The Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 marks a new low in the fortunes of Formula 1. Never has the cynicism of its rulers been laid bare so clearly. A virtually empty, bland circuit with a sprinkling of spectators surrounded by tanks and troops to prevent the populace from getting in! No atmosphere — no passion — no romance.
Let’s be honest, Grand Prix racing has not always had clean hands — races took place under military juntas in Argentina, Franco-era Spain, and South Africa during apartheid. The difference was that there were sizeable crowds and the locals were interested and enthusiastic, whatever their politics. What we have now is the clearest possible demonstration that fans mean nothing to Ecclestone & co. Countries such as Holland and France, etc, are denied participation while the teams have to visit places where no one cares — or almost no one.
I think we have reached the tipping point of Ecclestone’s custodianship of F1 and I would like to kick off a campaign to see Jonathan Palmer groomed to replace him. Palmer is a hard-headed businessman but at least he understands how to modernise without destroying the underlying essence of the sport and circuits.
David Munro, Wirral, Cheshire