Crown Prince: We will not cancel the race

Crown Prince: We will not cancel the race

20 April 2012 – The Crown Prince of Bahrain has vowed not to call off the country’s Formula 1 race for a second consecutive year despite rising fears in the paddock on Friday. This follows two separate incidents on Wednesday and Thursday nights in which Force India and Sauber mechanics witnessed potentially dangerous situations on motorways.

In a press conference held at the Sakhir circuit, Formula One Management (FOM) head Bernie Ecclestone admitted that the royal highness has been 'a little bit silly' by putting the race on. The Englishman has continuously said that the event would not be cancelled unless the Bahraini authorities at the helm said that it should be.

As journalists gathered in the press conference, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa insisted that a cancellation would not be the right move.

“I would first like to start by saying that I hope by coming here, unlike what has been reported, we are not trying to say we’re perfect,” he began. “We’re a real country with real issues and we hope that you get a chance to see us for all our complexities and all our shades.

“I genuinely believe this race is a force for good; it unites many people from many different religious backgrounds, sexes and ethnicities, under the roof of Formula 1. All of them are excited that you’re here and I hope that you get a chance to interview some of these fans and see what they really think.

“I think this race should continue because it is indeed a very big event for this country, it’s important economically and socially. Political parties from across the whole spectrum, both conservative and opposition, have welcomed the race.”

On Thursday, British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said that Prime Minister David Cameron (Conservative Party) should call the race off.

“As far as I understand, it was a few politicians who made those comments and it certainly doesn’t represent the entire British political spectrum,” the Crown Prince continued.

“I absolutely can guarantee that any problems that may or may not happen are not directed at Formula 1. It goes to show that there are people who are out to cause chaos; you had these problems last year in your country and there’s a very big difference between protesting for political rights and rioting. The attack that happened around Force India was aimed at the police, it was unprovoked and was quite dangerous, but at no time was anyone from Formula 1 in danger.

“I think cancelling the race just empowers extremists. For those of us trying to navigate a way out of this political problem, having this race allows us to build bridges across communities and get people working together. It allows us to celebrate our nation as an idea that is positive, not one that is divisive. I actually think that having the race has actually prevented extremists from doing what they think they need to do out of the world’s attention.

“I guarantee that any protests are not against Formula 1. I am very confident that protests, which will happen at some point - there is a demonstration today - is part of the political process in any country. So why should we be any different? Why should our openness relative to our neighbours be used against us? I think it’s part of the political fabric of this country. The race is the race, we are here the celebrate that and, frankly, I’m here to go racing.

“If we admit that we have problems, if we hold internal investigations with external investigators and we say that we’re not perfect, then I hardly think we’re trying to gloss over real issues that exist in our country. What we’re trying to do is to use any positive event for the benefit of our people and our nation and I will not be ashamed about that, at all.”

The sun set in Bahrain at 6pm (BST +2); today is feared to be the worst for protests as masses of demonstrators are expected to take to the streets following Friday prayer. F1 personnel continue to travel from the race track to hotels in capital city Manama; a selection of villages where protests take place lie between the two locations.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 22 May 2015

  2. 19:47

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Video: Codemasters F1 2015 teaser 18:45

    Video: Codemasters F1 2015 teaser

    Codemasters provides a glimpse of F1 2015, coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One on July 10.

    F1
  4. Matsushita penalised with pit lane start 14:46

    Matsushita penalised with pit lane start

    ART Grand Prix driver Nobuharu Matsushita has been ordered to start the GP2 Sprint Race from the pit lane after causing a…

    GP2
  5. MotoGP eyes Indonesian race from 2017 14:44

    MotoGP eyes Indonesian race from 2017

    MotoGP is looking to add an Indonesian round to its calendar from the 2017 season. Dorna Sports chief Carmelo Ezpeleta and…

    MotoGP
  6. Video: Challenges of racing in Monaco 14:34

    Video: Challenges of racing in Monaco

    Learn more about the challenges of racing in Monaco with this guide from F1 brake supplier Brembo.

    F1
  7. 14:31

    Photos: Berlin prepares for Formula E

    FE
  8. Huertas out of Indy 500 with ear condition 14:17

    Huertas out of Indy 500 with ear condition

    Carlos Huertas has been ruled out of the Indianapolis 500 just two days before the race after he was diagnosed with an inner ear…

    Indy
  9. FIA opens 2017-19 Formula 1 tyre tender 13:16

    FIA opens 2017-19 Formula 1 tyre tender

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has officially opened a tender for interested companies to become the sport's sole tyre…

    F1
  10. F1 Strategy Group 'not fit for purpose' 11:44

    F1 Strategy Group 'not fit for purpose'

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says Formula 1's Strategy Group "is not fit for purpose", arguing that it should…

    F1
  11. 11:43

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday in Monaco

    GP2
  12. Vandoorne beats Rossi to Monaco win 11:42

    Vandoorne beats Rossi to Monaco win

    Stoffel Vandoorne continued his emphatic start to the 2015 GP2 season as he claimed his third successive Feature Race win around…

    GP2
  13. Bianchi's situation 'stagnant', says family 10:20

    Bianchi's situation 'stagnant', says family

    The father of Jules Bianchi has said that while the family has not given up hope of a miracle, his son's medical situation is…

    F1
  14. Video: Merhi crashes out in practice 09:50

    Video: Merhi crashes out in practice

    Manor's Roberto Merhi brought out the red flags with this crash during second practice in Monaco.

    F1
  15. IndyCar adds Boston street race for 2016 09:19

    IndyCar adds Boston street race for 2016

    IndyCar has announced that it will add a Boston street race to its calendar for the 2016 season. The event, scheduled to be…

    Indy
  16. Hülkenberg sure top team chance will come 08:22

    Hülkenberg sure top team chance will come

    Force India racer Nico Hülkenberg is sure that his chance with a leading Formula 1 team will arrive, despite the German's…

    F1
  17. Video of the Day: Rosberg meets royalty 05:36

    Video of the Day: Rosberg meets royalty

    Nico Rosberg spent time with Prince Albert of Monaco ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

    F1
  18. Thursday 21 May 2015

  19. Haryanto handed three place penalty 18:55

    Haryanto handed three place penalty

    Campos driver Rio Haryanto has been handed a grid penalty following qualifying for the GP2 Feature Race in Monaco. Stewards…

    GP2
  20. Briscoe to sub for Hinchcliffe at Indy 17:11

    Briscoe to sub for Hinchcliffe at Indy

    Ryan Briscoe will return to the cockpit of an IndyCar this Sunday when he takes control of the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda…

    Indy
  21. 17:01

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday in Monaco

    F1
  22. Räikkönen struggles with tyre warm-up 16:56

    Räikkönen struggles with tyre warm-up

    Kimi Räikkönen says he struggled with tyre warm-up throughout Thursday's pair of practice sessions for the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  23. Verstappen 'immediately' comfortable in Monaco 16:41

    Verstappen 'immediately' comfortable in Monaco

    Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen says he felt instantly comfortable as he tackled Monte-Carlo's streets for the first time on…

    F1
  24. Massa: Nothing to learn in wet conditions 16:22

    Massa: Nothing to learn in wet conditions

    Williams' Felipe Massa expressed his frustration after rainfall restricted running on the first day of practice for the Monaco…

    F1
  25. Rossi takes pole at wet Monaco 16:03

    Rossi takes pole at wet Monaco

    Alexander Rossi set the fastest time in the second qualifying session at Monaco to claim pole position for Friday's Feature…

    GP2
  26. Hamilton encouraged by early car balance 15:39

    Hamilton encouraged by early car balance

    Lewis Hamilton says he was pleased with his initial car balance after leading the first two practice sessions for the Monaco…

    F1
  27. Abt to remain with family-run team 15:05

    Abt to remain with family-run team

    Daniel Abt will remain with ABT Sportsline for the second season of Formula E, which is set to begin later this year. Abt…

    FE
  28. 14:36

    Monaco Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  29. Hamilton quickest in rain-hit second practice 14:32

    Hamilton quickest in rain-hit second practice

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton remained at the head of the times as a rain shower severely limited running during Thursday…

    F1
  30. 12:49

    Follow second practice for the Monaco GP!

    F1
  31. Hinchcliffe expected to make full recovery 12:24

    Hinchcliffe expected to make full recovery

    James Hinchcliffe has been moved out of intensive care and is expected to make a full recovery from the injuries he suffered…

    Indy
  32. 10:45

    Monaco Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  33. Hamilton leads Verstappen in first practice 10:34

    Hamilton leads Verstappen in first practice

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets during a mixed up opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, ahead…

    F1
  34. 08:48

    Follow first practice for the Monaco GP!

    F1
  35. Räikkönen dismisses concerns over future 07:36

    Räikkönen dismisses concerns over future

    Kimi Räikkönen has dismissed concerns regarding his Formula 1 future, as rumours continue to suggest that compatriot Valtteri…

    F1
  36. Hamilton never doubted Mercedes continuity 06:47

    Hamilton never doubted Mercedes continuity

    Lewis Hamilton says that he never had any doubts about his Formula 1 future while he was mulling over signing a new deal with…

    F1
  37. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Monaco preview 05:12

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Monaco preview

    Reigning World Champion and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton looks ahead to the Monaco Grand Prix.

    F1
  38. Wednesday 20 May 2015

  39. Alonso queries Formula 1's direction 19:01

    Alonso queries Formula 1's direction

    Fernando Alonso has questioned the direction which Formula 1 has taken across recent years, after it was announced last week…

    F1
  40. 17:30

    Latest F1 photos: Wednesday in Monaco

    F1
  41. Rosberg enthused by Hamilton contract 17:28

    Rosberg enthused by Hamilton contract

    Nico Rosberg says it is 'great' that Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton has extended his contract to remain with the squad until…

    F1
  42. Ricciardo: Spain showed Red Bull weaknesses 16:28

    Ricciardo: Spain showed Red Bull weaknesses

    Daniel Ricciardo says that Red Bull's performance at the recent Spanish Grand Prix emphasised that the squad's issues in 2015…

    F1
  43. 'Limited' Sauber awaiting upgrade package 14:42

    'Limited' Sauber awaiting upgrade package

    Felipe Nasr says that Sauber may have to wait until after Formula 1's summer break in August before the squad can challenge for…

    F1
more news