FIA single-seater commission president Gerhard Berger has slammed the international media for driving concerns over the political situation inside Bahrain.
The Austrian never raced at the Sakhir circuit during a career that took in 210 races between 1984 and 1997, but backed the annual grand prix despite calls for it to be dropped from the schedule because of the unrest it caused.
While protests, peaceful and otherwise, took place in and around Manama during the opening two days of the 2013 event, Berger insisted that it wasn't F1's fault, instead blaming the media for over-playing the problems and giving the protestors a guaranteed outlet for their anti-democracy claims
“I came here a couple of months ago, went all around the city and I didn't see any fighting or anything resembling it,” he told Spain's El Pais
newspaper, “I think the press has overstated everything, but the reality is that nothing happened last year and nothing is happening this time.
“If you believe what you read, then F1 is motivating a war, but this is not a country at war. It is a place where there are some problems but, if we stop coming here, then we will have to stop going to China and other countries like that as well.”