F1: Molotov Cocktail Incident Rocks Force India Team In Bahrain

TMR Team | Apr 20, 2012
  • Molotov cocktails incident rocks Force India team in Bahrain
  • Bahrain F1 chief plays down Force India incident
  • Rosberg now in top F1 drivers' league - Berger
  • Ecclestone meets again with French gov't minister
  • New York organisers deny 2013 race delay

Molotov Cocktail incident rocks Force India team in Bahrain

Security fears have rocked Force India in Bahrain after mechanics travelling in a team hire car were caught up in a Molotov cocktail attack in a clash between police and demonstrators.

Earlier, it was confirmed a team member who was not travelling in the car had been given permission to return to the UK.

Now, the Associated Press reports on Thursday that a second team member - one who was in the vehicle - is also leaving Bahrain.

"They were just people working for the team," said a team spokesman.

Force India's drivers confirmed the uneasy feeling in the team.

"It's a difficult one isn't it? I'm sure it's affecting everybody at the moment," said Paul di Resta.

"I've not spoken to everybody within the team, but there is some concern and some people have felt it a bit more than others.

"As for me, I'm how I've felt for the last couple of weeks, although there is an edge to things at the moment," said the Scot.

"I don't think, from what we've seen at the moment, the people (protesters) are here to hurt us.

"Everybody is individual, but when you feel uncomfortable, then you take action like the two people in our team have done," he added.

Di Resta's teammate Nico Hulkenberg admitted it is "not right" a sport is being affected by a country's politics.

"The F1 business is about entertainment, and these sorts of things should not really be happening to us," the German is quoted by AFP-Sapa news agency.

"It is not good that we have to worry about it - but that is the way it is now so let's see and hope that the rest of the weekend is good and calm."

(GMM)

Bahrain F1 chief plays down Force India incident

Bahrain's Grand Prix chief on Thursday played down the incident that caused a member of the Force India team to pull out of the event.

The team member was granted permission by Force India chiefs to head back to the UK, after a rented van carrying his colleagues was caught up in a Molotov cocktail attack on the return trip from the circuit late on Wednesday.

"They weren't targeted. They just happened to be there," said the Sakhir circuit's chairman Zayed R Alzayani, according to the BBC.

"It could happen in any place in the world really, getting caught up in a riot or a fight or anything."

He admitted there will "probably" be more incidents before the weekend is out.

"I don't think they will be within the track or close to the track, and I think they will be handled in the right way."

As for his advice to race-goers, Alzayani insisted: "Don't be too worried and too distracted not to enjoy the weekend."

In a provided media statement on Thursday, the Bahrain International Circuit said Force India was caught up in an "isolated incident".

(GMM)

Rosberg now in top F1 drivers' league - Berger

Nico Rosberg's F1 breakthrough proves he is ready to fight even for the world championship.

That is the view of former GP winner, team boss and co-owner Gerhard Berger, following Rosberg's first pole and win in China last weekend.

"It surprised not me, but all the others who had doubted him," the Austrian told Auto Bild Motorsport.

"It was about time. I was worried," Berger smiled, "because I have always said I thought Nico was faster than Michael (Schumacher).

"Now he is finally where he has belonged for a long time - in the same league as Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Button," he said.

"And when the (Mercedes) car is good enough, he is already ready for the world title."

Berger, then as BMW motor sport director, said he was instrumental in 2002 in convincing Sir Frank Williams to give the then 17-year-old Rosberg his first F1 test.

Also welcoming Sunday's breakthrough is Nelson Piquet junior, another son of a world champion who actually went to kindergarten with Rosberg in Monaco.

"It's funny how in F1 things can take so long to happen," the Brazilian told Globo.

"It took him more than six years to get his first victory, which for me is a long time considering how good a driver he is," added Piquet, now in Nascar.

(GMM)

Ecclestone meets again with French gov't minister

Bernie Ecclestone has met yet again in London with David Douillet, the French sports minister.

The F1 chief executive confirmed this week that a deal to alternate an annual calendar spot between France and Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps beginning next year is now close.

"Spa have agreed; apparently they're going to do it in (Paul) Ricard," Ecclestone told the BBC.

The French sports daily L'Equipe reports that the 81-year-old's latest meeting with Douillet is "another step towards the return of the grand prix de France".

The meeting, reportedly confirmed by "several sources including those in Belgium", is Ecclestone's second with Douillet in 2012.

(GMM)

New York organisers deny 2013 race delay

Organisers of the New York street race have hit back at Bernie Ecclestone's claim the inaugural 2013 date might be delayed a year.

The F1 chief executive had announced a race on the streets of New Jersey for 2013, and recent photos showed that work on the main pit building is well underway.

But Ecclestone told the BBC this week: "Maybe the New York race will be 2013. It's a (question of) when... 2013 or 2014."

Some sensed that the surprise news might be a diversionary tactic by Ecclestone, who is under intense pressure to cancel this weekend's highly controversial Bahrain GP.

Indeed, a spokesman for the 2013 New York street race has reacted to the 81-year-old's news with surprise.

"There's nothing to it," the spokesman, Stephen Sigmund, is quoted by NJBiz. "The race is on, as scheduled, for 2013."

The race site is predominantly in the Port Imperial development, owned by Roseland Property Co.

That company's managing partner Carl Goldberg said: "As the primary land owner for the race site, we continue to plan and prepare for a June 2013 race."

(GMM)

Filed under: f1, Racing, News, enthusiast, bahrain f1 gp

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