Start, Bahrain, 2010

Letter to Ecclestone urges Bahrain cancellation

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: A Facebook campaign to cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix receives media attention.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Open Letter to Mr. Ecclestone – Bahrain F1 (Facebook)

This ‘open letter’ on Facebook has been given some media coverage but at the time of writing it only appears to have just over one hundred supporters.

Alboreto, 10 years since his death (La Gazzetta dello Sport)

“In 1984 the work of Zanon and Enzo Ferrari was masterful. There was the resounding victory at Maranello and victory in the third race in Belgium, eighteen years after the previous Italian, Scarfiotti had won a Formula 1 race in the red car.”

Banked turn among Abu Dhabi tweaks (Autosport)

“The slow left handers at Turns 13/14 will be made into one sweeping corner to try and improve the flow of the circuit near the end of the lap.”

Indian GP organisers promise glitch-free race (Indian Express)

“The organisers ?ǣ Jaypee Sports International ?ǣ asserted that the track was almost ready and only the finishing touches are being given. Jaypee is one of India’s leading players in the field of real estate. They also unveiled the logo of the Buddh International circuit, which will host the race on October 30 this year.”

Mark Webber?s Q1 Problem In China: Was It In The Tyre Warmers? (The Race Driver)

Red Bull, I understand, use some MA Horne components (the programming boxes, for example) but in the main have remained loyal to KLS to the point that KLS even declares on its website that they ??won the 2010 World Championship with Sebastian Vettel??. Could it be that the set of Pirelli primes were insufficiently heated for Mark Webber?s final Q1 run in Shanghai due to problems with the carbon elements?”

Happy Birthday Felipe! Best wishes from Montezemolo, Domenicali and Alonso (Ferrari)

Fernando Alonso: “I think we make up a good duo, respecting one another and working well together, in the knowledge that the interests of the team come before those of the individual.”

Thanks to ed24f1 for the tip

Grand Prix posters (Doctorvee)

“These official posters are a brilliant example of how to turn the marvel of grand prix motor racing into something sanitised and watered-down.”

Formula One Fantasy – Mercedes? Nico Rosberg (F1)

“I would like to see electric Formula 1 cars – with big power.”

Marshaling it up: Q&A with Bob Keating (Times Leader)

“On Saturday at the end of the day, myself and the other ‘First Responders’ sat with the track safety guys running the lift trucks, and we planned out how we would handle any multiple car incident. Good thing we did!”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

SeanG shares some of his handiwork with a camera:

I started shooting at Montreal back in 1993 and its been a lot of fun. Back then it was much more expensive too. Lots of film with bad images.

My favourite image is one I captured back in the days of film. I bring this up only to suggest that a lot of money (and expensive equipment) isn?t needed to have a good time with F1/motorsport photography.


From the forum

Here’s an interesting question from Driftin: Has any driver ever had a perfect weekend?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to MarkD!

On this day in F1

Jenson Button won the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 61 comments on “Letter to Ecclestone urges Bahrain cancellation”

    1. Oh I already see Alonso getting murdered for his birthday wishes (that he probably didn’t even write himself).

      Lets see how the Abu Dhabi tweaks turn out. I’m not quite convinced yet, but they seem determined on improving the track so I won’t judge before I see the final result.

      1. He probably didn’t write it but he probably did give it the ok before was public. Ferrari really aren’t doing him any favor’s with that kind of PR.
        Anybody want to start a facebook campaign to show the public’s attitude over F1 going of terrestrial tv??

    2. PJ did you ever contact FOM about your posters? did you get any response?

      Abu Dhabi- i think they should also make the hairpin before the massive back straight a postively banked hairpin. drivers could take a variety of lines through it.

      also, how do i ‘like’ that open letter to ecclestone?

      1. You have to ‘like’ the page “Open Letter…” first. Then you can ‘like’ the actual letter.

        1. You also have to hope the “like” button works (it didn’t when I tried it).

          1. Same for me, somehow.

      2. Who are we to judge who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ and ‘evil’ in this conflict?! Of course ‘our’ governments wouldn’t react by breaking human rights, but just look at protests in Greece, Portugal and even the UK or here in Germany, how violent it sometimes gets there and how violently the police sometimes strikes back.

        I already wrote a lengthy comment on that situation so I’m going to make this a bit shorter. When I was in Bahrain once it seemed like a lovely place and the people I got to know there and who I now asked about the situation felt basically the same way. They live there for a long time already and they say they did not encounter violence, extreme inequality or even breach of human rights ever before the protests began. They rather described the monarchy as ‘kind’ and socially aware, giving out benefits to Bahrainis out of the oil money. The lifestyle was very western and open. They don’t understand where the protests came from but I don’t want to agree with them that its all made up by Iran because the information they get is probably biased.

        So I conclude that if we have the GP no matter what, we support the monarch, if we don’t go there no matter what, we support the protesters. F1 should do neither, the only basis for a decision should be if it is safe to go there, if the people who work in F1 will be able to spend a week there unharmed and if the situation is safe and stable enough to draw crowds to watch the race there (because if nobody goes there the monarch has to put out all the money, taking it away from his people which would be unfair to the protesters).
        And if someone was brave enough to communicate it exactly this way, all the specuation and arguments would stop, because then everything would be clear.

        1. And I’m sure you were talking to half of the population who live in the invisible slums, are marginalized due to their religion, and live on less than $2 per day?

          No? Wow – shocking. So you went to a country and saw wealthy people, and it was a lovely place. Do you think there isn’t income inequality? That all the slums and nearly-starving foreign workers are just imagined?

          Come on. If you want to argue that we shouldn’t be involved or it isn’t our business, fine – but don’t delude yourself into thinking everything is fine because you went and talked to happy people and they were happy.

          I spent a couple of weeks with some wealthy guys in Mumbai, and one of them swore up and down that there wasn’t a poverty problem in India, and felt quite put-upon that the rest of the world considered it such an issue.

          Yeah, right.

        2. “The lifestyle was very western and open.” – in many non western countries this nowadays is not always taken as a good thing. Beyond the creature comforts like internet and electronics most of these countries are now very suspicious of western culture.

          “So I conclude that if we have the GP no matter what, we support the monarch, if we don’t go there no matter what, we support the protesters.” – on this scale it is easy to support the protesters. Afterall the monarchy has had its chance and from the protests is not sharing the goodies that equitably.

          “They don’t understand where the protests came from” – how can you have taken their word if even after residing in the country for so long they were no better in understaning the root cause of the problem? These guys are clearly not in touch with reality in the country.

      3. I think I said this elsewhere in the comments (only getting to view F1F on a computer now, busy day!) that I emailed all the teams, and tweeted them all as well.

        So far from the emails I’ve gotten an “We’re out of the office right now” from LRGP and a generic/automated response from Sauber.

        On the Twitter front though Red Bull and Force India retweeted! :)

        As for FOM, I can’t find a ‘generic’ email address on, as they want people with general stuff to write to them instead.

        1. As for FOM, I can’t find a ‘generic’ email address on, as they want people with general stuff to write to them instead.

          As good a sign as any that F1 is out of touch with the modern world, has no concept of new media, and does all they can to avoid contact with fans. A company their size should at the very least have a generic contact form on their site.

          1. Red Bull don’t have one either, so I just sent an email to the local branch in Ireland. Thank god for Twitter though! :)

    3. the circuit is already wide enough! they need to get rid of 5/6 to make a proper overtaking spot at 7.

      1. It doesn’t work like that at all. Because of the minimal run-off on the outside of the hairpin, the chicane becomes a necessary evil. In order to remove the chicane, the run-off would need to be extended – which can’t be done, because there’s a grandstand right behind it and a theme park behind that.

        The chicane is, however, one of the narrowest points on the circuit. It the circuit there was widened, the racing line through it would change and the corners would become a little faster.

        1. i just think they should use the left-right-left loop immediately after the fast turns 2&3, which would slow the cars down probably just enough to allow them to bypass the chicane.

    4. I totally agree on the posters link, PJ should be designing the official F1 graphics!

      I enjoyed the Nico interview. So far I like the line of questioning this year much more than last year’s official driver interviews. Now I’m really hungry for some spaghetti bolognese though.

      1. I’d love to work in F1, be it doing posters for FOM, something for Red Bull, McLaren or any of the teams. :)

      2. But then we would not be allowed to download them!

    5. I’m not really sure I understand how this whole banked turn concept is going to work. Turn 9 at Abu Dhabi is the second half of the switchback, so the corner can’t really be banked without affecting the previous corner. Unless they’re talking about the section after it and planning to bank the run down to the bottom corners. That would make more sense.

      But I’m not expecting anything dramatic. I’d be very surprised if we can actually distinguish the banking during the broadcast. It almost certainly won’t be NASCAR-style banking.

      1. The key limiting factors to regrading Turn 9 are:

        1. The location of the preceding Turn 8. Regrading could only begin at the exit tangent point of Turn 8
        2. The existing linkage of Turn 9 and Turn 21, which allows alternate layouts to be run outside of Grand Prix weekends. It would be assumed that the track owners would want to maintain this link, and
        3. The FIA regulations (which allows a maximum camber of 10% or 4.5 degrees),

        With consideration to the limiting factors, I don’t think the banking on the corner will exceed much more than 5% (or 2.25 degrees), which certainly will not be noticeable on TV. 5% banking would lift the outside edge of the corner by about 960mm compared to what it is now (assuming the track is 12m wide, and that the existing adverse camber through the corner is 3%).

        I don’t think the banking will improve overtaking opportunities though. If anything it will just enable the cars to attack the corner at a slightly higher velocity, than they can now.

        The banking would be limited to I’d say about 5% (or 4.5 degrees), partly because of the preceding turn 8, partly because the linkage, which links turn 9 to turn 21 to allow multiple track layouts to be run outside of Grand Prix weekends, and partly because of the FIA regs.

        1. 1. The location of the preceding Turn 8. Regrading could only begin at the exit tangent point of Turn 8

          Unless they want to remove both corners and turn them into one banked curve. Which I think would be popular with the fans, simply because it makes that entire section faster. And while turns thirteen and fourteen are converted into a sweeper, the passing point at twelve will be preserved.

          2. The existing linkage of Turn 9 and Turn 21, which allows alternate layouts to be run outside of Grand Prix weekends. It would be assumed that the track owners would want to maintain this link

          To the best of my knowledge, neither of the shorter configurations have ever been used. The V8 Supercars are the only series (that I know of) that uses a shortened version of the circuit, and they cut left halfway through the “reverse Eau Rouge” in Sector 1 and then follow the circuit around the remainder of its full length.

          3. The FIA regulations (which allows a maximum camber of 10% or 4.5 degrees)

          Except in special conditions. The circuit owners can request special permission to exceed any of the parameters outlined in the FIA rules on circuit design. I believe Indianapolis may have had to do it.

          That’s why I reckon this would be a good solution. The first half of the circuit now becomes the second half and is run backwards. The first corners – the first kilometre, really – is banked, and the escape road under the grandstand at the current turn eight gets used for racing (and because the corner before it is slow, there’s no danger of a Webber-esque Valencian accident). And in the new final sector, the cars climb the steep side of the artificial hill as they rapidly change direction.

        2. How were the cars able to run at Indy if this is the limit on banking?

          1. Event organisers can apply for special permission to run banking (or any other parameter) that is outside the rules set forth by the FIA.

          2. The FIA makes an exception for speedways.

            From the FIA Appendix O to The International Sporting Code

            In curves, the banking (downwards from the outside to the inside of the track) should not exceed 10 % (with possible exceptions in special cases, such as speedways).

            1. Just out of interest, the curves at Indy have a banking of 9.2 degrees (at least according to wikipedia), which equates to a slope of 20.4%

            2. If only F1 raced on a speedway…

              Why F1 should race on ovals

            3. The occasional banked corner I am in favour of, but I don’t want to see racing on Ovals. Why? Because I absolutely despise the Safety Car. I consider every race it influences inherently false. The Safety car is worse than the DRS in that regard – much much worse. On an Oval the Safety car is unavoidable.

    6. I recently heared that the 2013 cars are going to be producing more than 800 BHP. I have now stopped being at all concerned with our new turbo electric overlords, an for one, welcome them.

      1. From what I heard, the new turbo engines will be around 650 BHP and the extra 150-200 will be from doubling or quadrupling (hopefully) KERS power.

        1. But KERS will most likely be rationed out slightly differently. Every time a driver crosses the start/finish line, his KERS device will not be fully replenished. Instead, he’ll only get a 50% charge. He can either use it immediately, or take another lap and get a second KERS refill to have a full charge. The idea is to promote the strategic use of KERS.

          1. Won’t it be a matter of the braking for one lap just not generally being enough to get them to fill the batteries with more than 50% of the engergy?

            Now we already see that teams instruct their drivers to tune down or ramp up the degree of recharge they get during the race, depending on circumstances.

      2. Honestly I understand very little about technical regulations, and also engines, and I don’t know what actually will change in terms of performance. I’ll wait and see.

    7. The problem with Abu Dhabi was that they just got the flow of the track all mixdd up. Fast flowing curves leading up to right angle turns, then chicanes leading straight into a u-turn. Quite often you ended up witn cars able to follow the cars ahead, building up momentum and also the anticipation of the viewer, then abruptly hit a dead end.
      My fear is that even KERS and DRS will not even be sufficient to prevent a stalemate. The fast wearing tyres can give some room for some changes in position.
      Waste of money kind of track. Great view though if you are only interested in looking up instead of at track side happenings.

      1. Uh … what? Based on what you’re saying, it apparently doesn’t matter what the circuit configuration is – the drivers will never be able to pass one another.

        1. I said the tyres might help. KERS will cancel out. DRS as we know, will only be used on one straight. The track was so uninspiring last time out that I can’t even remember what direction the first corner goes. The real high speed section is a curve so I doubt DRS can be used there.

          1. I’m sorry, but you’re still not making much sense.

            1. Makes perfect sense to me. Try reading it.

          2. DRS will probably be used on the mammoth 1 km straight that leads onto what is effectively a u-turn

    8. That Indian GP article says grandstand seats will cost about 35000 INR (a bit over 700 USD) How does that compare to the global average?

      After reading Rosberg’s interview I want to know this, do tyres these days really have less grip than those of the ’70s? A smaller grip to downforce ratio (if there is such a thing) I can understand, but lower absolute grip?

      1. Tyres of the 70s had a greater contact patch and were like glue after they had warmed up. These current specification tyres are like plastic, and more prone to evaporating when hot.

      2. 35000 INR is closer to 800 USD. I think its very over priced. A weekend grandstand ticket at Spa is 400 USD, and I remember spending close to 400 USD on the grandstand tickets at Malaysia as well.

      3. That Indian GP article says grandstand seats will cost about 35000 INR (a bit over 700 USD) How does that compare to the global average?

        Uh, you’re only reading half the article. While it does say grandstand seats will start at 35000 INR, it also says this:

        “We can’t disclose the pricing but it would be moderate. It is in the final stages and it will start from Rs 2500 onwards. We have tied up with the for the ticketing,” Samir said.

        2500 INR – probably a general admission pass (I believe there are spectator banks planned, like the one on the outside of turn nine in Melbourne) – equals just 56 USD.

        1. That’s still a heck of a lot of money in India.

          1. India’s GDP per capita – the average income per person – is $3290 USD, which means the $56 USD entry-level ticket price accounts for 1.7% of their yearly income, and the equivalent of one week’s pay. Uttar Pradesh (the state Buddh Iinternational is in) is also one of the country’s richest states. Likewise, Greater Noida (the city the race is in) and Gautam Budh Nagar (the district of Uttar Pradesh that Greater Noida is in) are two of the richest and fastest-growing regions in the country, so they have an individual GDP that is higher than the national average.

            1. 2500 INR isn’t a bad price to be honest. Tickets for the IPL cricket matches going on right now start at over 1500 INR depending on the city you’re in.

        2. but the article doesnot have the full details as they have said that there may be concessions for students. And f1’s major target in India are youngsters who are in large numbers as students in the area of the race that is Delhi NCR….

        3. But wats not in the article is the fact that they are considering a concession for students. They form a major part of the youth in Delhi, which is an educational hub as well.
          Yes it is large amount when u see the general statistics but India has a parallel black Economy that camouflages their real earnings. that is the secret of us Surviving the recession.

        4. Uh, you’re only reading half the article. While it does say grandstand seats will start at 35000 INR,

          I know PM. I want to know how that compares to grandstand seats elsewhere. If ticket prices started at 35000 Rupees that would be insane. Didn’t Keith post an article last year saying that the most expensive grandstand seats were at Shanghai at about 800 GBP?

    9. Felipe’s birthday brings me to a trivia question:

      Has any driver ever won a race or atleast got a pole on his birthday?

      1. Off the top of my head, I remember Ralf Schumacher getting pole in France 2001. His brother Michael joked that this was his birthday present before winning the race.

        It would make an interesting blog entry to figure out all the birthday winners and pole-sitters.

    10. lots of anti-government parties are trying to force the cancellation of formula 1 in Bahrain and to them that will be a political win. F1 in Bahrain is mature enough to know by its own the real Bahrain & real Bahraini people who always seek to show the real image of Bahrain. not with the political parties that follow the irani regime so that they can get more presence in the area & control the whole world economy if they took over Bahrain. whom ever came here and deal with the real bahraini’s will see how pure hearted we are and how bahrain’s are much more open minded. for us F1 has to happen this year as its a true statement that we are here and we can work out everything. Bahrain faces all difficulties and we can over come them with no issues.

      if F1 didn’t come & the event is scarpered for ever then its a statement that the formula 1 (FIA & FOM) show that the wrong party has won & that they don’t believe/they didn’t know what Bahrain really means …

      1. Surely the violence is enough to cancel the grand prix? To be honest i wouldnt miss the race there as it is one of the worst tracks in F1.

        1. Maybe we should take the time and see who started the violence before pointing fingers.. Who attacked the police first? Who tried so hard to intimidate them to get the response they wanted to get International support? Were they really protesting for Bahrain’s benefit or were they being controlled and supported by political foreign interests..

          The forces acted in self defense. What people fail to see is that they were defending themselves against the violent attacks which lead to a few unfortunate deaths. The government then took the right decision to withdraw the troops and push for the peaceful solution of dialogue. But the opposition did not want reforms, they wanted bigger political goals, this is where the protesters lost. They became desperate and their true colors came out as they became violent. The Bahraini people were terrorized for a whole month as they did whatever they want freely because the government were giving them a chance and wanted dialogue. We stood patiently respected them as they demonstrated complete anarchy. Then it became unbearable and people were begging the government to intervene and do something.
          This was when the government did the right call and brought in the GCC forces which are like the NATO forces to protect the country and not to attack the protesters as they wrongfully thought.
          This is a media war as well, the opposition have spread lies to the International media and they in turn are ore interested in their story than ours and sadly continue to do so. This is why they sent the letter to Bernie Ecclestone. They did they same to Obama, Oprah, you name it.. Just to spread lies to get support to overthrow the government and commit treason. The majority in Bahrain do not agree with them at all and stand by the Bahraini leadership and will not allow anyone else to govern us! You don’t hear about the silent majority because the International media chose to mute our voices, but we are making our voices loud and clear.
          Bahrain is now safe and back getting back to normal. We feel safe enough to go out, something we didn’t feel when the protesters were out. People talk about the rights of the protesters all the time but what about our rights? We also share about 80% of their demands but do not agree with their violence. They spoke in the name of the “people” of Bahrain but completely ignored our voice! They were simply following the orders of the opposition leaders who received their orders from their foreign supporters. They didn’t have Bahrain’s interest and neither ours. We were subjected to violence and suffered a lot. We now are thankful that our government have put an end to the violence and that justice is being served. We want to see the law applied and want people who were mistreated, abused, or killed to get justice.

          1. LAK, while respecting your view, I cannot help but feel they are manipulated by targeted information.

            Preferrably everyone feeling bad about the way the country operates should be able to give his/her vote to a party that will be able to change things. For lack of that or if the government just does not react, people do have a right to protest.

            Making themselves be heard is just because evidently their protests had no results without it.

            Suggesting its induced by foreigners is just propaganda, it does not make sense. Sure they wanted to get involved, but not more than your Saudi and Quatar and UAE neighbours.

            After what happened, you very probably hightened the likeliness of Iran getting into some groups now, not the other way around.

            If you share 80% of their demands, you must be feeling just as desperate about the current situation as I do looking in from the outside. Your government punishes people for just being shia at the moment, not to mention those doctors and the only non government newspapers.
            This makes any positive movement towards a modern society where everybody has a reasonable say, not just the elite, further away than it was for the last 10 or so years. That is very sad indeed and not about a media or propaganda war.

    11. I would like to see F1 cars with big power, no mather where it comes from. Sadly, big power is unsafe and not “green”. *sad face*

    12. great article of the “Gazzetta” about Alboreto. Also in Italy it’s known very little about his career, although he was the only Italian after Ascari to go near the WDC, in 1985.
      Enzo Ferrari, who even broke his vow of “no Italian knights for his horses” for him, wasn’t able to provide a reliable car and in the end Prost won. After that, the ‘dark age’ of Ferrari, with uncompetitive cars and the death of the Commendatore.
      Michele Alboreto’s experience in F1 was quite unlucky, but he proved to be a top class driver when he won Le Mans in 1997. He was willing to prove more on that tragic day of 2001, aged 45, at Lausitzring.
      R.I.P. Michele!

      1. I remember reading somewhere that the Scuderia changed some suppliers mid-season in ’85, particularly the turbos. That article said a lot of Alboreto’s DNFs were due to engine failures, which might have been easily avoided by sticking to the same supplier all through ’85. How true is that?

        Also, Alboreto win at Detroit ’83 was the last win for the Cosworth DFV and for Tyrrell. That’s something to remember him by. Bittersweet, but memorable.

    13. That open letter on Facebook is a bit… :/

      “Sincerely yours,
      Youth of 14 Feb Revaluation

      Made me chuckle, even though it shouldn’t!

      Oh and merging Turns 13 & 14 of Yas Marina is a good idea.

      1. Well.. The Youth of 14 Feb sure do need reevaluation of their cause..

    14. My thought was that schools are becoming exceptionally ubiquitous in the content that they market AND produce to the point that individual identity of an Architectural agenda has melted into the collective cloud of available architectural adventures. I was and would still suggest that it may be profitable for a school to identify its agenda as a relatively narrow discourse and in doing so could develop a certain expertise and production of knowledge. The danger, as is pointed out today in posts regarding Francois Roches’ cancellation letter to SCI-Arc is that a school could become much too insular and introverted, re-creating the SILO condition that many Universities and Schools have been trying to break in the interests of the positive outcomes of collaboration.

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