly avoid races like China, Singapore and Abu Dhabi too. I wish I had the willpower to do that

    As I’ve said I hope the race is just cancelled. If it isn’t then my faith in F1 is going to be seriously tested…

    Prisoner Monkeys

    I have decided I will join in this very small but symbolic act of resistance.

    “Act of resistance”?


    You’re not resisting anything. You’re not protesting the Bahrain government, you’re protesting against Formula 1. Don’t go crediting yourself with helping the people of Bahrain by literally doing nothing.

    sbl on tour

    I boycotted the china olympics due to their stance on nepal, did it make a difference, no, and I missed out on some great races, but I stuck to my guns throughout and made sure I told everyone I knew, some were impressed but most didnt care.

    Hope the race is cancelled, some things are mote important than F1, but try telling the paddock club that!


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