Mosley: FIA not given correct view of Bahrain
7 June 2011 – Former FIA President Max Mosley has stepped up his concern, with the Bahrain Grand Prix having been reinstated by Jean Todt and the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) last Friday. At present, the Sakhir race is pencilled into the calendar for October 30, although reports continue to circulate of much conflict in the country.
With FIA Vice President Carlos Gracia having recently visited Bahrain, the Spaniard was guided by government figures with a view to restoring the race. Following a WMSC meeting in Barcelona on Friday, the FIA announced that the event would return, with India therefore moving to December. Mosley, however, is less positive.
“The Grand Prix is being used as part of the machinery of suppression of the opposition in Bahrain and the sport should not allow itself to become involved in that way,” Englishman Mosley explained to BBC News.
“I’m afraid the person he (FIA President Todt) sent – Carlos Gracia, a very nice man who’s been head of the Spanish federation for ages – speaks no English and no Arabic. He was taken round by representatives of the government, so of course he gets the impression that they want to give him. It’s not in any way a proper look into the situation in Bahrain.
“I think where you draw the line is where the government is, one, doing something against human rights and, two, using the sport as a direct instrument to assist in that. And that is, I think, what would happen if the event took place.”
Mosley also raises the point of rescheduling events, with the 12 teams all needing to agree if the Indian Grand Prix is moved.
“I don’t think the drivers can do much but, of course, one thing that everyone’s forgotten so far is that – once you’ve announced the calendar and people have signed up to the championship, which the 12 teams have done – you can’t change the calendar without their agreement,” Mosley explained.
“It’s like any contract, you can’t just change it unilaterally. So, although for reasons of force majeure you could cancel the Bahrain race originally, what you cannot do is move the Indian race around without the agreement of all the teams. So what’s needed is the written agreement of each individual team and I don’t think for one moment that’s going to be forthcoming.”
Also on Tuesday:
Cautious Ecclestone: Move Bahrain to end of season