Skip navigation
Formula 1 100

The Bahrain decision: time to act

The Bahrain Grand Prix is back on the 2011 Formula 1 calendar – despite widespread opposition from the teams – following a decision that is likely to pull Grand Prix racing into new, unnecessary turmoil.

Following a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council on Friday, it was decided that the Sakhir circuit will host its race on October 30, the date previously taken by the inaugural Indian GP. That race is now likely to be shifted to December, although whether it will take place on the 4th or the 11th of the month has not yet been revealed.

The decision has been met with dismay by civil rights groups following the political unrest which first spilled into the streets in February, causing the postponement of what was supposed to be the season-opening race.

In the run-up to Friday’s meeting, the Bahraini government lifted the state of emergency that has existed in the island kingdom since protesters were killed during the February riots. The move has been considered a cynical tactic to allow the FIA to reschedule the race. Media reports suggest that unrest continues to be rife in Bahrain – even while the FIA meeting was taking place in Paris.

f1  The Bahrain decision: time to act

Once again, F1 has found itself caught up in a political storm far beyond its narrow borders. The teams, which have individually made it clear they would not be in favour of racing in Bahrain this year, now face the prospect of a nervous and tense weekend at Sakhir. The focus of the world will be on them – but not for the reasons they would wish.

Within the sport, the decision will have a huge impact logistically – in terms of insurance issues for the teams, media and personnel travelling to the race, and also because of the wide-ranging implications of the season finishing so late in the year.

But the damage for the sport will stretch far beyond logistics and practicalities. F1 will face worldwide condemnation for putting its own (financially driven) agenda ahead of ongoing abuse of human rights.

f1  The Bahrain decision: time to act
Bernie Ecclestone with Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Isa Hamad Al Khalifa

The teams are contracted to go – but they don’t have to. As we have reported in our July issue, the question of F1 being for sale and the looming negotiations for a new Concorde Agreement have sparked new debate about the power struggle in F1 between the FIA, rights holder CVC and the teams.

Motor Sport believes this decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP on to the 2011 calendar is the perfect opportunity for the Formula One Teams Association to take a stand. The teams should speak as one and boycott the Bahrain race. This is the acid test for the unity of an organisation that has held true since its formation.

If the teams and manufacturers are serious about taking control of their own destinies (not to mention a higher percentage of F1 profits), the time has come for them to prove it.

If the Grand Prix takes place, protests are guaranteed. The result of that could be the worst possible scenario. F1 could end up with blood on its hands.

Add your comments

100 comments on The Bahrain decision: time to act

  1. Simon, 3 June 2011 15:15

    Thank you for taking a clear stand on this issue rather than sitting on the fence.

    Every team, driver and sponsor should speak out against the human rights abuses committed by the Government of Bahrain (who are, let’s not forget, also the people who run and organise the Grand Prix).

  2. Aaron James, 3 June 2011 15:22

    Couldn’t agree more. I will have nothing to do with this loathsome regime by supporting it’s Grand Prix.

  3. Steve Appleton, 3 June 2011 15:26

    As a lifelong supporter of F1 I am deeply disappointed by the FIAs gutless and money driven decision to stage the Bahrain GP in the face of human rights abuse.

    Well done Motor Sport for telling it like it is. F1 will be castigated for this and it will no doubt spark more unrest among the teams and the FIA. It is indeed time for FOTA to stand up for what’s right.

  4. John Winfield, 3 June 2011 15:32

    Motor Sport is right; Formula One should not be going to Bahrain. Let’s hope the teams act as one and boycott the event.

  5. Adrian Muldrew, 3 June 2011 15:33

    Personally I am getting tired of hearing what a good job Jean Todt is doing (sadly not least from people of whom you would expect rather better judgment, such as the normally sound Nigel Roebuck), and this illustrates why. It was fair enough that after the confrontational Mosley era, a period of silence on the FIA’s part was welcome, to paraphrase Clement Attlee. But, with respect to Formula One, that period has now extended to nearly two years of dithering, invisible leadership, U-turns and bad decisions such as this. I also never liked the fact that Todt was too much in hock to certain figures in Middle East motor sport, in my opinion, and I think that is being reflected now. It’s interesting for example that in the weeks preceding the decision one of Todt’s vice-presidents and erstwhile key ally, Mohammed ben Sulayem, reportedly went so far as to threaten to withdraw his support and challenge Todt in 2013 himself. Hmm….
    As for Todt’s acquiescence to Bernie Ecclestone and FOM in this matter, he was given the perfect opportunity to put some distance between himself and them when Ecclestone hurled abuse at him a few weeks ago, but he has even flunked that open goal. Yes, it was good that he rose above the temptation to respond in kind, but that didn’t mean he had to roll over and die in the face of FOM’s clearly absurd demand to return to Bahrain this year. This decision is wrong from all angles, be it the disruption to tam personnel or the further disrepute into which F1 will fall in the eyes of the watching world. Pathetic, Monsieur Todt; pathetic.

  6. rturcato83, 3 June 2011 15:36

    I’m with motorsport and against this decision done by fia and bernie.
    also, in 2012 we have 21 races, 3races every month. I think is too much. people could start to stop to watch every grand prix every saturday and sunday…this is not a soccer championship I think.
    what do you think Damien?

  7. Ray T, 3 June 2011 15:40

    In this decision, F1 has officially hit bottom as a sport.

    I call all fans and media to boycott the event. I call on all fans of F1 to write letters to sponsors of F1 and auto manufacturers to tell them that this is not acceptable. Go to Bahrain, and I don’t buy your stuff.

    Letters like this, in enough numbers, have a huge influence on events currently dictated by greedy little pathetic “men”.

  8. Michael Spitale, 3 June 2011 15:40


    We all know what makes Bernie and the F1 circus go around…

    FOTA will act tough but will break down in the end. Bernie will show them the “light”… gotta think this also has something to do with Bernie’s asking price to Rupurt Murdoch’s crew…

  9. Damien Smith, 3 June 2011 15:52

    To rturcato83:

    Yes, I quite agree. Twenty-one races is too many. Glad I don’t work for a team…

    And Michael Spitale, on your point regarding FOTA acting tough and then breaking down: I hope you’re wrong, but I fear you might be right. Whatever, they need to respond quickly.

  10. rturcato83, 3 June 2011 15:58

    thanks Damien

  11. Alastair Warren, 3 June 2011 15:59

    Another wrong turn by the IAM was getting into bed with the FIA round about the time Mosley was all over the press for all of the wrong reasons.

    Perhaps the membership of the IAM will rise up and get their organisation separated from the FIA over this?

    If it’s good enough for FIFA……

  12. Adrian Muldrew, 3 June 2011 16:13

    Another aspect of this “decision” is the gross unfairness to the Indian GP organisers, irrespective of Vijay Mallya’s previous comments that the FMSCI would be okay with the date switch. He made those remarks before the teams’ views to the absolute contrary became clear, through statements from Ross Brawn et al.
    If the FIA and FOM proceed with this boneheaded move and if FOTA do indeed then organise some sort of boycott, it’s India which could suffer the consequences, because it’s the December date which the teams will seek to boycott, as the key issue to them will not be the political one, but the practical one. Boycotting Bahrain on 30 October will be irrelevant to them if they still have to travel to India in December, which Brawn for one is already more or less on record as saying point blank they will not do.
    So it’s the Indians who will pay the price, in F1 terms, for the unrest in Bahrain. What a great way to kick off F1′s relationship with them. So much for key emerging markets – and ones that for once have a fair chance of proving genuine too, in India’s case. Nice work, Bernie and Jean.

  13. Hamfan, 3 June 2011 16:20

    It will certainly be interesting to see if the teams, or some of them, are strong enough to stand up to this.

    Or, cynically thinking, is this just an FIA ploy? – they know the teams are likely not going to go anyway, but by scheduling the race the FIA cronies can save face and stay matey with the rich princes in that region. A silly passing of the buck.

    Is it me or is the FIA getting more and more like FIFA? This sounds even more like FIFA than FIFA is…

  14. Simon Panton, 3 June 2011 16:54

    I hope FOTA will boycott the Bahrain GP, if only in support of the 28 members of Bahrain International Circuit’s staff who were arrested and tortured by the Bahraini authorites, apparently for cheering when the race was originally postponed.

    Of course, Bahrain isn’t the only abuser of human rights to have a Grand Prix, but the calendar would be a lot shorter if we excluded China, USA, Turkey…

  15. Greg, 3 June 2011 16:54

    I agree with Motor Sport, I certainly will not be watching the race if it should go ahead.

  16. Conor O'Sullivan, 3 June 2011 16:58

    It’s the inevitability of the decision which saddens me. Bernie in particular has never been interested in the politics of a situation if there is a buck to be made so this surely comes as no surprise to anyone with any memory of how the sport has historically been run. Motor sport was one of the last international sports to leave South Africa during the apartheid years so this is familiar territory for the sport. Dont hold your breath regarding action from FOTA either. They have led the troops up the hill a number of times before only to walk back down again with their tails between their legs after being outmanouvered by Bernie. Hard to blame him for treating them with comtempt but it’s now got a lot harder to justify an interest to my friends in a sport which has thrown away it’s soul in so many ways. Looking forward to the street race in East Jerusalem in 2013 – should be fun. Just count those shekels Bernie and Jean.

  17. Stuart, 3 June 2011 17:03

    It’s going to be tricky for the teams to unite and boycott Bahrain, when Maclaren is part owned by the Bahraini government.

  18. Lewis Lane, 3 June 2011 17:18

    So it’s a fait accompli. Bernie wants it, the FIA have bottled it and the teams will back down. The fans will have no bearing on it (when have we ever been paid any attention?).However, there is one last hope.I wonder how the big name multi-nationals that pay the bills feel about having their name associated with this, do they have the nuts to speak up or take action, or would they just allow their teams to run without wording at best instead of applying real pressure?Or would they just take the “…nothing to do with me guv…” approach?

  19. mohannad, 3 June 2011 18:41

    We hope to attend the world to see Formula One race in Bahrain and the world to see how pretty she is and what was done by a terrorist group to tarnish the reputation of sectarian Bahrain this beautiful country which welcomes the world We hope to visit us everyone

  20. Ken Wright, 3 June 2011 18:43

    The championship title will be decided before this race. Any manufacturers who decide not to go to Bahrain will have made a good marketing decision. Sponsors should think seriously about associating with this event.

  21. Steve mason, 3 June 2011 19:09

    I didn’t expect any other decision really, but i’m still disgusted. I will not be watching the Bahrain GP. I hope Motorsport Magazine does the right thing here and let the FIA and Bernie Shecklestone know where they can shove their GP. Horrible.

  22. Alex, 3 June 2011 19:32

    I didn’t expect this decision.

    bye bye F1.

  23. isa, 3 June 2011 19:32

    Hi everyone
    I understand ur worries are genuine but I live in bahrain and we in bahrain have been witnessing all the protests. Unfortunately the media has displayed a onesided incomplete image of bahrain. The protests in bahrain were not peaceful and were carrying a foreign agenda . our government tried to call them for dialogue but they refused. I feel what happens politically shudnt effect the sports and also bahrain has always hosted an excellent race every year I think we should be given a chance to prove ourselves once again

  24. Arif Khalifa, 3 June 2011 19:45

    Bahrain, have been always safe, we have no problems at all, F1 we welcome you with warmest greetings.

  25. F1 Fan, 3 June 2011 20:20

    I luv all the comments here saying not to have the race in bahrain because of human rights.. well in that case lets not have it China, Brazil and every other place that has a high case of HR abuse or crime…

    Sports is meant to get ppl together wether its footbal, rugby or any sport…what i see here is ppl trying to widen that.. shame really…

    And if all the people and the magaize who comminted on bahrain n really mean what they say lets see something being done about Brazil & China..


    P.S- I’ve lived here for 30 odd years and was there for the 1st race and enjoyed it the same way the rest of the ppl in bahrain did.

  26. Mark G, 3 June 2011 20:46

    I just want to add my disgusted voice to those already muted. Watching whoever was in Bahrain saying everything was back to normal reminded me of those in the Libyan regime who said that ‘everything is fine, normal, everyone is happy’. The FIA and others in ivory towers who probably don’t even know (care) what’s going on in the Middle East and North Africa need to hear the voice of conscience, our voice. No to Bahrain, no to complicity of murder, torture, arbitrary detention and suppression of basic human rights.

    A 28 year F1 fan.

  27. dave cubbedge, 3 June 2011 20:47

    USA? Human rights abuse? Simon, are you referring to incidents that happened 100-200 years ago like slavery and the persecution of the Native Americans? And if not, what eutopia do you hail from?

    We may not be perfect, some individuals here probably take delight in abusing their fellow man, but our government has NEVER condoned any such actions and if fact goes well out of their way to expose and persecute such people. Have you heard of Osama bin Laden?

  28. Nasreen, 3 June 2011 20:53

    Why is everyone all of a sudden so into morals and politics when it came to Bahrain?

    Were the oppressed protests in Paris a reason to stop the race in Magny Cours in 2005? The protests were for similar demands, discrimination against police brutality, poor housing, poor wages etc. The protesters got killed when storming the police there too!

    If the claim is that there are human rights violations in Bahrain well then human rights violations go on in many places, and take many different forms, and many of the countries that F1 currently visits don’t exactly have spotless human rights records.

    Take China for example.. There have been human rights violations in China too but nobody really talks about them in when it comes to F1.

    Stop the hypocrisy, people! Bahrain deserves to host F1.

    Those who want to boycott may do so, their loss.

    About the teams not going, well they are legally obliged to go and race (concorde agreement)..

  29. Bahraini, 3 June 2011 21:14

    Congratulation Bahrain will host F1.

    This is a good news for Bahrain. I hope it help Bahrain to recover from the fake revolution.

  30. J Habib, 3 June 2011 21:41

    Seems to me all those who condemned FIA decision to have Formula 1 in Bahrain in October 2011, got no clue about what has taken place in Bahrain and are just basing their one sidedness on the false accusations and negative press Bahrain government actions against the so called “peaceful demonstrations”. These demonstrations were far from peaceful and were disruptive to the daily life of citizens, life threatening to the Asian expats and underhanded in trying to topple a regime in favor of a Shiite led revolution that would have dragged the country into another Iran state of ignorance.. So much false accusations and fabrication took place and shockingly the blood thirsty media just absorbed it without questioning. Bahrain is a peaceful country with a government dedicated to the betterment of the quality of life of it’s citizens . Putting Bahrain back on Formula 1 agenda is a great step and contrary to what this article is saying , even the opposition have welcomed Formula 1 back in Bahrain and No there will be no life threatening issues with visitors and maybe for those interested beyond tossing their seemingly humanistic views about what’s going on in Bahrain while sitting behind their PC screen, it would be an opportunity to see it as it truly was, a shameful unpatriotic acts.. We are glad it is over now and look forward to welcoming Formula 1 and the race teams back to Sakhir track race. We are all enthusiastic about it and fully supportive of our government and confident of their sincere intentions for all concerned. Thank u Eccelstone for your confidence and trust.

  31. Tim Burton, 3 June 2011 21:44

    I have a feeling we will not see a race in Bahrain this year. Does all this have more to do with the financial implications of either side cancelling the race i.e. Bernie’s hoping Bahrain will do it, and Bahrain’s hoping Bernie will do it. I would be interested to hear what others think – I love the racing but the commercial side of it just gives me a headache.

  32. Tim Burton, 3 June 2011 21:45

    By the way, I think it’s a terrible decision too.

  33. Adrian Benjamin, 3 June 2011 22:04

    Shameful, lets see if all those fine upstanding Sponsor’s put up with the ‘tainting’ of their Brands.

    Let hope that sense prevails and FOTA work to overturn the FIA decision

  34. Arwa Sayyar, 3 June 2011 22:16

    If you think that what happened in Bahrain during Feb and March were just peaceful demonstrations then you’re obviously misinformed. It started as peaceful but it took a destructive turn as it progressed. We the Bahraini people lived in terror during that time, because those rioters were violent. They killed innocent Asians, kidnapped and tortured people. Burned and vandalised public and private property. Blocked major roads and highways. Refused repeatedly calls of dailogue with the crown prince for genuine reform. They collaborated with Iran and Hizbullah to serve Iran’s agenda. Everyone who believes that F1 shouldn’t take place in Bahrain wouldn’t have allowed such criminal activities to take place in their own countries and would have demanded from their governments to take action! The Bahraini government had every right in protecting the majority of Bahraini citizens from those criminals and every right in restoring law and order. Please keep politics away from F1 and all sports. Bahrain and the people of Bahrain deserve to have F1!

  35. Steve mason, 3 June 2011 23:58

    Dave Cubbedge! you really need to read some books brother. American foreign policy has been responsible for some of the most revolting things in this world for the past 50 years. Your government DOES condone horrendous actions and only expose’s the people its not currently favouring or need anything from. Like Saddam. Arm him one minute, invade the next. Its a trade war and , like the British government, America is in up to its neck. Osama was a side show, a token bad guy needed to begin this revolting “war”.

  36. Alastair Warren, 4 June 2011 00:28

    Listening to Radio 4 and the World Service, they’ve had Damon Hill and John Watson commenting on this.

    Isn’t it just another stunt to keep F1 in the media spotlight?

  37. bdoor ahmad, 4 June 2011 04:03

    Please look for facts then judge, only if u want 2 know the truth about Bahrain, u might be interested in the followings or

  38. Bonedwarf, 4 June 2011 04:22

    The teams won’t boycott. Whitmarsh is head of FOTA and his team is bought and paid for in part by the very same Bahrain authorities abusing human rights.

    I am disgusted. Bernie has the sheer temerity to say this isn’t about money…

    Stretching the season to December is ridiculous. When I mentioned this to my wife, she said the mechanics should strike, and I think that’s a great idea.

    Just a few years ago they’d finish in October. Now we’re almost to Christmas.

    I really, really hope the teams, even just SOME of them stand up and refuse to go, but I really don’t see them doing that because for all their bluster, they will never, EVER stand up to Bernie.

    They should be ashamed of themselves. All of them.

  39. chris, 4 June 2011 05:25

    Nigel [that one] raised the point a few weeks ago and anyone with the remotest sense of morals would be aware what was likely to happen and would be totally disgusted by this- but lets not kid ourselves,
    [1] it was expected
    [2] political manipulations? some individual from Germany [via Austria] did so in the 1930′s – F1 ignored the plight of South Africa for many years – there were races in Cuba in the 1950′s one of which Fangio was kidnapped
    [3] who is trying to fool who? not about money? on dreadful circuit that F3 would struggle with in an environment unsuitable for F1 – well – what can one say
    [4] very disappointed for India – and wonder why they don’t use their financial clout to argue this?
    [21] um slightly too many – and what hypocrisy – i don’t have the figures to hand but going to an environmentally friendly formulae? with so many fly-away circuits and one of the biggest polluters? um flying…that’s bright

    terribly disappointed but sadly realistic

  40. Mario Carneiro Neto, 4 June 2011 06:54

    Let’s remember that Bernie partially owns the Bahrain circuit.

    I hope this sparks a change in ownership & a better Concorde agreement so that there are better seasons ahead of us without this BS.

    What a terrible decision. And they are basically destroying any chance of a good US GP too by sticking it right in the middle of the summer when Texas will be at over 40 degrees centigrade. Let’s see that happen smoothly..

    21 Races? What a damn circus this has all become….

  41. Tala Fakhro, 4 June 2011 08:17

    The “civil rights” groups that have been lobbying against the return of F1 to Bahrain are misleading you and the international media about what is happening in the country. Many of these so called activists have not been here throughout the protests and have on at least two proven occasions perpetrated outright lies. In one case they published photos of an alleged “martyr”, that they said was killed by security forces, only to have the person in the picture come forward later, alive and well, acknowledging that the picture was faked. Don’t believe everything you read or see – these people are only out to ruin the reputation of the country and destroy its economy. F1 will get a glowing welcome from the hundreds of thousands of Bahraini citizens who love their country and do not wish to foment dissent, unrest and sedition.

  42. Tiggs, 4 June 2011 08:55

    I think its far more unhealthy and damaging for the prospects of the sport not to have the race.

    Bahrain, already having had a miserably economic standing was already at a disavantage, let alone not having the their cheif tourist attravtion event.

    If there needs to be any moral or political stances to be made (which in my opinion, there isn’t, but then im not as easily swayed by WSJ, NYT, and their white man guilt manifesto) they need to be made somewhere else. Off the track.

  43. Lewis Lane, 4 June 2011 09:59

    Let’s be honest about this, F1 has a history of visiting “controversial” for lack of a better word, locations as Chris pointed out. Pre Mandela’s release Kyalami, post Tiananmen China, etc, and soon Russia which doesn’t appear to have been whiter than white under Putin. McLaren won’t boycott for the Bahraini connection mentioned by Bonedwarf, and if there’s a championship still up for grabs neither will anyone else at the front. Strikes me that the justification that F1 is basically non political doesn’t square with the fact that invariably the government aided circuits with the most money are ususally in the places with the worst human rights records. It didn’t stand up with the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and doesn’t now. When is F1 going to realise that it’s often used to “legitimise” regimes in a PR stunt. Presumably it doesn’t care – so the people in charge are either stupid, callous or greedy. Or all three. However, if it only went to “squeaky clean” locations there wouldn’t be much of a calendar (“dodgy” dossiers spring to mind…), but surely when violent protests are still going on as the decision’s made somebody would see the bigger picture and not just the Dollars? Wouldn’t they…?

  44. dave cubbedge, 4 June 2011 14:29

    Gee Steve, excuse me for being ignorant. I’ll take living in this hell-hole called the United States over any other nation in the world. And just so you all know, where I come from is not my choice. I was born here from, God forbid, American parents. And when you do find that ‘unbiased’ history book, please let me know so I can read it.

  45. David Meadus, 4 June 2011 14:38

    Yet again, another disappointing decision by the powers that be. However, Formula One, whether we like it or not, is more a business than a sport. It makes us appreciate Silverstone, Monza, Monaco and Spa all the more…

  46. Phil Smith, 4 June 2011 14:41

    I’ll wager most people on here who spout on about Bahrain have never been here. Along with Oman, it’s the most liberal place in the Middle East. I live here. So-called pro-democracy rioters murdered traffic cops, drove over their bodies repeatedly in SUVs, dragged people from cars and beat them. While doctors worsened wounds for the benefit of Western news teams, and paramedics assaulted Sunni Pakistani workers. One poor guy had his tongue cut out. The government had to step in and sort it out. And they sorted it out a lot nicer than Libya, Syria, Tunisia, China, the list is endless. Don’t believe the leftist bias of BBC or Sky. Want to hurt the Shias in Bahrain? Boycott them. They’ll be losing their jobs, not Government employees. If the Left-wingers had any brains, they’d be Right-wingers, as Ann Coulter sort of said.

  47. layla, 4 June 2011 17:08

    Please dont boycott Bahrain F1 GP

  48. Mike Brook, 5 June 2011 04:29

    Hey Simon if we are going to exclude countries that are guilty of human rigts abuse’s then it would be a very short calander, like zero.

  49. chris, 5 June 2011 06:12

    Mario- yes i had forgotten that- [Bernie part owns Bahrain circuit[ and Lewis/ Mike whilst you are quite right there isn’t a country in the world without blood on its hands, but there is something about the sheer hypocrisy of this decision, its like invading another country with huge oil reserves and saying its for the greater good that we destroy mythological weapons of mass destruction and don’t seek to gain from this – mmm right…yes- of course-

    But the decision has been made, i wonder what we, the fans, want to do about this?

  50. Andrew, 5 June 2011 10:51

    Like many others I am sickened by this decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP; even though it was entirely predictable.
    More to the point what can now be done about it?
    Two thoughts come to mind:
    1) to lobby the BBC not to send its team to the country, or transmit other race coverage.
    2) to appeal to the drivers themselves not to support the event, it is already clear that many of them are, at the least, “uncomfortable” with the decision.

  51. dave cubbedge, 5 June 2011 13:38

    …and yet since the overthrow of the Shah, Iraq provides oil to nations other than the US, so just exactly what did we gain there other than ridding the world of an opressive dictator?

    …and for all of you who now think I’m one of the ‘ugly Americans’, I was never in favor of the war and the administration that supported it.

    Getting back to motor sport, I really don’t care where they race, it isn’t up to me. If it were, the circus wouldn’t be going to China, Bahrain, Malaysia, Turkey, Abu Dhabi or India and it has nothing to do with politics. It, for me, has everything to do with the spiritual homes of motor racing. Call me an old timer, but I miss racing at Imola, Watkins Glen, Long Beach, Zandvoort, Kyalami (minus apartheid), the Nordschliefe, Paul Ricard, Reims, Rouen…. I realize several if not all of these are impossible, but this current regime running F1 has no care in the world for the historical home of F1 – they only care about money, and there are people sick with money in the desert.

  52. A.S.Gilbert, 5 June 2011 15:05

    Can’t think of any humanitarian reason to give Bahrain their date back
    Bernie is being the ultimate clinical democrat here despite the optics. They had a date, they get a date.
    It’s not a standard this regime applies on the rebound, and the association F1 derives, does not flatter.
    If the teams/sponsors really object, maybe they’ll race white cars, drivers with white livery, and helmets. Great TV that, and the 300 or so in the stands will remain bewildered too.

  53. James, 5 June 2011 15:33

    @ Dave Chubbedge – please sit down, you’ve said enough. As an american, I can always spot a Fox news devotee by their clear-eyed assessment of U.S.foreign policy. Your inclusion of Long Beach as a spiritual home of motor racing has done nothing for the ‘stupid yank’ stereotype.
    Thank you.

  54. john miller, 5 June 2011 16:30

    “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,”

    Absolutely spot-on.

    Of course, it’s a quote from dear old Max. We all remember how he bitterly raged against the introduction of the Bahrain GP don’t we?


    Well, perhaps it wasn’t a dictatorship in those days.

    Ah, what’s that? “The 1990s Intifada” you say?


    *(Actually, Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, but that’s a bit too complicated for the mainstream media)

  55. Doris Martin, 5 June 2011 17:32

    I am delighted with the Grand Prix decision that Bahrain will be able to host the Formula 1 in October. We (citizens) are glad with the positive action. Life is back to normal and its time to regain our economy.

  56. Lewis Lane, 5 June 2011 17:50

    Let’s face it, unless civil war breaks put the race will happen, and it can (and will) be debated up to and after it – and to absolutely no effect. The world can complain as much as it likes… F1 has never let the outside world affect it – and isn’t about to start now.Nobody in F1 will “…want to upset our hosts..” will they? If politics and sport were intertwined, there would be very little sport, so there should be a seperation,but i fear that this is one of the rare exceptions where it does matter and F1′s brought trouble upon itself – and that’s what bothers me because it’s the sport i love. Dave Cubbedge is right about the tracks and history. F1 sold it’s soul a long time ago, and this could be the first sign that the debt is being called in…

  57. Dave the Expat, 6 June 2011 04:31

    An appalling decision by the FIA and FOM.

    Hats off to Mark Webber for being open and honest with his thoughts and speaking against the establishment.

    It’s so refreshing when drivers don’t blithely follow the party line.

  58. Garry Honiball, 6 June 2011 08:53

    As a South African this issue makes me bristle. Our GP was taken away for political reasons. While I, as a motor racing fan, always hated that fact, the decision was the right one. How is Bahrain different?

    FOM and the FIA seem hell bent on staging this GP and mere “facts of reality” wont deter them.

    I agree with Max Mosely, F1 is siding with a Government which sees no problem KILLING its own people. Great Bedfellows Bernie.

    As stated previously I am South African. Which means i have a sporting nemesis in anything Australian however, kudo’s to Mark Webber for speaking his mind. F1 is conspicuously short on spines it would appear.

  59. Lewis Lane, 6 June 2011 09:09

    Yep, it’s good to know that somebody in F1 lives in the real world, i think that’s what separates Mark from a lot of his peers… As John Miller says – don’t remember Max saying anything when the deal was first done. I sometimes get the feeling Max has spent the last year or so trying to make himself look like the good guy ready for another run at the presidency…

  60. Heather, 6 June 2011 11:20

    I agree with the comments saying that the F1 race should be staged in Bahrain, without a doubt. I have lived in Bahrain for many years and it is DIFFERENT from Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. The Crown Prince of Bahrain is a moderate and decent man who tried desperately to get the opposition parties to enter into talks for many weeks. They would not ‘come to the table’ and there was no choice left but to clear the protesters from the streets. I see that the Spanish police have been doing the same thing this week! The media has been dreadful in their reporting about Bahrain both in the UK and overseas in general. CNN actually apologised on air about some of their coverage a couple of days ago. Our economy has suffered hugely and F1 will help get the island back on its feet for EVERYONE’S benefit. Lessons have been learnt on both sides so let us have a chance to show the world that it is a great place to visit.

  61. Dana Al Asfoor, 6 June 2011 12:17

    We the Bahraini citizens couldn’t be more thrilled to have the F1 back in town. Please try and follow the truth of our situation that is slowly being revealed and the deception brought on by the activists, most who are being kept in UK by the British taxpayers! We have suffered too much already at the hands of the so called “opposition movement” and we are now back to our normal peace loving island that was almost destroyed by a few agitators, hate fueled activists and the International media.

  62. Ben G, 6 June 2011 15:51

    They shoot people in Bahrain.

  63. PeteH, 6 June 2011 17:51

    I see members of the Bahrain administration are posting here using Western pseudo-names.

  64. Lewis Lane, 6 June 2011 17:58

    Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, PeteH… I’ve been surprised at apparently how few female fans comment on here (where are you ladies?), and i never expected to suddenly find them in Bahrain…

  65. Heather, 6 June 2011 19:46

    Hi Pete H, Forgive me if I have misunderstood you, but there are many ladies here in Bahrain who support F1. Our Ambassador to the UN, Huda Noonoo is a WOMAN – surprised. We are very liberated here and that is what some of us are trying to get across to you. No pseudo names here – good Irish gal here who first landed on the island in 1968!! Ancient I know, but the brain still works!!

  66. Hoot, 6 June 2011 21:13

    Thanks Damien for having the courage to speak your mind now, ditto Webber, instead of first waiting to see which way the wind was going to blow.

  67. dave cubbedge, 6 June 2011 22:01

    as earlier comments on this topic go, there is a ton of stereotyping going on with respect to nationalities. if things are indeed what you say Heather, then let the race go on. we are all prisoner to the mass news media from a to z and have to look long a hard to find unbiased truths. and if things aren’t how you tell it, then shame on you for believing the propoganda being spewed out. we all can only learn from events in the past and present in hope to make good for the future.

    as young adults back in the 60s my brother and I would often listen to Radio Moscow and other shortwave news stations, have a good laugh, and then get the real story from the BBC World Service. and many Brits on here will probably lambast me for saying that, but between the Voice of America and Moscow, it seemed the BBC was coming from somewhere near the middle and maybe closer to the truth. We both felt that the other two were talking from extreme sides of the cold war argument.

    and I must admit, due to dealing with our own economic nightmares here in the midwest USA, I haven’t really thought much about the troubles in the Mid-East beyond hoping our soldiers come home safely and that the countries affected somehow get it together. so I am admittedly naiive to the details of what is going on in Bahrain, other than what CNN tells me. And I don’t watch much CNN at all!!

  68. Lewis Lane, 7 June 2011 06:16

    I’m glad that we have the view from the inside from Heather – any debate needs all sides of the argument. Heather, i’m aware of the large percentage of female race fans around the world, it’s how few seem to comment on here that i find unexpected.Are you saying that Bahrain is, has been and will remain peaceful,and that the perception is down to bad reporting? And, as you’re in the country, can you tell me how Bahrain itself justifies having a GP with seemingly very little motor sport history? If it is settled, then the race should go on (despite the stupid schedule). But December…??

  69. Mario Carneiro Neto, 7 June 2011 06:32

    Sorry, but holding the race to prove to the world that Bahrain is safe is just as politically charged a reason as not to run it at all. To me what’s wrong here is the excuses being used. if you wanna run a race because it’s going to make you money, fine, do it, it’s not like F1 has been considered noble for quite a while now, but don’t give any BS excuses. I don’t think the race should be run ever (along with China, Abu Dhabi, Valencia, Turkey, Singapore, India…), so running it this year is just adding insult to injury.

  70. Mario Carneiro Neto, 7 June 2011 07:18

    New Bernie quote, from today, I guess:

    “The money makes no difference. It is there because the Bahrain people asked us to keep it. If there is no race, we will return it, but money is not the issue here. It is whether it is safe and good to have a race that is the issue. We can change this Oct 30 date by having a vote by fax if necessary. It can be done, and fast.”

  71. Hamfan, 7 June 2011 09:10

    The reason you’re only hearing from one side of the divide in Bahrain (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re real people, not government flunkeys spewing propaganda) is because the other side, the MAJORITY, are properly poor and oppressed – they don’t have the access to MS, and if they did they’d hardly have the education to be taking part in English language forums. If Heather is truly Irish it’s a coincidence because the NI situation, Protestant (dominant minority) vs Catholic (oppressed MAJORITY), is the closest we in the West have had to the Sunni vs Shiite situation there. I suspect Heather has married into the former, as she seems to be giving their version of the situation/events. In any democratic election in Bahrain the Shiites would walk into power, and Heather and her ilk know this full well.
    I’m hardly surprised the Sunnis are hanging on to the F1 dream as a symbol of ‘everything’s OK here, move along’, or that F1 has a strong following among the population (what else is there in Bahrain to follow? Nothing like a decent footie league, that’s for sure – camel racing, perhaps? Darts and snooker for the ex-pats?) – and remember, they PAID big time to get a foot under the F1 table. This is not a place with motorsport in its blood – it’s a despotic hell-hole, Vegas without the fun. F1 shouldn’t be prostituting itself in such places ANYWAY (yes, China too) – the murdering activities of the government are just the icing on the cake.

    I’m pretty sure the race won’t go ahead.

  72. Lewis Lane, 7 June 2011 10:03

    If the reporting over here’s been “dreadful” , i wouldn’t be surprised to find the Bahraini media being “sanitised” domestically. I don’t know which is the case, and if we have got it completely wrong at this end, let’s go ahead but all the time there is any doubt, this race should not happen. The truth is arguably somewhere in between, but the “Arab Spring” situation and volatility transcends sport, and i’m as opposed to some of the cynicism involved in this decision as i am the decision itself. Bernie’s view that sport is apolitical is patently wrong in this case; since when has F1been either a sport, or non-political? Bahrain is somewhere i feel has no place in F1- along with Singapore, China and Abu Dhabi it has no racing history to speak of and bought its race purely for propaganda and tourism purposes. I don’t get the determinaton at the top to get this race on -nobody jumped through hoops to save the French GP which should be a permanent fixture to me… Maybe F1 will learn from the impending backlash to be more careful with its venues – but i doubt it.

  73. Dana Al Asfoor, 7 June 2011 10:06

    What the world needs to be reminded of is the 50 years of Bahrain’s outstanding social and economic development under the Ruling family since Independence, the decade of regionally unprecedented political reform under his majesty. Bahrain’s contribution to the International corridors of power, at the UN and the World Bank, all done despite poor natural resources and constant attempts by Iran to claim sovereignty. Dig deeper, find out what Bahrain is really all about. We don’t need to be plunged back in to the dark ages because of a few disgruntled “victims”! I’ve never witnessed such a conspiracy theory! Didn’t think lies could override the truth these days. Its more than time to move on. What has happened to real journalism to find the real story! There’s a real scoop here. I’m a shia villager Bahraini that was educated in the government system as were my kids but I have not waited to receive hand outs … I work hard for a living and appreciate what we have in this country. Why stay if you’re so discontented .. there always Iran!

  74. Dana Al Asfoor, 7 June 2011 10:18

    We’re not amongst the greats of the old motor sporting days but why should we be excluded on that basis? We’ve been trying our best to move on, we are the most liberal place in the Gulf, the most democratic but we’re new and as you can all see …. opposition is flowing each and every which way! Every country has its problems, that doesn’t mean the entire economy should be brought to a halt because of a few extremists but there are those so desperately trying to ensure that happens. Why on earth would any one want to see a country fail? It only hurts those already hurting!

  75. Esther, 7 June 2011 10:35

    @ Heather and Doris.
    Shirley, Muriel, Agnes and I support the GP too!
    We’re massive fans and everything’s cool here.

  76. Lewis Lane, 7 June 2011 11:04

    France, Argentina, Mexico,San Marino, Long Beach, Watkins Glen, Zandvoort, South Africa, Austria,Sweden etc, all locations with strong ties, lost because nobody showed the willpower to keep and upgrade them or was prepared to invest enough to line the coffers of F1. Why should that happen so that other places can make statements of grandeur to the outside world? Why should they be excluded for the sake of propaganda?All of these new circuits seem to want to go bigger and better than the previous one. Bahrain has a GP solely because it was prepared to pay for one (along with some others), and that has nothing to do with racing in general and F1′s background.

  77. Dana Al Asfoor, 7 June 2011 14:18

    Well we all have a right to voice our own opinions. Shame you think its all about money for the GP in Bahrain. Just shows you and everyone else out there how very little you know about my country but then we’re only a dot on the map and why would anyone outside care about it. Never mind anyone else!

  78. Lewis Lane, 7 June 2011 15:15

    Dana, i don’t think it is that people don’t care about your country. I suspect it’s the opposite for a lot of people. If the situation in your country were to be anything like it’s been reported, then this GP could risk being an inflammatory event that could potentially be a flashpoint for making any situation worse. No sporting event is worth being a focus for political upheaval, whether it be peaceful or violent, wherever it is.F1 is not bigger than peace. And let’s not kid ourselves about the money thing. Ever since F1 fell into the hands of venture capitalists, the move to massively expensive, government aided, ever bigger, ever more grandiose venues has accelerated, because venture capitalists exist solely to make money. It’s what they do. And Bernie/CVC have to be paid. If Bahrain hadn’t built such a track it wouldn’t have a race, it’s as plain and simple as that.This has taken the sport away from the traditional hosts and tracks where the sport’s heartland is.

  79. Rich Ambroson, 7 June 2011 18:53

    I’m late to the thread, but I must add my agreement to Damien Smith’s post, and thanks for his and Motorsport’s stand on this issue.

  80. Rich Ambroson, 7 June 2011 19:10

    I’d also like to thank Dave Cubbedge for his comments regarding the USA. No, no nation is perfect, but our nation is by no means an abuser of human rights. China? Yes, for sure. The USA? No more than any other European nation.

    Sorry, I know this is an F1 forum, but as one who knows much of the history of this country (including its mistakes), it angered me to see the misguided comments regarding the USA. Thanks, back to the regularly scheduled commenting.

  81. Adrian Muldrew, 7 June 2011 20:41

    Flabbergasted tonight by the latest reports of what actually happened at the World Council meeting. In a report mainly focussing on Ecclestone’s sudden backtracking on the decision, the Daily Telegraph quotes Jean Todt’s own recollection of the meeting thus:
    “Todt could not confirm whether the WMSC vote, conducted by a show of hands, was unanimous. “I couldn’t say precisely,” he said. “Was it 25 hands? 27? I saw all the hands up and said, ‘Ah, unanimous agreement’.”
    That is a staggeringly complacent and incompetent way to chair such an important vote, not least considering that unanimity is required to get the championship calendar changed. Todt is losing credibility by the day.
    Ditto with his response to accusations that the FIA’s report on the Bahraini situation (entrusted to the equally less than credible Carlos Gracia, a clown of the first order, but another of Todt’s long-term stooges) was a whitewash. Todt’s reaction? “Remember when Bin Laden was killed? Big story here. Two weeks later it was all Strauss-Kahn. Things keep moving.” What the FIA President seems to be saying is that he is ill-informed, but couldn’t care less.
    Come on, Motor Sport, please live up to your usual high standards and admit you got it wrong about this guy. What initially seemed like an admirable laissez-faire attitude has been exposed as a mask for a man who could run motorsport teams very well but is way out of his depth as an international administrator.

  82. Dana Al Asfoor, 7 June 2011 21:31

    Oh yes … our few activists are having a field day with the press! Its quite mind boggling to hear their rhetoric about our “human rights abuses” … still no one appears to be hearing what the majority of the citizens are saying. The ignorance of everyone is truly unbelievable. Of course 95% of the bahraini people must be fabricating the stories of the violent protesters that brought our country to a stand still, caused mayhem and destruction to the streets, brutally murdered the police, Asians and anyone that looked vulnerable and stood in their way. What a crazy deceitful world we live in. hey guys … people are not being shot at or murdered by the police, no one is out demonstrating.. where is all this taking place .. certainly not in my country! Lies lies and terrible shocking lies but I do believe the truth will surface eventually…. a bit like the weapons of mass destruction!

  83. Russell Hall, 7 June 2011 22:02

    @ Adrian Muldrew. Spot on. Plus, I can’t believe Todt allowed the second son of the present King of Bahrain,Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa, to have any part in the discussion or vote at the WMSC meeting. Allowing him to vote shows a complete disregard for the accepted rules of corporate governance. Todt should have insisted Khalifa had the decency to recuse himself. Todt is implicit in this travesty and has created a monumental mess. As you say Adrian, Todt is completely out of his depth here.

  84. dave cubbedge, 7 June 2011 22:05

    thanks Rich – if we ever should meet face to face, hopefully at a race track, the first beer is on me.

  85. dave cubbedge, 7 June 2011 22:11

    and James, I don’t watch ANY of the network news programs, and I’ll post whatever I want here! If the editor doesn’t like it you won’t see it.

  86. Rich Ambroson, 7 June 2011 22:11

    Dave, my pleasure. You’re out in the Midwest? One of the tracks on my list to see/attend a race before I die is Road America. Hopefully for the Brian Redman event out there. You buy the beer, I’ll buy the brats!

  87. Tony Geran, 8 June 2011 07:16

    Firstly let me say that F1 should not be going to Bahrain until that country’s troubles are resolved.

    I think the FIA’s decision is all to do with the exercise of power, “it is our championship and you teams will do what we tell you”. To my cynical eye this is another flame to be added to the fire of war between the FIA and FOTA. We’ve had the four cylinder turbo engines, the 21 races next year and now Bahrain. This is all about politics and the new Concorde agreement and Todt is trying to do what Balestre and Mosley did before him and exercise power over those who have their livelihoods invested in the sport.

  88. PeteH, 8 June 2011 10:25
  89. Lewis Lane, 8 June 2011 11:05

    Looks like you could be right, Tony – as PeteH has stated, Max and Bernie both say it won’t happen. So are M and B plotting to get Max back in (agreeing with each other, destabilising Todt’s position…)? Just a thought… A sensible decision (if true), but has it been taken for the sake of F1 power politics instead of the Bahraini people?

  90. Heather, 8 June 2011 12:28

    It is sad that F1 won’t be coming to Bahrain and it looks as if those against the idea have won! I don’t understand the FIA and FOTA politics but I do live here where things seem pretty stable at present. The drivers who talk about human rights abuse seem fine when it comes to racing in China and other countries who have had awful human rights track records. Why pick so heavily on Bahrain – is it because the Royal family are looked upon as oil rich fat cats – not much oil here I am afraid! Or is it because Mr. Moseley was not invited to the GP last year? I shall retreat into my corner now!

  91. Hamfan, 8 June 2011 13:34

    Just out of interest, do you get to vote in elections in Bahrain? And if there’s little oil, where does the money needed to pay off the FIA come from? And those protestors, what exactly, in your opinion, are they protesting about?
    Re China – you have to pick fights you can win, that’s life – doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what you think is right elsewhere when you think you can change things for the better. The only people who can effect change in China are the Chinese themselves, and they might well do so one day. And the China GP is a very, very small – negligible – event as far as China is concerned (do many there really want it?) and certainly isn’t a focal point for a democracy movement and symbol of oil-wealth decadence and inequality as it is where you are. If Chinese pro-democracy protestors did ever plan to use the GP, thus risking a government overreaction and bloodbath for the innocent, I’m pretty sure F1 would postpone going there too. Nobody likes to see blood on the streets. Do they?

  92. PeteH, 8 June 2011 13:43

    Interesting list when one looks at countries hosting a GP:

  93. Adrian Muldrew, 8 June 2011 13:47

    Heather, it is easy to distinguish yourself and one or two other sincere pro-Bahrain GP posters on here from the glut of nakedly obvious propagandists who have emerged out of nowhere to flood this thread in a way that would be hilarious if it wasn’t all so sad. Please believe me when I say I do genuinely empathise with your sincerity, even if I cannot sympathise with your position (although I certainly agree with you about racing in China and have always held that view).
    I concede that it is not easy to tell from the outside exactly what is happening in your country of residence right now, but I thought Rob Widdows made a very good point on this week’s videocast when he said perception is crucial. That may not always be fair, but it is a practical fact. The very least that can be said about the Bahrain GP is that it has been caught between that fact and the quite extraordinary incompetence of Jean Todt, Carlos Gracia and the FIA. If – if – it is the case that Bahrain is now both a fit and proper place to resume F1 racing, it would have been far more astute for both sides to concede that it was not realistically possible to rush back this year, a) because of the likely reaction of the wider world, fair or unfair and b) because of the huge practical hurdles facing the teams and their staff in doing so (undoubtedly a fair consideration), and to work instead towards a calm reinstatement next year. Todt has handled this so badly that even a 2012 reinstatement cannot possibly be calm now, but will attract renewed media controversy. That’s where you should pin the blame, Heather.

  94. Hamfan, 8 June 2011 15:33

    Good points Adrian, but is Todt perhaps playing a longer game? Maybe, as a true racer, he wants to move away from these F1-for-money tracks but can’t come out and say so (let’s be honest, the FIA is just as corrupt and weird as FIFA or the EU in terms of tin-pot ‘delegates’ from piddling countries with no car manufacturing industries or motorsport heritage having just as much voting power as places like Japan, germany and the USA). He’s effectively left it to the teams themselves to decide, as he must have already known they would. He’s not stupid. I can only hope there’s more controversy around certain other dud races on the calendar, especially the empty grandstand ones, so we can finally push back against the idiotic, money-grasping expanded F1 monstrosity that Max and Bernie have created.

  95. Adrian Muldrew, 8 June 2011 17:54

    Hamfan, I think you credit Todt with too much sophistication. When it’s conspiracy theory vs cock-up theory, almost always the reality is cock-up. This one looks that way and frankly if Todt engineered it deliberately then it only makes him even more incompetent, because one comes back to Rob Widdows’ point about perception. You say JT must have known the teams would decide, but that implies he consciously pitched the sport into a PR disaster, knowing the teams would intervene to make the *perception* even worse, adding farce to controversy as the FIA was left to look uncertain of its own rules and out of touch in the wider world. By accident or design, it won’t do. Todt has been torn apart by the media and rightly so. The Telegraph’s Tom Cary called him “clueless during this saga, unsure of the rules of engagement and badly lacking in both judgment and authority.” The Independent’s Richard Rae weighed in: “There was almost universal condemnation for the extraordinary performance of Jean Todt”, adding “it has not helped Todt’s credibility that his son Nicolas’s ART Grand Prix team.. is 30% funded by the Crown Prince of Bahrain.” Rae may have pinpointed rather less noble reasons behind Todt’s stance than the ones you proferred, Hamfan. They highlight concerns about his MidEast conflicts of interest that I raised in an earlier post. It puts into perspective your otherwise accurate remarks about the FIA’s “tinpot delegates,” as it was they who secured Todt’s election. As Ari Vatanen said, “the big and professional clubs who were backing (me) represent over 80%” of FIA members.

  96. Hamfan, 8 June 2011 20:11


    I see what you mean about JT’s connections and ‘interests’ in the Middle East, especially concerning his son’s business backing. Bahrain seems to have bought itself a lot of F1 clout (JT, Bernie, Mclaren, etc) which kind of goes to show that greed begets strange bedfellows. You are probably right, I just thought Todt simply couldn’t really be as incompetent as it appears he is… Maybe he is. The journos should keep digging, as they’ve done with Blatter.

  97. Heather, 10 June 2011 07:52

    Adrian, I do agree with what you have said. Perhaps after all this it is for the best that Bahrain does not host the GP this year but hopefully we will have that chance in 2012. I don’t know enough about the sport to say much about Jean Todt but it doesn’t seem that he is doing a very good job!

  98. Adrian Muldrew, 13 June 2011 00:41

    Hi Heather. When I listened to the remarks of the Bahrain Circuit chairman, Mr Alzayani, in finally calling off this year’s race, I was pleased that he said amongst other things that it was important to cancel efforts for 2011 in order better to focus on 2012. That pretty much echoes my view earlier. I earnestly hope that, next year, the sincere GP fans in Bahrain such as yourself, Heather, will be in a position to get your race back and, as part and parcel of that – and more importantly overall – that you will have lasting peace in your country.

  99. Eyad, 16 June 2011 09:52

    Trying to change people’s minds that have already been set and decided is no easy task but we have to keep trying to get the truth out there.

    When you say “citizens of Bahrain are being abused and are demanding human rights” you need to be precise as the opposition are only 25% of the population which is contrary to what you have been told. Human rights? I do not belong to an elite family, nor do I work for the government nor do I have my own business. I am employed like most people are and have gotten to where I am through my own hard work. The human rights abuse comes from the opposition by blocking roads, vandalizing properties, taking over hospitals and making them as quarters for political meets and speeches.

    We have rights in this country and are enjoying it to the fullest thank you. As for the few that have a different agenda and focused of propaganda, I say to the rest of the world to please get all facts before judging as the rubbish circulating and what is being believed in this day and age is unbelievable and sad.

    Please use your heads and don’t just believe anything said to you. Videos are being shown making it look like we are in a war zone. If you see the same video but in its entirety you will see the truth and how its all an act

    F1 enthusiast

Similar content


How will Mercedes manage its drivers?


Paul Fearnley thinks that Niki Lauda has the right experience to help manage Hamilton and Rosberg this season


Simon’s snapshots #1: 1977 British GP


A series in which Motor Sport’s features editor raids the loft to salvage grainy fragments from his racing past


Team-mates battling in Bahrain


Lee McKenzie breaks down the inter-team battles that developed through the Bahrain Grand Prix



Damien Smith

Read Damien's profile and more …