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Ross Brawn urges F1 to reflect on decision to race in Bahrain

Ross Brawn has urged Formula 1 to make time for quiet reflection about the decision to go ahead with the Bahrain Grand Prix, on the back of the troubles experienced this weekend

With F1 teams now fully focused on Sunday's race, Brawn suggested that with team personnel having been caught up in clashes, criticism of the sport in the worldwide media and violent protests that have led to a death, it was important the sport asked itself if it did the right thing in racing here.

"I think we are here now, and after this event we need to sit down and discuss it," he said when asked by AUTOSPORT if there was a risk the negative headlines this weekend had damaged F1's image.

"We are committed to this race, we are having a race, and after the race with proper judgement of what happened and what we saw, we need to come to a conclusion."

Brawn did speak out, however, about comments made by British Labour politicians in recent days calling for the race to be called off - and dragging drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button into the row.

"I find it very frustrating that politicians in the UK were saying that we should withdraw once we got here," said Brawn. "Why didn't they say that beforehand?

"For somebody to try and make Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton determine the foreign policy of a country, is wrong. We know there is a lot of that stuff goes on, but with calm collective analysis after the event we will have a look at it and see."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh echoed Brawn's comments that Labour leader Ed Milliband and shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper's calls to cancel the Bahrain GP were ill-timed.

"I don't think it is helpful to wake up this morning to hear we shouldn't be here when we are already here, so I endorse what Ross says," he said.

Speaking about the battering F1's image may have taken this weekend, Whitmarsh said that teams only had a responsibility to try and do the best job they could on track.

"I think F1 is pretty good at being critical of itself," he said. "I think we have had two great championships in the last two years. The last few years have had some fantastic races, and you think of the races we have had this year - they have been fantastic and that is what we can deliver.

"The sport is a great sport, and that is what we focus on. We are an international sport, we will go around the world, we will race in different places and people will express opinions about where we race and how we race, and why we race.

"But ultimately we are competitors in the F1 world championship. We turn up and we do our best to try and win races. Certainly last week [in China] was incredible - and those are the things we should be celebrating.

"There are lots of other things going on in the world that are tragic. But they are not in our control. Our control is making sure that we race well on the circuit."

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