Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Flawed Research Reinstated Bahrain Grand Prix

FIA president Jean Todt justified the decision to reinstate the Bahrain GP on the back of a report issued after a fact-finding mission by representative Carlos Gracia. However since then the viability of the report has been called into question.

Campaign group Avaaz who are closing in on half a million anti Grand Prix supporters, suggested that human rights groups consulted by the FIA had close links to the government.

Former FIA president Max Mosley spoke about the man the FIA sent on the fact finding mission to Radio 4  "The problem there was they sent someone to look at Bahrain but the gentleman they sent, a very, very nice man called Gracia, speaks no English and, as far as I know, speaks no Arabic."

"He was then taken around by the representatives of the government and had no knowledge of what was really going on, and above all didn't ask to see the people who a human rights lawyer would like to see."

When asked about the suggestions Gracia did speak to opposition groups, Mosley said "Apparently they are very close to the government and I don't think he would have been allowed to speak to them if not."

Bernie Ecclestone himself now has doubts. "We listened to that report from the FIA and that was saying there were no problems at all in Bahrain. But that is not what I am hearing and I think we can see that we need to be careful." stated Mr Ecclestone.

Ecclestone maybe awakened by such a public backlash on the FIA decision seems also to be trying to find a way out of the disastrous rescheduling by wanting now to push Bahrain back to December making it the last Grand Prix of the season. If Bahrain were the last race of the season it would be much easier to ditch if the countrys situation doesn't improve.

Ecclestone quoted in The Telegraph "The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen. Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go. If they are not, then we don't go and there are no problems"

The team principals have been in discussion over the last 24 hours over the matter and a statement is expected later today. It is reported Ecclestone has contacted them all to suggest they demand a FIA fresh vote.

Update: According to BBC, FOTA has written to the FIA stating that its members do not want to race in Bahrain on the new October 30 date, or later in the year as was earlier mentioned.

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