Force India not shown on TV in qualifying
21 April 2012 – Suspicions have been aroused in the Formula 1 paddock after Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM television failed to show a single full frame of a Force India car during the qualifying broadcast for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
After several weeks of bickering as to whether or not the sport should be travelling to Bahrain amid the ongoing civil unrest, four Force India mechanics found themselves caught up in a protest when travelling from the circuit to their hotel on Wednesday night. Fearful of safety, Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley confirmed on Friday that the team would skip second practice to ensure that all staff returned to capital city Manama before nightfall, despite an offer from Ecclestone of a police escort.
As Force India’s decision generated much press coverage even outside of Formula 1, many inside the sport and fans across the internet are now convinced that their cars were not shown in qualifying because of an order from Ecclestone. FOM (Formula One Management) is responsible for the world TV feed, which is used by global broadcasters of the sport and cannot be replaced by independent directors.
The only brief sight of a Force India during qualifying was when Mark Webber, watched from his on-board camera, shot past Paul di Resta in the closing moments.