Force India considering skipping FP2 in Bahrain amid safety fears
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Friday, April 20th 2012, 09:07 GMT|
Force India has confirmed to AUTOSPORT that it is considering pulling out of second practice for the Bahrain GP, or running a limited programme, on safety grounds.
Deputy team principal Bob Fernley said that withdrawing from Friday afternoon's session was being discussed, but that Force India would definitely participate in qualifying and the race.
Several protests are expected to take place later on Friday - traditionally the day when unrest escalates in the troubled kingdom.
"We are just going to look at the programme of what we are going to do now but will look at it for very limited running for FP2," he said.
"We may not run, we may do half a session - whatever it is. We did a lot of work this morning as you saw, we did a lot of our work early on so we have the data we need now, so we can afford if necessary to miss out on FP2."
The team's cars were the only ones to undertake a soft tyre run in first practice, and were third and sixth fastest.
Force India members were involved in an incident with protestors on Wednesday night, when a Molotov cocktail exploding close to their hire car.
Fernley said Force India remained committed to racing in Bahrain.
"What we are doing is a slight rescheduling to meet the requirements that we need to do - and that will take place," said Fernlay. "But we will be there for qualifying and there for the race."
He added: "We are looking at it from the point of view of ensuring the well being of everybody and the comfort of everybody is in place. And that is the key objective for us.
"We have had issues as you all know with things, and we have to make sure that the crew are comfortable in the environment and that is what we are working on. But the crew are totally committed to delivering qualifying and the race - and if it means a limited or no FP2 in order to achieve that, that is the decision we will have to take.
"We are doing the best we can to make sure the crew are safe. We have assurances and I don't believe there will be any issues. There will be protests and I think it was an unfortunate incident, but unfortunate incidents happen. When it is your team it happens to, you have to deal with it in a proper manner which is what we are doing."
He said Formula One Management was 'keen' for Force India to take part in the race.
"FOM is keen for us to participate in all events, but the most important thing is the race. And that is where we will be and that will be the window we are looking at," he added.
Second practice finishes at 15:30 local time. Sunday's grand prix starts at 15:00.