19 April 2013
Friday press conference - Bahrain GP - Pt.2
Obviously we're in a country that is going through a political crisis, not at the circuit but outside in some of the neighbourhoods there are some pretty tough clashes between protesters and police. Your thoughts on coming back here again, even with those protests going on?
I don't think it would be good for Formula One to be involved in the political situation of the country because then there is the risk of being pulled from one side to the other, which is not really what we should do. For us, it's a place where Formula One has always been hosted at the top level and we see since 2004, when I believe the first Grand Prix was here, that there was a great development of Formula One as a sport in the Middle East area. Other than that, I cannot comment more.
I fully agree with that. For us, it's first of all the responsibility of our Federation and the commercial rights holder to evaluate the situation and then decide whether we race here or not and if they think it's the right decision then we come and race here.
I think we're only all qualified to talk about it from a sporting perspective and since Bahrain introduced Formula One to this region, it's been a great event and a hospitable Grand Prix to attend. Really we're racers here, we're here to go motor racing, and I think that's all we should be commenting on.
There's not really a lot you can add to what's just been said in many ways. It's hard when people try and draw you into a political situation which is something that we're not really qualified to comment on. I really just concur with what's been said.
Being the last one... I just hide behind my colleagues saying they've said everything. It's true that we don't want to be dragged into a political situation. If the promoter, the FIA and the commercial rights holder agree with the decision to race here we race here.
Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
Paul, shortly before lunch, when asked about the Pirelli situation, Mr Ecclestone said rather cryptically that 'from our side it's all done.' Is that your understanding of it? Could you explain what he could have meant by that please?
(Laughing) What, you didn't understand that, then? Well, it's all done then from his side. I think that's all I can say. It's on-going, I think I've told you before that we need to have some clarity over what's going on, going forward. As time passes, we have to make decisions as a business. We're not immune to what's going on in the European automotive business in particular; sales were ten percent down in March in the overall market. That impacts heavily on us and we're currently having to make action plans to address those challenges. I would think that from our point of view, sooner rather than later... time is of the essence, I would suggest now.
What is the time scale?
I don't particularly want to give deadlines to everyone because it seems like a negotiating point but there is a time scale and I'm pretty sure I know what it is. You might be inviting me here shortly to have a different type of press conference, I don't know, but there has been progress and we are discussing and hopefully it will get resolved in the near future.
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