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Criticism galore for Bahrain Grand Prix’s reinstatement

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The World Motor Sport council voted to get the Bahrain Grand Prix re-instated in a move that was praised by Bahrain’s prince but met with sharp criticism elsewhere.

The Bahrain Grand Prix now pushes the Inaugural Indian Grand Prix to the end of the season. The Indian Grand Prix will now be held in December andd Bahrain Grand Prix takes the 30th October slot.

The Bahrain Crown prince praised the move :

“Having the race back in Bahrain has, indeed, significantly unified the people of Bahrain in this period,” Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa said

“Their love for their country and caring for its interest has motivated them in supporting efforts to bring the race back to Bahrain this year,” he added.

This is ofcourse in stark contrast to what the rest of the world feels. We had recently reported on the democracy protests in Bahrain, what we didn’t report (as we aren’t a political blog) was how the protests were crushed and citizens detained in the kingdom state. Its no wonder that the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix has people up in anger all over the Internet.

Former FIA president Max Mosely was vocal of his criticism and hoped that the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix would be reversed. In a piece for the Daily Telegraph, he wrote :

“Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions” Max Mosley wrote.

“If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If Formula 1 allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime’s guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalize unarmed protesters.”

“Having carried out these horrific acts, the Bahrain government wants to clean up its image. That’s where the grand prix comes in. By running the race they hope to show the world the troubles were just a small, temporary difficulty and everything is now back to normal.

“By agreeing to race there, Formula 1 becomes complicit in what has happened. It becomes one of the Bahrain government’s instruments of repression. The decision to hold the race is a mistake which will not be forgotten and, if not reversed, will eventually cost Formula 1 dear.”

Red Bull driver Mark Webber was also critical and till now one of the only f1 drivers who seems to have come out openly against the decision, He wrote on his website :

“In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in the hope of being able to reschedule it in 2011.

“It would have sent a very clear message about F1’s position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues.”

“Like it or not, F1 and sport in general isn’t above having a social responsibility and conscience. I hope F1 is able to return to Bahrain eventually but now isn’t the right time.

“As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country.

“I don’t understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that.”

For better or for worse, formula one is motivated by money,  of course we overlook that 30% of the McLaren formula one team is owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain.

However its (commercial interests) working in the other way also, countless petitions have been started to pressurize Red Bull and other consumer dependent companies to pull out of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

FOTA is another key player in this mess, however FOTA’s current president is from the McLaren team who are owned partially by Kingdom of Bahrain, so expectations are low from them.

At this point, it does not seem like we have seen the last of this matter. Its likely to snowball into something huge in the coming days.

Photo : Soman, under CC Attribution/Share Alike 2.5

Written by Formula One Addict

June 5th, 2011 at 8:15 am

Force India’s Adrian Sutil faces criminal assault charges

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Formula One World Championship

Force India’s Adrian Sutil is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Renault F1’s owner Eric Lux (CEO of Genii Capital) has decided to file a criminal complaint against Adrian Sutil for causing Grievous Bodily Harm.

In the after party of the Chinese Grand Prix, Adrian Sutil while celebrating with friend Lewis Hamilton apparently injured Lux with a champagne glass (broken ?). This didn’t go well with Mr. Lux who will now be suing Sutil.

Lux’s lawyer released a public statement :

“In view of the recent events which occurred in Shanghai on 17 April, Mr Eric Lux has decided to file a criminal complaint against Mr Adrian Sutil for physical assault and grievous bodily harm”

“As soon as the complaint is registered, the Fration Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the team Force India will be notified.

“Furthermore, please note that Mr Eric Lux does not exclude commencing an action against any other persons involved in this matter.”

Adrian Sutil too issued a statement saying that the actions were unintentional :

“During a private event, there was a very unfortunate action by me in which I hurt another person completely unintentionally.

“I regret the incident and have apologized accordingly.

“Since this was a private event and not directly related to Formula One or my job as a Formula One driver, I ask for understanding that I will say no more on this incident.”

Meanwhile Force India felt the need to clarify its position on the matter :

Force India Formula One Team is aware of the statements made by both its driver, Adrian Sutil, and Mr. Eric Lux of Genii Capital, pertaining to events following the Chinese Grand Prix.

Although the team continues to monitor the situation, it remains fully committed to its driver line-up at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Remains to be seen what will happen to their lineup if Adrian Sutil is arrested or summoned during the race weekend.

Written by Formula One Addict

May 17th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Take part in the final Lap contest by Tech1today !

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Our friends over at Tech1Today (Lenovo in partnership with McLaren) have brought yet another great contest with some prized McLaren merchandise on offer for you. Take part in the Victory Lap sweepstakes by answering one simple open ended question.

The question you have to answer is :

“What’s your favorite Formula 1 moment?”

image

You have till 31/12/2010 to answer the question and take part in the sweepstakes. Who knows you might be lucky enough to walk away with some great McLaren merchandise.

Click here to take part in the contest

Written by Formula One Addict

December 28th, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Ferrari welcomes move to bring back team orders

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Stefano Domenicali

The FIA took a surprising decision recently placing back team orders into legal territory and quashing its earlier judgment classifying team orders as break of the sport’s law. One may recall that the laws were passed after Ferrari was slammed for using team orders in one infamous Austrian Grand Prix in 2002. Ferrari is the team most involved in the whole controversy over team rules (ok, maybe its McLaren, but Ferrari is more officially reported, atleast by the British press 😀 ).

Stefano Domenicali welcomed the FIA decision to lift the ban on team orders calling the ban pointless hypocrisy. A statement on  Ferrari’s media website read :

“Finally, we have said goodbye to this pointless hypocrisy,” said Domenicali to the waiting microphones of several TV companies that greeted him at the end of the meeting.

“For us, Formula 1 is a team sport and we have always maintained that viewpoint and it should be treated as such. The regulations already include points that prevent certain situations being managed in an extreme manner. The decision taken yesterday is very important.”

Interesting viewpoint there. I am not sure I fully agree, team sports doesn’t mean that you should manipulate finishing order.

Written by Formula One Addict

December 12th, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Red Bull takes the constructor’s championship as four way title clash is setup

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Fernando Alonso 2010 Brazil

Red Bull may have clinched the constructor’s championship at the race in Bahrain but the race for the driver’s title is still hot, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso heads into the final race of the season with a 8 point lead. Red Bull’s Mark Webber trails Alonso’s 246 with 238 points closely followed by teammate Sebastien Vettel on 231 points and Lewis Hamilton with his 222 points is a distant fourth but is still in contention for the championship.

Now to move onto the math :

The following is what each person gets in the final race :

Position  1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
Points 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

 

Fernando Alonso – 246

Mark Webber – 238

Sebastien Vettel – 231

Lewis Hamilton – 222

Now let us imagine that Mark Webber comes 1st , even then Alonso can clinch the championship by coming second. So essentially for Alonso its all about taking that second place and he gets the driver’s championship. But the Spaniard’s job would be made tuff by the roaring Red Bull of Sebastien Vettel who would be aiming for the championship himself.

He would want Alonso to be at best in 6th place and himself to win the race to get the crown. This also brings in the question of team orders. The Red Bull team brushed aside concerns with team principal Horner saying that the drivers will know whats best for the team.

‘We will back both drivers equally. I am sure they will do whatever is right for the team, I have zero doubt about that. There will be no team orders, and I don’t think there are any difficult decisions to be made,’ said Red Bull team principal Horner.

‘If they find themselves in a situation where one, because he can’t win, needs to help the other then I can only imagine that they will do that. It will have to be a driver decision.’

Don’t know about you but sounds like tacit agreement on team orders to me, of course Red Bull will deny that.

The chances for Lewis Hamilton are very bleak, I don’t really think he will get the championship.

Whatever be the case , the final race at Abu Dhabi promises to be a thriller and you all should go to a sports bar to watch it 🙂

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