Force India pulls out of second practice
20 April 2012 – Force India has officially confirmed that it will not be taking part in the second practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Anglo-Indian team intends to transport all employees back to their hotel safely before nightfall in Manama.
The decision follows an incident on Wednesday night, when a team van carrying four mechanics was caught up in a protest which had begun to spread across a motorway; although the team vehicle was not a direct target, those it carried were fortunate to escape injury as a homemade petrol bomb exploded nearby. Since then, three members have elected to return home to the United Kingdom.
‘For logistical reasons the team will run a rescheduled programme for the rest of the weekend, which will result in the team missing second practice to ensure the most competitive performance in FP3, qualifying and the race,’ reads Force India’s official Friday press release, sent out early.
In first practice at Sakhir earlier today, the squad made the unusual decision to run with the Soft compound tyre; it soon conspired that discussions were underway not to run at all during the afternoon. With practice ending at 3:30pm local time (BST +2), the sun sets in Bahrain at 6:04pm.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix event and off-track happenings are now making headline news on international television channels. In recent weeks, Friday night has tended to be the worst for protests in Bahrain and FOM head Bernie Ecclestone has already offered to travel back to the city with Force India and a police escort.