Teams trust Ecclestone on Bahrain GP call


Feb.19 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone on Friday changed his tune after earlier sounding hopeful that the 2011 season opener might be able to take place in “quiet” Bahrain and teams are confident that the F1 supremo will make correct call on whether the Grand Prix will take place or not.

On the ground, another day of shocking government violence against protesters was taking place in the island Kingdom, causing F1’s chief executive to admit he had been misinformed by some FOM cameramen in a Bahrain hotel.

“So when I made my earlier statement it was based on the information I had at that time, as opposed to what is happening,” said the 80-year-old.

Asked if he now fears he will have to cancel the race, Ecclestone answered: “I don’t fear anything, I just think things have changed and that we should wait and see over the weekend exactly what changes there have been. At this moment it doesn’t look good.”

F1 team bosses met for a two-hour FOTA meeting in Barcelona on Friday, with appointed spokesman Christian Horner emerging with a similar ‘wait and see’ approach.

“We have complete trust in Bernie, FOM and the FIA to make the right decision. They will only send us there if it is safe,” said the Red Bull boss.

The chairman of FOTA is Martin Whitmarsh, whose McLaren team is substantially owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Most western governments are currently advising their citizens against travelling to the country.

“Can’t quite believe that with the ruthless treatment of Bahrain’s protesters Ecclestone is talking about grand prix prospects there,” English personality Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter.

  • Bec

    Yes what happens to McLaren if the Bahrain government is overthrown by the Iranian backed Shia fundamentalists?

    The Bahrain government owns 30% of McLaren, and i can’t see the fundamentalists being keen to join in with western capitalism.

  • Mudar

    Correction Bec,

    What happened in Bahrain was a military attack against unarmed civilian protests. Whether they are Sunni, She’ats, Christians, Hindos, or whatever, they were citizens and humans above all. Let’s avoid mixing facts.