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. Wednesday 4 March 2015

  2. 10:21

    Subscribe for GPUpdate Manager 2015!

    F1
  3. Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains 10:14

    Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester reckons the team is in a much stronger position this year with its new...

    F1
  4. Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season 09:38

    Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season

    Pons Racing has signed Roberto Merhi for the upcoming Formula Renault 3.5 campaign. The Spaniard, 23, made his series...

    FR 3.5
  5. F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona? 08:12

    F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona?

    After eight more days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the pre-season period is officially over....

    F1
  6. Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot 05:04

    Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot

    Go behind the scenes at Red Bull's driver photo shoot with renowned photographer Michael Muller.

    F1
  7. Tuesday 3 March 2015

  8. Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test 14:43

    Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test

    After teaming up with Ultimate Ears last year, Red Bull decided to put the UE Boom to the ultimate test.

    F1
  9. Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix 12:13

    Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix

    McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will sit out the Australian Grand Prix in the wake of his testing crash at the...

    F1
  10. Force India braced for early regression 09:31

    Force India braced for early regression

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says the squad is braced for a slow start to the 2015 campaign following the...

    F1
  11. Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme 09:24

    Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme

    Williams has confirmed the details of Susie Wolff's on track programme for the 2015 season. Wolff, who stepped up to the...

    F1
  12. Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key 08:42

    Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key

    Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key hailed a positive pre-season campaign for the Italian squad, believing that the new...

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch 05:24

    Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch

    Highlights from the launch event of Formula E's Berlin ePrix, which will take place later this season around the grounds of...

    FE
  14. Monday 2 March 2015

  15. Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari 15:42

    Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasised that the Italian outfit must remain disciplined as it prepares for...

    F1
  16. Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia 14:14

    Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the French power unit supplier is 'quietly confident' ahead of the opening...

    F1
  17. FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes 13:08

    FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes

    Formula 1 drivers will be restricted to just one helmet design per season after a proposals put forward by figures inside...

    F1
  18. Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers 11:01

    Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers

    The final pre-season test at Barcelona saw Nico Rosberg and Mercedes top the timesheets, and Sauber lead the mileage stakes....

    F1
  19. Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes 10:52

    Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel says he expects a close fight between Williams, Red Bull and his Ferrari team this year – albeit some way b...

    F1
  20. Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4 10:45

    Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, will make his car racing debut in German ADAC Formula 4...

    Misc
  21. Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo 10:33

    Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo

    Formula Renault 3.5 outfit Pons Racing has confirmed that it has parted company with Colombian youngster Óscar...

    FR 3.5
  22. 09:57

    Photos: Red Bull presents RB11 livery

    F1
  23. Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery 09:32

    Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery

    Red Bull has revealed the RB11 in its final race colours, ahead of the squad's planned filming day at the Circuit de...

    F1
  24. Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation 08:38

    Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says he is encouraged by the progress the squad has made across its pre-season testing...

    F1
  25. Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project 08:15

    Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project

    Former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton has confirmed that he will make the switch to the World Endurance Championship this year...

    LM
  26. Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan 08:12

    Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton and Nissan GT Academy mentor Alex Buncombe discuss their roles with Nissan ahead of the...

    LM
  27. Sunday 1 March 2015

  28. 19:26

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 4

    F1
  29. Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08 19:12

    Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08

    Sergio Pérez expressed his optimism after he received his first taste of Force India's VJM08 at the Circuit de...

    F1
  30. McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015 18:57

    McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the squad is prepared for a tricky start to its 2015 campaign after pre-season...

    F1
  31. Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash 18:33

    Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash

    Lotus has confirmed that a brake problem caused Pastor Maldonado's crash on the final day of pre-season testing in...

    F1
  32. Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season 18:13

    Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season

    Nico Rosberg declared himself happy with Mercedes' pre-season preparations, after topping the combined times at the final...

    F1
  33. 17:08

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 results

    F1
  34. Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing 17:03

    Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time as the third and final pre-season test reached its conclusion at the...

    F1
  35. Hamilton explains decision to keep #44 13:06

    Hamilton explains decision to keep #44

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he chose to keep #44 as his car number for the upcoming season as it "means more to me"...

    F1
  36. 07:51

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  37. Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father 07:46

    Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father

    McLaren test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen says he enquired over the possibility of racing alongside father Jan for...

    F1
  38. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up 06:47

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya concludes on Sunday and, to keep you up to date with who is...

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem 05:24

    Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem

    Spanish musician and record producer Nacho Cano had released an official anthem for Formula E.

    FE
  40. Saturday 28 February 2015

  41. 21:12

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 3

    F1
  42. First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison 20:04

    First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison expressed his happiness after the squad was able to conduct its first race...

    F1
  43. Hamilton: Predicting main rivals is 'irrelevant' 19:34

    Hamilton: Predicting main rivals is 'irrelevant'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says it is "irrelevant" to make predictions over who the outfit's main rivals will be in...

    F1
  44. Ricciardo content with Red Bull progress 19:05

    Ricciardo content with Red Bull progress

    Daniel Ricciardo played down his lowly position on the timesheets during the penultimate day of pre-season testing at the...

    F1
  45. Magnussen feels 'very good base' with MP4-30 18:47

    Magnussen feels 'very good base' with MP4-30

    McLaren tester Kevin Magnussen says the team's Honda-powered MP4-30 feels better in many areas compared to its...

    F1
more news