Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone targets summer break slot for Bahrain

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone hopes to re-schedule the Bahrain Grand Prix to take place during the August break in the F1 calendar.

Speaking to the official F1 website he said: “We need a race in Bahrain.

“If the Crown Prince is of the opinion that his country is able to host a race we will return to Bahrain.

“I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country.”

There is a four-week break between the Hungarian Grand Prix (29th-31st July) and Belgian Grand Prix (26th-28th August).

Average temperatures in Bahrain hit their peak in August in the mid-30s, around 10C warmer than in March when the race is usually held. Maximum temperatures in August are as high as 38C.

Ecclestone denied there was a need for an alternative race in Europe. He added: “The FIA has to change the calendar, and Bahrain has to apply for a new slot.

“The FIA World Council will meet at the beginning of March and could look into the situation.

“I have already spoken with FIA President Jean Todt about the possibility of finding a new date and we both agreed that a decision has to be made before the season starts.”

Re-scheduling the race may only be possible if the political situation in the country improves. Ecclestone dismissed suggestions that F1 should not race there for political reasons:

“Formula One must never be political – full stop.

“My job is it to do the best deals possible for Formula One – to secure jobs. Five thousand people have jobs which are directly or indirectly connected to Formula One, and I want to secure these jobs.

“It is not my business to make politics. We have politicians for that.”

2011 Bahrain Grand Prix

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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164 comments on “Ecclestone targets summer break slot for Bahrain”

  1. He also says that he sees a woman running F1 in 3-5 years. Are the Ecclestone daughters going to be taking over in 2015?

    1. Re: women running F1 in 3-5 yrs, this does seem to be one of the strongest hints Mr. E’s given recently on legacy planning in F1 and so far not a single news outlet seems to have picked up on it. Perhaps the media is the biggest barrier to a greater role for women in F1?

      1. I disagree, if there aren’t any good F1 women single seater racers then what can you do. You can’t hold back talent.

        1. Do women play football with men? Do female tennis players play tennis with men? Make a category for women to race together. Why they have to race in F1?

          1. There’s no need for that kind of segregation in motor racing, and nor is it desirable.

          2. Gents, I’d like to point out that Bernie was referring to running F1. And anyhow, what reasons are there for women to not race in F1? If they are physically capable and good enough, give thema shot.

            There are already a number of women working on the technical and commercial areas of F1, including Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn. The media still seems to be very male dominated. Keith, what’s your experience of attending tests and press conferences? Are there many female journalists around?

          3. Well I sent one to Barcelona…

            And yes, there are a few others in the media. The BBC has Lee McKenzie and Natalie Pinkham, for example.

          4. First of all, I pretty much agree with what Bernie says on women running F1. The ones that do are doing pretty well.

            Good point Mike makes about the media, glad Keith was able to help improve that cause with Leandra in Barcelona!

            Why should a women not be racing men. Can women be as fit? Why not.
            They might be even better at multitaksing, making them more suitable to get to grips with all the systems in the cars.

          5. don’t swet david, they won’t race in f1, just because they are not as good as men. There could be an exception to the rule, but that’s it. If there is one, bring her on, and we’ll see what she is made of.

          6. don’t worry david, there could be an exception, but this is a mens sport, and 99% of the drivers will alwaysbe men, with the rare exception once in a while. That can even bring a little color. Nothing to worry about.
            It would be hell if there were 50% of them on the grid. Just imagine all the complaining.
            I would stop watching f1, even on tv.

          7. Kowalsky – Your last sentence illustrates exactly why I hope there are at least 50% of women on the grid sooner rather than later. Byeee!!

          8. And yes, female tennis players do play tennis with men: it is called ‘mixed doubles’

          9. We don’t need categories because motorsports require not solely human strength and ability, but cars. That’s why F1 isn’t in the Olympics: cars are what makes a real difference, and the competition would be from teams and far smaller by drivers, therefore females can compete in F1, as happened in the past, because there aren’t physical differences that stop a woman from driving a car.

          10. regarding Tennis.. urm yes. mixed doubles ;)

          11. then again.. women in F1.. it would be funny to see some indicating before taking over haha ;)

          12. McLarenFanJamm
            1st March 2011, 13:56

            Are “David” and “kowalsky” Richard Keys and Andy Gray in disguise?

          13. In sports like shooting men and women compete together because there is no benefit for either sex.

            If danica can run in Nascar, I don’t see why can’t be a woman in a F1 drive.

            Current FWC in trial-motorbike also competes against men. Last week scored third. Ok she is unique, but it happens.

          14. Between comments on this thread and on a recent post on James Allen’s blog, I’ve learned so much about misogyny among F1 fans lately! Can’t put a price on that kind of education.

          15. I disagree David, just look at Indycar. Danica races competitively with the men.

          16. Men and women compete together in equestrian events.

            There’s a good analogy between cars and horses; drivers and riders. Every driver/rider needs the skill to control the best cars/horses at the top level of their respective sports.

            Riding is also quite physically demanding, maybe not as much as F1, but I’m sure women can be fit enough to drive a F1 car.

          17. Kowalsky says that this is a “Men’s sport”. There’s no such thing. It’s just something sexist people say when they feel afraid that there might be women as good or better at the sport that they love.

          18. …Than men, I meant to say.

          19. It doesn’t matter all the reasons you are saying. If Bernie says there will be a woman racing then that will happen.

          20. Jarred Walmsley
            1st March 2011, 18:10

            Because unlike the sports you mention, motorsport does not rely on physical strength, in fact it is probably the only sport that is gender neutral in terms of ability.

          21. Do female tennis players play tennis with men?

            Actually, yes they do.

          22. We Want Turbos
            1st March 2011, 21:56

            Women in F1 crack on. All I want to see is the best 24 drivers in the world race at the pinnacle of motorsport! Man or woman! The only thing I don’t want to see is a woman getting a race seat purely because shes a woman as that kind of political correctness sends out the wrong message and gives the sexist fools a basis to complain!!!

          23. SeattleChris
            1st March 2011, 23:49

            I am for equality in any form it comes… however, many people seem to be assuming that since the cars “do all the work” that there isn’t a physical aspect to driving. It would take a very strong AND talented female to compete at this level. This is the only reason I don’t believe we will see a female driver enter F1 and do reasonably well. I do hope that I am proven wrong however, but in the mean time I think it isn’t a bad idea to have a female series. I think of golf and how there are mens and womens divisions, but the ladies can get on a pga event and play. This way, we get two exciting sports with the excitement of the possibility of a crossover female.
            On the flip side I wonder why male NBA players, PGA, MLB and so forth players aren’t allowed to play in the female leagues (if equality is really what we are after).

          24. Spot on We Want Turbos. I want to see the best drivers based purely on their driving ability, if they are male or female is irrelevant… and damn the whole “pay drivers” thing ggrr

        2. There should be a woman F1 driver, but only when she’s good enough and earns her place through results not just because of her gender.

      2. There are some women at high positions in F1, most known example is Monisha Kaltenborn from Sauber, but apart from that it does look like a hint at his heritage.

        Bernie has been schooling Tamara to know everyone by being a pitreporter and Petra as entrepeneur by setting up her own fashionlabel (called Form). Together they could probably succeed. Anyone knows their feelings about medals and wet tracks?

        Another typically Bernie quote made me smile:

        Take Kubica. Between two tests he was rallying and had this accident. I would have told him, ‘Listen, you are rallying next week so I guess you are a bit too tired for the test on the following weekend. So let’s have your team mate and the reserve man do the sessions.’ Do you think he would have taken the chance to rally? I don’t think so

        1. Bernie did something very similar after the drivers’ strike at Kyalami in 1982.

          When Nelson Piquet returned to the track after the overnight protest, Bernie said he had concerns for his wellbeing and so all three Brabhams had Riccardo Patrese’s name on them in place of Piquet.

    2. So, there’s segregation in other sports? Come on now! I find it frivolous to put a woman in F1 just for the sake of it. If they really care for women in motorsport they should promote an academy for women.

      1. I find it frivolous to put a woman in F1 just for the sake of it.

        No-one’s saying do it “just for the sake of it”.

        If they really care for women in motorsport they should promote an academy for women.

        They do: FIA wants more women in motor racing

        1. Dont see why women cant race in F1.

          We cant compare F1 to other sports such as football or tennis since these sports rely predominatly on physical aspects, i.e. strength, speed, physique etc. A general woman’s physique is different to a man’s, on average, men are stronger, faster and bigger than woman…from a physical standpoint. Hence why men and women dont compete in the same leagues, it would be unfair. I still remember a couple years ago, Serena Williams, who is probably the world’s most physically strong woman tennis player, challenged some bloke who was ranked in the 100s on the ATP Tour, and lost.

          As many have pointed out, rightly so, F1 is a different kettle of fish. If a woman can be fit enough, which I dont doubt, cant see why they cant challenge in F1 if they have relevant experience in the lower racing categories.

      2. But, like Bernie said, and others here have pointed out, this is about women running F1, not driving in F1.

        Either way, there are plenty of Women driving in lower formulae, as well as GT and tin-tops of various kinds. Indycar has Danika, The DTM has Suzie Stoddart (having been in F3 & Formula Renault)and Katherine Legge (F3, Toyota Atlantic & Champ Car). Sebastian Buemi’s cousin Natacha Gachnang has been in Formula BMW, Spanish F3, GT and Le Mans. And watching the BTCC on ITV4 last year, a number of the Ginetta Junior, Renault Clio and Formula Renault UK drivers are female. There’s no reason why F1 couldn’t have a female driver in the future.

      3. David, you’ve struck at the heart of the problem; it would indeed be frivolous to put a in F1 “just for the sake of it”. But if they have achieved their place on merit, they have as much right that seat as anyone else. Louise Hamilton or Fiona Alonso could be just as good as their male namesakes, if they’re given the opportunity to reach the highest level of motorsport.

        1. Agreed. Sadly formula 1 and motorsport in general has a lot to do with money (or lack of) so until someone is willing to put a lot of time and money in a grass roots, geniunly talented female drivers will never be in F1. And for all you hamihaters, that situation was the same lewis when he started. Anthony had to work 3 jobs to support him before Mclaren got involved.

          1. Megawatt Herring
            1st March 2011, 17:34

            Since F1 cars have no reverse gear I don’t see anything stopping women from racing in F1

            p.s. this is a joke don’t get too angry.

          2. YOu talk about genuinly talented female drivers… now I’ve watched F1 for a bit and I have read wikipedia and I can’t find a single example of one of these genuinly talented women who could have been as close as Alonso in the same Ferrari last year, or could have done what Hamilton did, or etc… Infact I can’t even find one who has one a GP let alone enough consistancy to win a WDC.

            The best example of a female racing driver is Danica, I don’t know if she really is the best women currently, but she is publicised like it. If she is an an example then we can see why. Only ‘good’ at one ovals I think, useless on actual tracks. Every person is given the same chance, if they don’t take it it’s because their parents don’t want them too or they don’t want to. If they don’t want to then they don’t have the commitment for being a racing driver anyway.

            In short, if you rise through the levels it’s because you deserve it based on skill and with a bit of money. You can’t tell me that no one wants to sponsor the first female F1 driver and hence that is the reason why, and so we must conclude that no women is capable of beating Alonso or Raikkonen or whoever in an F1 car, and hence that there isn’t a competitive women drive for F1.

          3. I’d say Danika Patrick probably couldn’t best Alonso in the same Ferrari or Vettel in the same Red Bull. But surely she’s better than Yuji Ide in the same Super Aguri, or Narain Karthikeyan in the same HRT? Who knows, maybe even better than Petrov in the same Renault.

          4. Also, she wouldn’t be the first, there have been 5 or 6 female F1 drivers before.

  2. Boy it’s going to be hot in August.

    1. Averaging at 30-38 degrees celsius in August, Bernie is joking, isn’t he?

      1. I was working in Bahrain for 5 yrs. I knew the August temp sometimes hit 45 deg celsius or even more. If thats the case I dont think any driver will survive not hitting the wall.

        1. then maybe a guy like maldonado, can have a chance of a podium. The strongest driver could win, instead of the fastest.
          I wouldn’t mind strenth to be the key at a couple of gp’s a year.

        2. Yeah I thought 38 degrees seemed a bit low as the absolute maximum temperature that could be reached. According to wiki that’s the average high, so you could expect some days the max to push toward mid 40s or higher.

          And the average low during August is 31 degrees. So in the middle of the night it will still be over 30.

          And it’s a good idea to do anything in that heat? Drivers passing out from the heat, should make for great racing… Is putting the drivers at risk really worth the few million that F1 may have to pay or lose out on as a result of the grand prix being passed over this year?

          1. shades of dallas ’84?

    2. More to the point, with the most races in one season to date, I dont think the teams will really be keen on stopping short their vital summer break: by that point they are pretty exhausted and I think they all know its vital to the health and sanity of all involved!

    3. I was at the Melbourne GP a couple of years ago when it was 39C on race day. Cars ran fine (and beer sales sky rocketed!)

      1. Well its safe to say that beer sales wont sky rocket in bahrain lol

      2. and beer sales sky rocketed!)

        Not going to happen in Bahrain

    4. At last the real topic…..yep it’s going to be bloody hot in the desert in August.

      But Ecclstone says ‘WE need a race in Bahrain’.

      Now I wonder, which ‘we’ would that be ?
      We the fans…not a hope.
      We the teams…do me a favour !
      We, CVC Capital Partners and our mouthpiece, Mr E ? Well, now..that could just be the real ‘we’ !

      Bernie brings a whole new meaning to words in English don’t ee ?

    5. hot and I read ( per F1 Live), Bernie want’s to put the rain in Bahrain. Drivers better train in the sauna.

      1. “I think the teams are sensible enough even to race in Bahrain in the summer break, and despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support ME.”

        The old billionaire prostitute. Suppose he’d be ok about dumping Melburn, Montreal, Spa, but not Bahrain for Allah’s sake!

  3. The average high in Manama in August is 38 degrees Celsius. From memory, I think they’ve raced in places like Sepang in temperatures as high or higher than that. I think the concerns over temperature are overblown – the question is really whether the four-week break over the summer is necessary, or can afford to be curtailed by a week (and whether a one-week gap between either Bahrain and Hungary or Bahrain and Belgium is logistically feasible).

    1. Difference in places where it’s hotter is there is humidity, which takes the edge of the temperature. There will be no moisture in the air making it extremely hot in the middle of August

      1. I am not too sure, that is right. Having high humidity as well as high temperature is far more demanding on the organism (as you have trouble sweating) than dry hot air.

        Try a steam sauna at 60 degrees and compare a dry sauna with the same temperature.

        Worst is the sun beating down on the visitors there causing dehydration. And the engines would be pretty bad with cooling as well.

        I agree with Red Andy about this being Bernie telling the teams to dump a few weeks of the holidays. This might even be relevant a move towards the commercial negotiations next year.

        1. I agree with Red Andy about this being Bernie telling the teams to dump a few weeks of the holidays. This might even be relevant a move towards the commercial negotiations next year.

          You could be right.

          First he says adamantly that F1 should not be political and should leave that to the politicians, then later says that the race should take place in August “despite high temperatures, because this is the way we can support the country.” If that’s not a giant political statement at the potential expense of the health and well being of the entire paddock, I don’t know what is.

          1. Right on the money Peter !

            Because money is really what it’s all about ain’t it ?

      2. Well from my experience of living here in the UAE, the temperatures in August are unbearable. Its more like 45 than 38 and the humidity is around 85% all day. I imagine Bahrain will be similar, making it impossible for fans to enjoy the race.

        1. BasCB (@bascb)