Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2011

Ecclestone wants fresh vote on Bahrain

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Ecclestone wants to restore the Indian Grand Prix to its original date.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bernie Ecclestone leads call for new vote on Bahrain Grand Prix (The Times, subscription required)

“Ecclestone believes that an Indian Grand Prix barely two weeks before Christmas could turn into a non-event when it should be Formula One?s showpiece this season. He wants to leave that race in October and give Bahrain a conditional date of December 4.”

Jean Todt explains decision to reinstate Bahrain GP (BBC)

“The situation will be monitored and if we have clear evidence that it could be a risky situation it will obviously be taken into consideration.” Todt also confirmed Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali voted in favour of the race.

Bahrain police clash with Shi’ite religious marchers (Reuters)

“Residents and leading Shi’ite opposition group Wefaq said police used tear gas, rubber bullets, sound grenades and birdshot to break up marches in several Shi’ite villages around the capital Manama.”

As F1 returns to Bahrain, footballers languish in jail (CNN)

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahraini Center for Human Rights: “I still don’t know under what circumstances the Grand Prix has agreed to come to Bahrain. They have taken the decision on the day two people [allegedly killed during the protests] were buried.”

Jonathan Noble on Twitter

“I understand FOTA’s position on the Bahrain GP will be made clear on Tuesday, amid ongoing talks about the situation.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Cars 2 Movie Clip with Lewis Hamilton (YouTube)

First glimpse of Hamilton in Cars 2 – but have they dubbed one of his lines? Listen for the second time he says “man”…

Jenson Button swaps F1 helmet for swimming cap at Blenheim triathlon (Daily Mirror)

Jenson Button pulls on a wetsuit and a ??tight bright yellow cap for a triathlon yesterday.”

Stoner blames Formula One for falling grip levels (BSN)

“Honda’s Casey Stoner has fired a shot at Formula One, saying the Pirelli rubber they are using this year have caused grip levels to fall at the Barcelona track.”

Renault ramps up simulator facilities (Autosport)

“The team has fallen behind rivals in terms of its simulator technology in recent years, with frontrunning teams like McLaren, Red Bull Racing and Ferrari having spent heavily in this area.”

Monaco race video (F1)

Highlights from the Monaco Grand Prix, including Lewis Hamilton complaining of “dirty driving” by Michael Schumacher.

Interview: Talking safety cars and clouds for F1 2011 (Destructoid)

Details on new features in Codemasters’ F1 2011 including changes to the weather system, split-screen multiplayer and 16-player online multiplayer mode.

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

Comment of the day

Fishingelbow on the FIA’s decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix:

The FIA again shows its commitment to a ??green?? F1.

MONEY green!

From the forum

Join in the F1F GT5 24 Laps of Le Mans (Sat. 11 June)

From the archive

Here’s an article on the 1985 South African Grand Prix. It’s remarkable how so many of the arguments surrounding it are echoed in the ongoing debate over the Bahrain Grand Prix:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Owen and timtoo!

On this day in F1

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix three years ago today. But there were concerns over the track surface which was disintegrating:

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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  • 92 comments on “Ecclestone wants fresh vote on Bahrain”

    1. Well, this is interesting. According to The Times, Ecclestone has been in talks with FOTA and, incredibly, is asking for a new vote.

      http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/formulaone/article3052701.ece (requires a subscription)

      He is disputing the FIA’s report that there are no problems in Bahrain, as Todt restated in his interview with the BBC.

      He is suggesting putting the Indian GP back to its original date of Oct 30 and putting Bahrain provisionally for Dec 4, going only if it is “safe and well”.

      1. Remarkable stuff. Have added it to the links, thanks for the tip!

        1. Remarkable indeed! I didn’t think we’d hear anything so sensible from Bernie. It certainly makes more sense to put Bahrain at the end of the season in case there are changes to the situation, which Todt has essentially admitted there could well be. Props to Bernie for being more sensible than the FIA!

          1. I think Bernie is going senile with age, if that’s true.

          2. One does have to wonder about his sanity though. Wasn’t he present at the meeting?

            And should he not have voiced his concerns there? Very strange indeed, and untypical for Bernie as well.

            What it certainly does highlight (together with the strange choreography of it being first announced on twitter by Bahrain etc, and that dodgy Todt interview, as well as FOTA keeping silent for now) is how much the governance of the sport is still a mess.
            Who actually speaks for the sport, what $%#% make far fetching desicions, allegedly based on sound information, and then back out of 3 days later or at least speak about changing mind again.
            The F1 cabaret is on again!

        2. At the rate they are flip flopping can they even guarantee we’ll be watching cars and not bikes buggys or rockets by the time bahrain comes around???

          Good news though the decision was completely unfair on all those who bought travel tickets or booked time off work for the grand prix and have not been killing or imprisoning their familys. It would not be fair at all for the fans to have to pay out for this. I think it shows how archaic the fia are that they didn’t even consider that when the vote was being made. Clearly this decision is a direct repercussion of complaints along those lines.

          1. I wonder if FOM had people asking for their money back for Indian GP tickets…

            1. I suspect they probably did have people trying to be reimbursed plane tickets which are more expensive than the grandprix tickets them selves. The race tickets shouldn’t be a problem so long as it happens at some point this year though.

            2. LOL, or major concert artists claiming damages for having to cancel or postpone those.

          2. Well, if Pirelli would chose rather not to be involved it would make for a funny race for certain!

          3. Today I heard Todt said, that even while they have 21 events on next years calendar, there is no way it will be more than 20 races.

            Do these people know this is not a family bussiness (well you could argue with that) but a worldwide sport/bussiness involving thousends of interested parties?

        3. What about this article?

          I think it should be in the Daily Round-Up as well. Buemi is the onyl driver so far to publicly voice his support for the Bahrain GP as his uncle lives here in Bahrain and also told him that everything is safe! See I’m not the only one reporting this.. The quotes in the article are taken I believe from the latest of Peter Windsor’s “Flying Lap” episode that featured our one and only Keith with Sebastien Buemi. At the end of the interview Peter asks him about Bahrain and he said that his uncle who lives here says it is safe.

          1. I wonder if Buemi will still be with Torro Rosso by then?

          2. Yes, lets race in Bahrain because Buemi’s uncle says it is fine. The FIA should get Buemi’s uncle to check out each country before a Grand Prix.

            1. Classic :)

          3. I actually believe this has already been in one or the other round-up. I remember reading it somewhere on this site anyway.

      2. Is Ecclestone doing this in an effort to weaken Todt, by having him fall on his own sword, so to speak?

        1. Or he’s becoming so senile he can’t remember his position on it from day to day.

          1. Or, did he just change his mind after realizing what a horrible plan they had come up with

      3. then Bahrain would end the 2011 season on Dec 4th and start the 2012 season on March 11th! only 3 months later!

        1. The last race of the season is usually crucial for the title. What happens if we get to it and then it has to be cancelled because there are all sorts of problems?

          A load of weird things could happen like the title is decided because one team refuses to take part and that affects the result.

          …Or several drivers might refuse to be involved.

          …Or there are protests the day of the race and so it just doesn’t happen.

          1. Good point

          2. I suppose it is a good thing then that Vettel is running away with the title anyway, it likely will be decided way before the end of the season!

      4. I expected this in a few months or so but am very surprised the start of the U-turn has come so quick, especially from Bernie of all people.

      5. Brilliant find, had to read it twice!

        1. How can f1 go to Bahrain
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13673299 doctors and nurses put on trial

          1. Sid Watkins will be there. Don’t worry…

      6. Which is a better idea as to not disadvantage the Indian GP (although the organisers would love more time) and add Bahrain to the end of the season, even if, as it’s one week earlier, the travelling problems could be significative.

    2. Casey Stoner won the race and is STILL moaning. Didn’t think I could dislike him any more than I already did.

      1. It’s hardly moaning or a shot at F1. It’s mearly an observation. And to be honest, if you watched the race, it was clear to see everyone out there was struggling for grip.

        1. Michael Griffin
          7th June 2011, 0:50

          COTD should go to Macca25 :)

      2. So you prefer a driver (or rider in this case) to crash, retire or whatever AND moan?

        I’m sorry but that’s nonesense.

        1. It’s not moaning. But Stoner is a very difficult person to like, I’ll give you that. It’s such a shame that Pedrosa isn’t going to be likely to catch the leaders now. Two of my least favourite riders lead the championship. :(

      3. Didn’t realise it was F1’s duty to rubber in the track for every other motorsport dicsipline.

        Btw, Keith, I cam now reply using IE9. I have no idea why I couldn’t before.

        1. it rained during saturday, just before the race and during the race. so of course grip levels were down

        2. Me either matt90, afraid I was never able to replicate that problem!

          Glad it’s working now.

          If anyone else has technical problems, get in touch here:

          Contact F1 Fanatic

        3. Didn’t realise it was F1′s duty to rubber in the track for every other motorsport dicsipline.

          How could I agree more?

      4. Mouse_Nightshirt
        7th June 2011, 6:16

        Yeah, my response to his statement would be quite sharp.


        1. My thoughts exactly.

          1. Yeah but he is just awesome to watch, none of the other riders quite manhandle a bike like him!

    3. the COTD is beautiful.

      1. should be ‘green MONEY!’ tho. lol

    4. Electrolite
      7th June 2011, 0:27

      Jean Todt needs to change ‘risky’ with ‘immoral’ in that sentence. Risk is obviously an issue, but not the issue that should be concerning F1.

      1. His assertion that risk is acceptable because it’s part of F1 is pretty ludicrous as well. The risk should be for the drivers… in the car… on the track… nowhere else. There shouldn’t be risk in getting there alive in the first place.

        1. hmmm, so why doesn’t that apply to Interlagos?

    5. Bernie can fool you all but he dont fool me. from day one he’s been agitating for Bahrain to be rescheduled granting then extension after extension. he is only changing his tune now cause he now see this is a disaster in the making.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        7th June 2011, 3:14

        I was waiting for someone to come out and claim something like this. Are you really that cynical?

        1. Isn’t Bernie?

        2. Pot, kettle ….?

          1. From what I hear, read, pick up, Ecclestone has more incoming flack hitting his ship at the moment, so that he doesn’t really know whether he’s punched, bored or countersunk ! And I read his latest statement about ‘information we have is possibly wrong ‘ or some such gobbledegook is simply a bloody great white flag he’s run up the pole.

            Even he sometimes does get the message.

      2. If so, why did he not act on that feeling 4 days ago when he was part of that WMSC meeting?

        This is a mess already it got F1 into by its own.

    6. So on that day Massa & Maldanado weren’t the only people to get a piece of Hamilton, Schumi was also there.Well I think Schumi this time left enough room for Hamilton to make a move, if there would have been a wall like Hungary then I would have said other way around.

    7. Prisoner Monkeys
      7th June 2011, 3:19

      The entire situation in Bahrain comes down to one thing: power. More specifically, the difference between power and control. People who have real power never need to fear losing it. People who have control think of almost nothing else. And this is why I oppsoe cancelling the race for the sake of making a political statement – because Formula 1 has no legitimate power here. Only control. It has no power of its own in the standoff between the government and the protesters. The sport can only control itself and its image. Making a political statement against the government might seem noble and righteous, but because it is exercised by those who only have control, it is made for all the wrong reasons. Therefore, the race should remain apolitical unless it gets legitimate power. Which it will not.

      1. I agree, as long as it is safe enough, which it is… Everyone thinks we are being ignorant of what is going on in Bahrain but we are not. Come down and see for yourselves, I wish I could fly you all down here to see lol.. Yes it is not completely over yet.. Yes there are still people (minority) who don’t want the GP and resorted to their usual scare tactics by issuing threats.. (same old usual opposition moves).

        But the thing is the opposition now support the GP and the protesters follow whatever the opposition leaders tell them to do. Technically once the dialogue happens, reforms introduced.. Bahraini citizens will all be happy with the leadership, and we can continue our lives.. If all this happens then we should be more than ready to race in October..

        The reason why you all think we’re oppressing people is that you don’t see the truths that are coming out from the investigations like we do, unfortunately most of the videos are on youtube but most are in Arabic. Our govt needs to provide the international media with all the proof of all the crimes that were committed, only then you’d understand where we are coming from.. If that doesn’t happen no matter what we say, the opposition will counter the govt with something else and we’ll never see the end of this. We’ve been doing this since Feb. and it is damn tiring!

        Many people here have given up in trying to convince the International community because they felt that there is no use. I don’t know what is keeping me going. I know the truth is on my side. Yes our govt made mistakes, even the CP admitted that, but there’s a way to go about fixing things. Planning a coup against our country, killing, injuring, harming fellow citizens, making decisions without even taking our opinions, and then claim to be peaceful and democratic is not the way.

        1. Yes, things need “fixing” in Bahrain. Your government has to regain trust from a large part of your population that it lost trough its own actions, and is still losing with those actions ongoing.

          I would think it wise to have the whole of Bahrain focus on that. Not putting in extra pressure with inviting the F1 circus in to visit in a few months time and feel the need to radically clean up all nay-sayers to show a happy face.

          1. Very interesting, indeed. From the article:

            The most liberal member of the island’s ruling family, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, is scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

            From the Wikipedia article on the Crown Prince:

            Salman also spearheaded a major national initiative to bring Formula One racing to Bahrain and the Middle East, initiating the construction of the Bahrain International Circuit. On 4 April 2004, the Bahrain Grand Prix became the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.

            So, the most liberal-minded of the ruling family is also the country’s biggest proponent of the Grand Prix.

            Like you said, interesting.

            1. So?!

              Because a man 10/15 years ago started to think about making his country future proof for a time after the oil (building attractions, drawing tourism) and now still wants “his baby” to live and show the world that they can still come to the country (not destroying the decades of work that went into the new orientation) that is suspicious? Or as you put it ‘interesting’? I’m not saying he s right, I’m just saying he has got a point of view and it doesn’t make him “un-liberal” (liberal can have so many meanings anyway, nobody said that it is what you think of as liberal).

        2. you all think we’re oppressing people

          This is one of the resons these exchanges never really get anywhere LAK. For people outside, the Bahraini government does not equal the Bahraini people. No one thinks you’re oppressing people, or that the Bahraini people are somehow bad, or that the country is somehow evil. It’s the individuals who are in power that are guilty of very obvious abuses that not only established news sources, but all humanitarian organizations have reported consistently, while the rulers of your country portray all opposition to their power as illegal sedition.

    8. Loved’s Lewis’s joke about the stewards

      1. I couldn’t hear what he said about the stewards.. what was it?

        1. “Surprise, surprise. I know the stewards really do love me.”

          Or words to that effect.

        2. As quoted here:

          McLaren: Hamilton loses cool after weekend of frustration

          The stewards handed down a drive-though penalty for “causing an avoidable accident”. Hamilton’s sarcastic reaction when he was told hinted at his frustration: “Surprise, surprise. I know the stewards love me, really”.

    9. I can’t believe Lewis called Schumacher a dirty driver after that overtaking move, I actually thought that Schumacher was being really cooperative.

      1. I think it was about the earlier clash, where Schumi took of part of Hammy’s rear wing.

        1. But Schumi didn’t take off his rear wing. The overtaking move by Schumi on Lewis at the hairpin on the 1st lap, was cleaner than Lewis’ attempt on Massa at the same place. So I have no idea what Hamilton is complaining about

          1. It happened in Turn 1 at the start, Schumacher hit the back of Hamilton’s car and few aerodynamic bits of the wing assembly flew off

          2. You’re right, the wing was damaged after the Petrov incident IIRC.

    10. HounslowBusGarage
      7th June 2011, 8:47

      Max Mosely was just interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today programme a few minutes ago. He said that while the Council had voted to approve the race, he said that under Article 66 (I think), the Teams had to unanimousely approve any change to the calendar of races once the season had started.
      Not going to happen.

      Next the programme interviewed one of the Sheikh Al-Kalifa’s (sorry, couldn’t recall the first part of his name, but he was the one educated at the LSE and Harvard). He described the situation as calm and under control, with an ongoing dialogue between the government and the opposition. He was asked why then did the security forces use rubber bullets, sonic grenades and birdshot against a demonstration after Friday prayers. He replied that in every country, demonstrations had to recieve official permission to go ahead and since this demonstration had not applied for permission, it was broken up by the authorities.

      1. Teams had to unanimousely approve any change to the calendar of races once the season had started.
        Not going to happen.

        And have any of the teams given any kind of indidcation that they will oppose the race? Mark Webber might oppose it, but Mark Webber is not a team. Indeed, Renault have said they’re willing to race if safety is guaranteed:

        Renault team principal Eric Boullier said that his outfit would be happy to race in Bahrain if the safety of its personnel could be guaranteed.

        “Lotus Renault GP acknowledge the decision made by the FIA World Motor Sport Council,” he said. “That decision is likely to be discussed internally within FOTA, and a more detailed joint position may be defined after those discussions have taken place.

        “I have already spoken at length about our team’s position recently: we are happy to go to Bahrain as long as our safety and the security of the people living there is guaranteed.”

        Rubens Barrichello – the president of the GDPA – has said something similar: the drivers don’t care for politics, and they will race if it is safe enough:

        “I would like to make it clear that I love the track and the event itself,” Barrichello said in an interview with the Brazilian Totalrace website.

        “Therefore, I want to be sure that we will be safe there. In the GPDA meetings, all of the drivers showed concern and demanded safety to race in Bahrain.

        “Of course we will have more travelling and work. The teams will have much more work to do. But for us, the drivers, what really matters is safety. The rest is not important.”

        So where is this evidence of yours that the teams will never agree to race there?

        1. Webber is a one man team.

        2. But what Mosley actually said was, that the teams have to give their unanimous written consent.

          Given that they do not want the december slot for India, they can easily refuse to do so.

          1. No, they speciically said they don’t want a December 11 finale. They may be amenable to a December 4 date if they can get the cars to India in time.

            1. I would think they are very much against any taking it into December.

            2. Hewis Lamilton
              7th June 2011, 17:14

              Brawn was against either of the dates mentioned, stating it drew the year out too long for the people who work in F1.

      2. I’m not taking Max Mosley serious with his anti-Bahrain view. I think that under his reign of the FIA, the WMSC would have taken the same decision as Friday. Hypocrisy is, unfortunately, not strange thing in F1.

        On the subject of Ecclestone, is he afraid that he is going to get sued by, for instance, Metallica (one of the bands at the F1 Rocks! concert in India) ? That October 30 (or December 4, December 11 for that matter) will be a disaster with the announced Day of Rage with many deaths and injuries and a PR nightmare that is even worse than Indy 2005? Come on, he could have seen that one coming last Friday. Probably he is trying to stay friends with the Bahraini’s by taking the decision last Friday and using the teams and drivers as an execuse to call it all of again, that what we wanted to do all along? Bernie isn’t that stupid. There are some politics going on we don’t see.

        On the subject of the demonstrations, why ask permission when for sure you are not going to get it? Then you rather should keep it a secret and ‘surprise’ the enemy, in this case the Bahraini Government.

        1. On the subject of the demonstrations, why ask permission when for sure you are not going to get it? Then you rather should keep it a secret and ‘surprise’ the enemy, in this case the Bahraini Government.

          Do you actually think that the protesters are just going to sit around and do nothing for five months and then start their protests again just for the race? Whatever chance they’d have of getting the reforms they want would evaporate with such a foolish move.

          No, by threatening to protest on the day of the race, the protesters are trying to send a message to the government. They know the government wants the Grand Prix to go ahead, so by threatening action on that day, they’re making their intentions for the next five months known. They want the government to know that just because the FIA has reinstated the Bahrain Grand Prix, they have not won and silenced their critics.

          1. I agree with what you describe as a likely scenario. The GP will be used as part of the negotiations, as everyone knows its important to the government.

        2. To be honest, in this interview Mosley sounds more to his senses than he did in tha last half of his FIA presidency.

          Look at his take on the FIA “investigating” what Bahrain was like Mosley made it clear that the Bahrain visit by Jean Todt’s Spanish representative Carlos Gracia was badly compromised.

          “The gentleman they sent, a very, very nice man called Gracia, speaks no English and as far as I know speaks no Arabic, and was then taken round by the representatives of the government, and of course has no knowledge of what was really going on, and above all obviously didn’t ask to see the sorts of people that a human rights lawyer or someone of that kind would have asked to see.”

          As for these artists claiming damages and not wanting to adhere to the desires of Bahrains regime, that could well be a concern of Bernie.

          1. Mosley and Ecclestone virtually created the F1 world we know today. Their ideas and brilliant planning made F1 the pinnacle sport it is today, where spectators, mechanics and drivers have, for the past 10 to 15 years had more than a reasonable chance of wittering interminably about their memories to their grandchildren, where the past was an evil place where death was common and mutilation accepted as part of the job.

            So what they created is magnificent. Now one of them has been forced out because of his less-than-wholesome peccadillo’s and the other one has grown rich as Croesus and is steadily but surely losing his grip on reality.

            And suddenly, in a major crisis Mosely sits down quietly in a BBC studio and delivers the kind of wisdom and insights we used to take for granted. What he has to say in such polite terms tells you all you need to know about the current disarray in F1’s governing elites.

            Ecclestone has to go, and Todt now has the first really serious black mark on his record book. This whole disaster is
            could have been avoided, but greed and stupidity have been calling the shots.

            Time to disarm the fools who could see no further than their bank balances.

    11. LAK, while I certainly tend to believe international news agencies and humlan rights organizations more than the national Bahreini media, I4ll go along with your standpoint here.
      So what you are saying about the opposition

      Planning a coup against our country, killing, injuring, harming fellow citizens, making decisions without even taking our opinions, and then claim to be peaceful and democratic is not the way.

      If this is the ‘truth’ of what’s happening in Bahrein according to you, how can it then be safe for F1 to go to Bahrein – if individuals like that are out in the streets with such malignous plans.
      Let’s face it F1 doesn’t really care about the morals, their decision to go or not will come down to this: can the safety of all involved in F1 be guaranteed? By your own words, if so many irresponsible violent opposition members are around, that doesn’t sound like a very safe environment to me.

    12. on a lighter note-can anyone else see the last corner for the singapore gp circuit at about 0:46 on the cars video?

    13. Bendanarama
      7th June 2011, 9:04

      Good thing there wasn’t an Adrian Sutil car in the nightclub in that clip. Allegedly.

      1. Hahahaha… Nice one.

    14. I can think of a much better date for the Bahrain Grand Prix: March 11 2012.

      1. Or the 12th of Neveruary.

    15. By the way, here is a link to a post of pictures of the construction site in India made yesterday morning.

      Looks like they are working hard, but a lot of work still to be done.

    16. One word…Shambles

      1. In my view, by October 30 this race track will be far from finished.
        OK the track itself may be ready for cars to run on (possibly behind the safety car) but I’m not holding my breath.

        Let’s hope I’m wrong.

    17. Looks like FOTA has just put the kibosh on October 30 in a letter to the FIA, copied to the Bahrain government, and asked to put the Indian race back to its original slot. It will not reappear in mid-December for various reasons cited here, so the race is effectively dead. Good riddance. F1 already looks ridiculous with the vacillating and hand-wringing over this thing, and its time to draw a line under this whole affair.

    18. I keep desperately hoping they don’t have McQueen wind up winning the fastest car in the world competition. Just… ugh…

    Comments are closed.