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. Tuesday 28 February 2017

  2. Video of the Day: Formula 1 2017 is on! 05:32

    Video of the Day: Formula 1 2017 is on!

    Mercedes re-caps its recent filming day at Silverstone with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

    F1
  3. Monday 27 February 2017

  4. 19:25

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing - Day 1

    F1
  5. Sainz Jr. baffled by top-team mileage 19:23

    Sainz Jr. baffled by top-team mileage

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says he "doesn't understand" how Mercedes and Ferrari were able to rack up so much mileage on the first day of…

    F1
  6. Hamilton: Mercedes still the 'team to beat' 19:02

    Hamilton: Mercedes still the 'team to beat'

    Lewis Hamilton says he feels that Mercedes is still the "team to beat" in Formula 1 after topping the timesheets on the first…

    F1
  7. Alonso laments restricted first test day 18:31

    Alonso laments restricted first test day

    Fernando Alonso says it is too early to judge McLaren's MCL32 after being restricted to "checking laps" on the first day of…

    F1
  8. Steiner: 2016 lessons aiding Haas progress 18:18

    Steiner: 2016 lessons aiding Haas progress

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says the squad's 2016 experiences have aided its pre-season cause, despite a handful of…

    F1
  9. Ricciardo: 2017 cars will go 'a lot quicker' 17:48

    Ricciardo: 2017 cars will go 'a lot quicker'

    Daniel Ricciardo reckons Formula 1 cars will be able to go "a lot quicker" as testing develops, despite an already fast start to…

    F1
  10. 17:11

    Formula 1 pre-season testing - Day 1 results

    F1
  11. Hamilton on top as F1's new era begins 17:04

    Hamilton on top as F1's new era begins

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton topped the times as Formula 1's new era got under way with pre-season testing at the Circuit de…

    F1
  12. Horner sure Red Bull problems 'not major' 16:09

    Horner sure Red Bull problems 'not major'

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has played down the team's reliability issues on the opening day of testing, describing…

    F1
  13. Boullier: McLaren 'surprised' by test issue 15:20

    Boullier: McLaren 'surprised' by test issue

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has admitted that the problem which impacted Fernando Alonso's running on the opening day…

    F1
  14. Mercedes debuts 'shark fin' during testing 14:08

    Mercedes debuts 'shark fin' during testing

    Mercedes debuted a 'shark fin' on its W08 during the afternoon of the opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de…

    F1
  15. Wehrlein hopes to be fit for second test 13:58

    Wehrlein hopes to be fit for second test

    Pascal Wehrlein says he will undergo a further medical assessment at the end of the week, which will determine whether he can…

    F1
  16. Vettel on top, McLaren/Red Bull hit trouble 12:02

    Vettel on top, McLaren/Red Bull hit trouble

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel led the way during the morning session as pre-season testing kicked off at the Circuit de…

    F1
  17. McLaren dealt setback on first test day 09:21

    McLaren dealt setback on first test day

    McLaren-Honda's start to the 2017 Formula 1 season has been dealt a setback after the MCL32 suffered an oil systems issue on the…

    F1
  18. 09:03

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  19. In photos: F1 class of 2017 hits track 08:31

    In photos: F1 class of 2017 hits track

    Formula 1's new era kicked off at 09:00 local time this morning (Monday) when testing got underway at the Circuit de…

    F1
  20. 07:35

    Follow Day 1 of pre-season testing live!

    F1
  21. Red Bull releases RB13 studio photos 07:21

    Red Bull releases RB13 studio photos

    Red Bull has released full studio shots of its new Formula 1 challenger, the RB13, following on from an online video launch on…

    F1
  22. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 1 line-up 06:34

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 1 line-up

    Formula 1 returns to action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday, for the first day of pre-season testing.…

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: Verstappen previews 2017 05:22

    Video of the Day: Verstappen previews 2017

    Red Bull racer Max Verstappen looks ahead to the 2017 Formula 1 season, his third in the championship.

    F1
  24. Sunday 26 February 2017

  25. Key: STR boosted by Renault, driver stability 17:59

    Key: STR boosted by Renault, driver stability

    Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key believes the team will be lifted by returning to using current-year Renault power units…

    F1
  26. 17:39

    Photos: Toro Rosso unveils striking STR12

    F1
  27. Sauber confirms schedule for first test 17:33

    Sauber confirms schedule for first test

    Sauber has confirmed its driver schedule for the opening pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Sauber will…

    F1
  28. Video: Toro Rosso STR12 at Misano 17:22

    Video: Toro Rosso STR12 at Misano

    Watch as Toro Rosso's new-look STR12 is put through its paces during a filming day at Misano.

    F1
  29. In photos: Formula 1 designs of 2017 17:18

    In photos: Formula 1 designs of 2017

    Formula 1's 2017 cars have been presented throughout 'launch week', in the build up to pre-season testing in Barcelona. Did you…

    F1
  30. Toro Rosso reveals new look with STR12 17:12

    Toro Rosso reveals new look with STR12

    Toro Rosso has completed Formula 1's launch season by unveiling its new-look STR12 in the pit lane at the Circuit de…

    F1
  31. Video: Red Bull reveals RB13 online 16:32

    Video: Red Bull reveals RB13 online

    Watch the online presentation as Red Bull reveals its new Formula 1 challenger, called the RB13.

    F1
  32. 14:08

    Photos: Haas presents 2017 F1 design

    F1
  33. Haas F1 unveils VF-17 after filming day 14:02

    Haas F1 unveils VF-17 after filming day

    Haas has officially unveiled its 2017 car, the VF-17, as the American squad prepares to embark on its second season in Formula…

    F1
  34. Red Bull unveils RB13 ahead of testing 12:17

    Red Bull unveils RB13 ahead of testing

    Red Bull has launched its Renault-powered RB13, the car with which it hopes to challenge Mercedes for the World Championship in…

    F1
  35. Driver line-ups for opening Barcelona test 10:44

    Driver line-ups for opening Barcelona test

    Formula 1 finally returns to action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this week with the first four-day test of the year.…

    F1
  36. Alonso gives McLaren MCL32 track debut 08:56

    Alonso gives McLaren MCL32 track debut

    Fernando Alonso has given the McLaren MCL32 its track debut during a filming day at a chilly but sunny Circuit de…

    F1
  37. Preview: Formula 1 gears up for testing 08:46

    Preview: Formula 1 gears up for testing

    Formula 1 will roar back into life on Monday morning with the first of 2017's two pre-season test sessions at the Circuit de…

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Ricciardo on 2017 season 05:32

    Video of the Day: Ricciardo on 2017 season

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo talks about his and the team's chances during the 2017 season.

    F1
  39. Saturday 25 February 2017

  40. Márquez dislocates shoulder in test crash 19:20

    Márquez dislocates shoulder in test crash

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez dislocated his shoulder in a crash during Repsol Honda's private test at the Circuito de…

    MotoGP
  41. Haas runs VF-17 for first time in filming day 19:07

    Haas runs VF-17 for first time in filming day

    Haas has run its new Formula 1 car, the VF-17, for the first time during a filming day in Barcelona. Haas is one of only…

    F1
  42. McLaren wary 2017 too soon for success 16:52

    McLaren wary 2017 too soon for success

    McLaren Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Neale is confident that the team will continue to make gains in 2017, but is conscious…

    F1
  43. Video: Vettel drives SF70-H at Fiorano 14:40

    Video: Vettel drives SF70-H at Fiorano

    Sebastian Vettel receives his first taste of Ferrari's SF70-H at Fiorano, after Kimi Räikkönen's run.

    F1
  44. FIA and FIM approve Barcelona changes 12:02

    FIA and FIM approve Barcelona changes

    Representatives from the FIA and the FIM have approved changes undertaken at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which hosts…

    F1
more news