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 4 September 2015

  2. Video of the Day: Vettel visits Brembo HQ 05:22

    Video of the Day: Vettel visits Brembo HQ

    Sebastian Vettel visited Brembo's Italian headquarters to celebrate the brand's 40th year in Formula 1.

    F1
  3. Thursday 3 September 2015

  4. GP3 Series unveils new-for-2016 car 17:46

    GP3 Series unveils new-for-2016 car

    GP3 has unveiled its third generation car which will be introduced at the start of the 2016 season. The championship has used…

    GP3
  5. 17:03

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations at Monza

    F1
  6. Vettel still wants answers from Pirelli 16:38

    Vettel still wants answers from Pirelli

    Sebastian Vettel has praised Pirelli for its "professional" response to the tyre failures suffered at the Belgian Grand Prix…

    F1
  7. Van Buuren and Binder join MP Motorsport 14:24

    Van Buuren and Binder join MP Motorsport

    Meindert van Buuren and René Binder will comprise the driver line-up for MP Motorsport at this weekend's round of the GP2…

    GP2
  8. Pirelli presents Belgian GP conclusions 13:54

    Pirelli presents Belgian GP conclusions

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has presented its conclusions following a detailed investigation into the two separate tyre…

    F1
  9. Further engine penalties for McLaren pair 13:29

    Further engine penalties for McLaren pair

    McLaren-Honda drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are set endure further grid penalties at the Italian Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  10. Pérez expects new Force India deal 'soon' 12:03

    Pérez expects new Force India deal 'soon'

    Sergio Pérez says it is his intention to remain as a Force India driver next season, and expects a fresh deal to be announced…

    F1
  11. Cecotto Jr. makes Trident GP2 return 11:02

    Cecotto Jr. makes Trident GP2 return

    Johnny Cecotto Jr. will make a return to the GP2 Series this weekend alongside Ferrari youngster Raffaele Marciello at…

    GP2
  12. 10:42

    Formula 1 2016: Driver line-ups so far

    F1
  13. Williams boosted by line-up stability 10:38

    Williams boosted by line-up stability

    Sir Frank Williams says his eponymous team is in a "fantastic position" ahead of the 2016 season, thanks to the stability of…

    F1
  14. Williams keeps Massa, Bottas for 2016 10:01

    Williams keeps Massa, Bottas for 2016

    Williams will continue with an unchanged driver line-up of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for the 2016 season, the pair…

    F1
  15. Trummer re-joins Hilmer for Monza 09:06

    Trummer re-joins Hilmer for Monza

    Simon Trummer will make a return to the GP2 Series with Hilmer Motorsport for this weekend's round at Monza. Trummer, who…

    GP2
  16. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Monza preview 05:26

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Monza preview

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Lewis Hamilton looks ahead to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

    F1
  17. Wednesday 2 September 2015

  18. Video: Toro Rosso duo play word tennis 14:35

    Video: Toro Rosso duo play word tennis

    Toro Rosso youngsters Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen play word tennis ahead of the Italian GP.

    F1
  19. Renault confident over power unit performance 13:40

    Renault confident over power unit performance

    Renault Director of Operations Rémi Taffin says that the power unit supplier can head into this weekend's Italian Grand Prix…

    F1
  20. Williams targets Monza podium repeat 12:24

    Williams targets Monza podium repeat

    Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley believes that there is no reason why the squad cannot target a repeat of its…

    F1
  21. Honda braced for 'big challenge' at Monza 10:32

    Honda braced for 'big challenge' at Monza

    McLaren's engine supplier Honda says it is braced for a "big challenge" at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, due to the…

    F1
  22. Preview: Five key questions for Italy 09:35

    Preview: Five key questions for Italy

    Formula 1 heads to the historic Monza circuit this weekend to signal the end of the European part of the 2015 season. Here…

    F1
  23. Mardenborough steps up to GP2 with Carlin 09:13

    Mardenborough steps up to GP2 with Carlin

    British driver Jann Mardenborough will make his GP2 Series debut with Carlin at this weekend's round of the championship at…

    GP2
  24. Armand to make Pons return at Silverstone 08:24

    Armand to make Pons return at Silverstone

    Philo Paz Armand is set to make his return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Silverstone this weekend. Armand, a rookie in…

    FR 3.5
  25. Factfile: The 2015 Italian Grand Prix 07:43

    Factfile: The 2015 Italian Grand Prix

    Formula 1's European leg comes to an end with this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Ahead of the event at the Autodromo Nazionale…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Vettel's Monza preview 05:26

    Video of the Day: Vettel's Monza preview

    Quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to his first Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver.

    F1
  27. Tuesday 1 September 2015

  28. 17:42

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  29. Sainz Jr. set for 10-place grid drop at Monza 17:30

    Sainz Jr. set for 10-place grid drop at Monza

    Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr. is set to take a 10-place grid drop for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, with…

    F1
  30. Video: Ferrari previews home F1 race 14:08

    Video: Ferrari previews home F1 race

    Ferrari previews its home Formula 1 race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which takes place this weekend.

    F1
  31. Button hopeful deployment issues fixed 12:43

    Button hopeful deployment issues fixed

    Jenson Button says McLaren-Honda has been working hard to ensure that the deployment problems he endured at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  32. Rosberg targets qualifying, start gains 12:04

    Rosberg targets qualifying, start gains

    Nico Rosberg is focused on improving his qualifying pace and start procedure at the Italian Grand Prix, as he bids to get on…

    F1
  33. Hülkenberg signs new Force India deal 11:27

    Hülkenberg signs new Force India deal

    Nico Hülkenberg will remain as a Force India driver until at least the end of the 2017 Formula 1 campaign, after the 24 Hours…

    F1
  34. Wilson wins IndyCar fan favourite award 11:26

    Wilson wins IndyCar fan favourite award

    The late Justin Wilson was posthumously awarded IndyCar's fan favourite accolade at the end-of-season championship celebration…

    Indy
  35. Niederhauser to make GP2 debut at Monza 09:29

    Niederhauser to make GP2 debut at Monza

    Patric Niederhauser will make his GP2 debut with Team Lazarus at this weekend's Monza round. Niederhauser, who finished 10th…

    GP2
  36. Video of the Day: Kvyat demos F1 car in Russia 05:26

    Video of the Day: Kvyat demos F1 car in Russia

    Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat showcased Formula 1 machinery at the recent Kazan City Racing event in Russia.

    F1
  37. Monday 31 August 2015

  38. Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation 17:53

    Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has completed its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sebastian Vettel's failure in…

    F1
  39. Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS 14:24

    Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS

    Nico Hülkenberg is hopeful that he can make up for his non-start in Belgium with a return to the points-paying positions at…

    F1
  40. Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win 13:34

    Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win

    Watch highlights as Scott Dixon wins the double-points Sonoma finale to snatch his fourth IndyCar title.

    Indy
  41. Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium 12:06

    Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium

    Sergio Pérez says Force India should continue to target podium finishes over the remainder of the 2015 season, after an…

    F1
  42. Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible' 10:41

    Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible'

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has been praised for making a "way more sensible" compound selection for this weekend's Italian…

    F1
  43. Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over 10:15

    Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez has admitted that his chances of defending his MotoGP title are all but over after he crashed…

    MotoGP
  44. Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win 09:32

    Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win

    Yamaha's Valentino Rossi described himself as "very proud" after mastering wet conditions to win the British Grand Prix and…

    MotoGP
  45. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat 05:11

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat

    F1 brakes reach extreme temperatures, as McLaren outlines in the final part of its technical video series.

    F1
more news