F1 »

Bahrain GP staff arrested and sacked

Just a week away from D-Day for Bahrain's chances of securing a rescheduled slot on the F1 2011 calendar, it has emerged that almost a quarter of staff at the Sakhir circuit have been suspended or dismissed
Just a week ahead of what has been stressed will be the final deadline for organisers of the cancelled Bahrain Grand Prix to convince the FIA that the Gulf state is in a position to be readmitted to the F1 2011 calendar, it has emerged that almost a quarter of staff at the Sakhir circuit have been arrested, suspended or dismissed.

The ongoing state-of-emergency declared in Bahrain on 15 March – just after the curtain-raising grand prix should have taken place – will end on 1 June, two days before the FIA is due to decide on the race's fate.

However, despite assurances that the civil unrest and riots that have plagued the desert kingdom since mid-February are now under control and a confident declaration from Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) chairman Zayed Rashed Al Zayani that 'we are ready' to host the grand prix [see separate story – click here], significant doubts remain.

Contrary to the message being spread to the watching world by Bahrain's rulers, many in the paddock suspect that stability is still a long way off and that the violent clashes and protests are no closer to being resolved than they were this time three months ago – and may even have worsened.

Pitpass claims that much as in other Arabic nations that have experienced political upheaval in recent months, foreign journalists and photographers have been arrested, imprisoned and interrogated in Bahrain over their reporting of events.

Moreover, the Financial Times states that in early April, a quarter of BIC staff were arrested for 'cheering the cancellation of the race' – and that the majority of those same staff have since been either suspended or sacked. Three of the employees in question are understood to be women.

“They were all slapping and kicking me as they led me down the corridor,” a source told the newspaper. “He [a policeman] put my head between his legs, flipped me onto the floor – and then the beatings really began.”

There has been no official comment from the circuit, but government spokesman Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Mubarak al-Khalifa insisted: “Allegations are exaggerated or unfounded to gain international sympathy. They should issue a complaint to the authorities.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Luca Di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Cosworth VR-01
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP Petronas, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, 2010 [pic credit: Mercedes-Benz]
Vitantonio Liuzzi (I) Force India Mercedes VJM03
Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30
Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30
Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F10
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB 6
Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25
Sakhir Circuit, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, 13-15th, April, 2007
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 (pole position), Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 (2nd position) and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 (3rd position)
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Caterham F1 Team CT05
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


RD350LC - Unregistered

May 26, 2011 10:45 AM

It is outrageous that it is still even been considered for this year & if fact for the next few years After the outright brutality the government (with the aid of other governments) has shown towards the people This race should be off until they can show that they have even a modicum of respect for human rights

Stuart - Unregistered

May 26, 2011 11:16 AM

Dont worry Bahrain fans - once the uprisers have been shot/imprisoned and order resumed then the owners will present the FIA with a hideous sack of cash and all will be forgotten. No that money is the important thing in F1...



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.