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Booth: Bahrain substitute not realistic

John Booth: It is definitely impractical [to have the Bahrain race somewhere else]. Our sea freight, as did every other team's, left for Bahrain a month ago. A lot of the equipment in the sea freight is vital for the running of the cars.

Marussia Virgin Racing team boss John Booth has said if the Bahrain Grand Prix is cancelled there is 'absolutely' no chance of it being moved to a different venue.

His comments come in the wake of political unrest in the country and the decision to call-off this weekend's GP2 Series race at the Bahrain International Circuit [see separate story – click here].

Speaking to the BBC, Booth added if F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is forced to cancel the F1 2011 opener, then a replacement would be unfeasible as some equipment is already en-route.

“It is definitely impractical,” he said. “Our sea freight, as did every other team's, left for Bahrain a month ago. A lot of the equipment in the sea freight is vital for the running of the cars. So to move it to another venue would be very difficult.” Pressed on if it is Bahrain or nowhere, he added that is 'absolutely' the case.

Meanwhile, Booth said he has been surprised by what has happened and is happening in Bahrain: “Obviously it is very disturbing and it does give you a lot of concerns. It is pretty surprising. The few times I have been to Bahrain it has always appeared to be such a peaceful and calm country," he continued.

"Obviously with news about GP2 it raises concerns. But if the local government, the FIA and FOM say it is safe to go, we will go. They will have people on the ground assessing the situation and they will be well informed on the risks.

“The other complication though is that we have a four-day test there the weekend before the race.

"Most of us are actually out there for 16 days. A decision will have to be taken on the test by February 25 when the freight goes out and then probably the week after for the race decision.”

For the record, Ecclestone has confirmed an assessment on whether or not the Bahrain GP will run on March 13 will 'probably' be made next week [see separate story – click here].

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John Booth, Team Principal, Virgin Racing & Nick Wirth, Technical Director, Virgin Racing
11.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, John Booth, Virgin Racing Sporting Director - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
10.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, John Booth, Virgin Racing Sporting Director - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain

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Alan D - Unregistered

February 18, 2011 3:15 PM

Mike, sea freighting is a bit unpredictable because boats are affected by rough seas and headwinds and stuff and container ships are huge and slow. I know that the boat from China can take anywhere between two and four weeks. And when the ship arrives it sometimes has to sit out in the channel for a day until a berth becomes free in the docks, and then its got hundreds of containers on it, and yours is somewhere in the middle, and its all got to be cleared by customs. So that's why the teams had to ship it off so early. Taking it off the boat and sticking it on a plane won't be easy since it will be in a great big metal container, not the packing crates you need for air freighting, and there might be pressurised containers which are ok to send by sea but not by air.

jose - Unregistered

February 18, 2011 2:20 PM

Mr. Booth its time for this sport F1, to face up to its moral responsibly in the international world of sports. Doing the Apartheid years in South Africa F1 resisted from doing the right thing for a very long time. The Middle East is changing Mr. Booth, look over over shoulder. The money Gangsters ruling Bahrain duped you and the money boys of F1 into believing all was quiet on the other side of the fense. F1 failed or ignored the writing or paintings on the walls. Time for Bernie to do the right thing or F1 may never be allowed stage an event in Bahrain again, Your Loss... Badman..Jose

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