F1 »

Ecclestone ready to talk to Bahrain GP opposition

Bernie Ecclestone insists that he is ready to meet with opposition groups in an effort to head off threats to this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that would be happy to speak with both sides in the ongoing political row in Bahrain in an effort to ensure that this weekend's grand prix passes off peacefully.

Ecclestone insisted that, rather than wholeheartedly backing the ruling family, as is widely suspected, he is also sympathetic to the cause of the protestors who threaten to ramp up their activity to coincide with the grand prix, which is viewed as status symbol of those in power and is the biggest international event taking place within Bahraini borders.

"We don't want to see trouble,” Ecclestone told reporters in the UK, “We don't want to see people arguing and fighting about things we don't understand - because we really don't understand... Some people feel it's our fault there are problems, so I'm happy to talk to anybody about this, as I did before."

Ecclestone met representatives of main opposition group al-Wefaq in both London and Bahrain ahead of the 2012 race, and continues to claim that there is no reason for F1 not to return to Sakhir, despite reports of flaring unrest. The 82-year old insisted that F1 was 'extremely sympathetic' to the opposition, even as reports of four explosions filtered through on the Monday of grand prix week, amid threats of further disruption – both physical and virtual - around the race.

Encouraged by the fact that the two sides in the dispute – the Sunni-led government and Shi-ite majority – restarted peace talks a couple of months ago, and no doubt aware that the majority of protests pass off peacefully, with reports of violence only returning to the news at grand prix time, Ecclestone conceded that the F1 fraternity was naturally 'selfish' in its ambitions.

"We are terribly selfish because we want to go there, have good racing and leave," he noted, "I wish they could sort things out.

"I don't think the people who are arguing about their position are bad people, and I don't think they're trying to hurt people to make their point. People use these things when there is an opportunity - you are always going to get people who are going to try and take advantage of any situation and, if you are going to do something, you might as well do it when there is a lot of worldwide TV there.”

An all-party parliamentary group in the UK still calling for the 2013 race to be cancelled. Led by MP Andy Slaughter and Lord Avebury, the group will hold a press conference today (Tuesday 16 April) to express concerns about the grand prix going ahead.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.04.2012- Circuit atmosphere
19.04.2012- Manama atmosphere, `UniF1ed - One Nation in Celebration` banner
14.04.2013- Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
19.04.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
19.04.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
19.04.2015 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23
19.04.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
19.04.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
19.04.2015 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
19.04.2015 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
19.04.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
19.04.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Roberto Merhi (ESP) Manor Marussia F1 Team
19.04.2015 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
19.04.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
19.04.2015 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23 lr Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
19.04.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
19.04.2015 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW37 and Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
19.04.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T

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.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

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