Formula 1 teams criticise media for 'politicising' Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula 1 team bosses have hit out at the way the sport was turned into a political battleground over the Bahrain Grand Prix, on the back of the media storm that erupted around the event

Formula 1 teams criticise media for 'politicising' Bahrain Grand Prix

With the Sakhir race becoming into headline news, and various politicians stepping in to call for it to be cancelled, several team bosses say they are unhappy about the way the situation was portrayed outside the paddock.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier told AUTOSPORT: "I should not say it, but the media did not do for me what they should have done.

"There are various issues, which are up to the country to fix. But there are issues in every country, even in England, France and other European countries, and the over-dramatisation was definitely wrong.

"F1 is a sport and should be seen as a sport. We also know that it is very important for Bahrain to have this event, it is their biggest event of the year, and F1 should not be used as a political tool."

When asked if the negative coverage could be a turn-off for potential sponsors, Boullier said: "It is their choice, but politics is never good to mix with sport.

"We have enough inside our paddock. We don't need to bring what is going on outside in, and that is what the media did. The media brought the external politics inside the paddock and that is not good."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his outfit did not spend much time worrying about how the event was being reported. But he feels that F1 should not have been forced into the political arena.

"It is difficult because you see an awful lot of enthusiasm for Formula 1 in towns and areas of the country," he said. "It is not right for Formula 1 to be dragged into a political debate. And of course it is deemed to be political if you race and it is deemed to be political if you don't.

"So our focus has been on coming here to do a job and getting it done and I am delighted to say that we have."

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley, who had to withdraw his team from practice two because of safety concerns from his staff about travelling at night, said that there were positives that came out of the weekend.

"I am probably quite surprised by it all, because I believe irrespective of the criticism and some of the issues we have had, it puts Bernie [Ecclestone] and Jean [Todt] in a very visionary position," he told AUTOSPORT. "They have delivered F1.

"For the Bahraini authorities - they have laid themselves bare to the world's media. If that is not transparency, what is?

"There have been issues, and all sorts of things that we could improve on for next year from an F1 point of view, but F1 should not be about looking back with regret. It should be quite proud of what it has done because the solution now for the politicians in Bahrain is there.

"They now need to get into a dialogue away from F1 - and the fact that F1 was brave enough to go there, and the leadership was strong enough to do it, good for them."

shares
comments
How Lotus finally delivered on its promise
Previous article

How Lotus finally delivered on its promise

Next article

Bahrain circuit chief Zayed Alzayani baffled by 'negative' media coverage of grand prix

Bahrain circuit chief Zayed Alzayani baffled by 'negative' media coverage of grand prix
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022