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Mosley: F1 needs to steer well clear of Bahrain

Former FIA President Max Mosley has insisted that were he still calling the shots, F1 would return to Bahrain this season 'over my dead body', since to go there would be 'a public relations disaster'
Max Mosley has admitted that he is staunchly opposed to the idea of F1 returning to Bahrain this year, arguing that to do so would be to paint a 'false' picture of the situation in the troubled desert kingdom and would represent 'a public relations disaster' for the sport – asserting that if he was still FIA President, the grand prix would be rescheduled 'over my dead body'.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) is due to convene in Barcelona today (Friday) to determine whether or not the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix – originally slated to host the season curtain-raiser on 13 March, but postponed due to the onset of violent political protest and a surge of civil unrest there a month earlier – can be re-accommodated later on in the campaign, most likely on 20 November, a week after Abu Dhabi.

Race-organisers themselves are adamant that Bahrain is now ready to welcome F1 back, and in evidence of that, a three-month state-of-emergency and military rule was prematurely lifted on Wednesday.

The past few weeks have certainly witnessed a charm offensive from the Middle Eastern nation's powers-that-be, but Mosley is adamant that for the FIA to acquiesce to Bahrain's desire to go ahead with its grand prix in the wake of reports of government-orchestrated oppression and persistent abuse of human rights would be to send out the wrong kind of message entirely.

“If I was president today, F1 would go to Bahrain over my dead body,” the Englishman told ESPNF1. “It cannot happen. The grand prix will be used to paint a picture of Bahrain that will be false. They will be attempting to use the grand prix to support what they are doing, almost using F1 as an instrument of repression.

“There is only one reason F1 is in Bahrain, and that is a political reason. To go will be a public relations disaster, and sponsors will want their liveries removed.”

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Redstone - Unregistered

June 03, 2011 11:55 AM

I am 100% behind Max Mosley on this one for both the image of F1 and also for the Bahraini people. It must be remembered that the Bahrain GP is a pet rpoject of the Bahrain Royal Family. There is nothing wrong in this but with discontent amoungst the populace it would give the impression that F1 backs the status quo in bahrain that fueled the discontent there. It will be better for both parties to cancel this years GP and return to bahrain next season

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