FIA will still monitor Bahrain situation

FIA president Jean Todt has left the door open for a potential rethink on the Bahrain Grand Prix returning to the calendar this year if having the race there proves too 'risky' for Formula 1

FIA will still monitor Bahrain situation

With the governing body's decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix onto the 2011 schedule having drawn widespread criticism, and with drivers and teams seeking assurances about the safety of themselves and their personnel if the race does go ahead, Todt says that the FIA will continue to monitor the political situation in the build-up to the race.

"If we have clear evidence that there is a risky situation this will obviously be taken into consideration," Todt told the BBC.

Despite suggesting the situation remains fluid, Todt says the FIA is happy that Bahrain is now safe enough to hold the race - having sent Spanish motorsport federation chief Carlos Gracia there for a recent fact-finding mission.

"Our special envoy had meetings with the human rights people responsible in Bahrain," said Todt. "He met many people before the report was submitted and unanimously agreed."

Todt's view on Bahrain is in conflict, however, with human rights campaign groups, which insist that the situation is far from the picture of normality that is being portrayed.

The international Avaaz organisation has secured almost 450,000 signatures for a petition to be presented to world champion outfit Red Bull Racing calling on it and other teams to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Campaign director Alex Wilks was quoted as saying by the BBC: "Claims that calm has been restored and life is back to normal in Bahrain are completely untrue.

"In the last week the police have continued to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to break up peaceful marches, killing and injuring dozens of people."

He added: "On Monday, 47 Bahraini doctors and nurses who simply provided treatment to injured protesters have been charged by a military court with attempting to topple the kingdom's monarchy.

"Whitewashing these abuses is an insult to the hundreds of protesters jailed and dozens killed in their struggle for change. The FIA's decision to go ahead with the race based on one blinkered account of the situation shows how money has prevailed over morals.

"The main organisation that has provided this information, the Bahrain-based National Institute of Human Rights, is closely associated with the Bahraini Government and it appears the FIA investigator failed to contact any of the other key human rights organisations on the ground.

"Now it is up to the teams to stand up for what is right and boycott the race."

shares
comments
Canada preview quotes: Williams

Previous article

Canada preview quotes: Williams

Next article

Why Bahrain GP is tough to justify

Why Bahrain GP is tough to justify
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021