Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

FIA Bahrain report leaked as FOTA oppose 2011 race

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Contrary to some reports earlier on Tuesday, FOTA are opposed to racing in Bahrain.

Meanwhile, the FIA’s seven-page report on conditions in Bahrain has been leaked.


Formula 1 teams demand Bahrain Grand Prix cancellation (BBC)

“In a letter to the FIA, the teams say they are implacably opposed to the race happening in 2011. They say it is not practical to add the race at the end of a long season.”

Alan Baldwin on Twitter

“My understanding is that [FOTA] want India reinstated to October 30th date and oppose Bahrain rescheduling for logistical reasons”.

F1 Fanatic on Twitter

“Thanks to various people who brought this to my attention: leaked FIA report on Bahrain:

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Teams give Jean Todt elementary lesson over Bahrain (The Times, subscription required)

“There is unease in some quarters at the deep relationship of Nicolas Todt, the president?s son, with Bahrain, whose ruling family are involved in his racing team.”

FIA’s Gracia defends Bahrain Grand Prix decision (Reuters)

Carlos Gracia: “I have spoken to human rights groups and they told me they (human rights) have not been violated. These are freely expressed opinions. I think the opinions of those on site are worth more than those who have no knowledge of the situation”.

Ian Parkes on Twitter

“Just spoke to Human Rights Watch Deputy Director for Middle East Division. Bahrainis won’t give him a visa to assess situation. Surprised?”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Bahrain medical staff ‘tortured for confessions’ (The Independent)

“Doctors and nurses put on trial in Bahrain yesterday told relatives they were beaten with hoses and wooden boards embedded with nails and made to eat faeces. They also had to stand without moving for hours, or even days, and were deprived of sleep in order to force them to sign false confessions.”

Senna – a box office champion (Working Title)

“The film is now set to expand onto more screens from this weekend. In addition, there will be a special Senna day on Tuesday 21st June, with the film playing across an additional 200 sites nationwide for one day only”.

Cinemas showing Senna on/from 10/06/2011 (Facebook)

Details on additional screenings of Senna in the UK.

With state F1?s incentive, did comptroller jump the line? (Austin American Statesman

“Council Member Laura Morrison expressed some surprise this morning that F1 organisers had proceeded without first asking the city. ‘You all placed a bet on getting this approved,’ she said to F1 attorney Richard Suttle. ‘What happens if it doesn?t get approved’ by the city? ‘Does it just shut down?'”

Canadian GP ?ǣ Another step forward expected in Montreal (Ferrari)

Head of engine and electronics Luca Marmorini: “KERS is very important and good usage can give you an advantage of say 0.4 seconds per lap.”

Canadian Grand Prix Preview (Force India)

Nico H???lkenberg was back in the VJM04 last week as he joined the team at Cotswold Airport for our first aero test of the year. The car was packed full of sensors and instruments to measure aerodynamic performance. The data recorded will help the team validate the numbers generated from the wind tunnel and CFD simulations”.

Greater Noida Formula 1 Circuit (Skyscraper City)

Pictures from construction of the Buddh International Circuit in India.

Thanks to BasCB for the tip!

Formula One Fantasy – Sauber?s Sergio Perez (F1)

“Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
SP: Ayrton Senna. […] But I would want him as a team mate for only a few races – otherwise he probably would beat me all the time. And it is not good when your team mate outperforms you all the time.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Bendanarama on the video of Lewis Hamilton in Cars 2 in yesterday’s round-up.

Good thing there wasn?t an Adrian Sutil car in the nightclub in that clip. Allegedly.

From the forum

OK, I’ve figured out what video I’d look for in the FOM archive. What rare F1 footage would you seek out?

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ludovico Scarfiotti died in a hillclimbing accident on this day in 1968.

The nephew of Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, Scarfiotti started 12 F1 races, eight of them with Ferrari.

His sole win came in the 1966 Italian Grand Prix, making him the last Italian to win his home race driving a Ferrari.

Three years earlier he won the Le Mans 24 Hours sharing a Ferrari 250P with Lorenzo Bandini.

Image ?? Bryn Williams/Crash.Net

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  • 69 comments on “FIA Bahrain report leaked as FOTA oppose 2011 race”

    1. ‘What happens if it doesn’t get approved’ by the city? ‘Does it just shut down?’”

      Yeah, right.

      1. Not really. They just pay a bit more in bribes.

        1. About right.

          Maybe that’s what she’s gunning for?

    2. “Council Member Laura Morrison expressed some surprise this morning that F1 organisers had proceeded without first asking the city. ‘You all placed a bet on getting this approved,’ she said to F1 attorney Richard Suttle. ‘What happens if it doesn’t get approved’ by the city? ‘Does it just shut down?’”

      Interesting. Cynically, I’d say if it doesn’t get approved, then you suddenly get a landfill, and people lose jobs. And said people won’t blame the contractors – they’ll blame the government. So in essence, the council may end up having no choice but to approve it.

      1. Sounds likely it will be exactly as you say there. They will now “hate” being forced into this position, but will almost have to agree with it.

    3. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
      8th June 2011, 0:41

      I can’t wait to see how Todt will fare in the next approval rating poll here…

      1. He won’t have my vote, for the first time.

    4. If that BBC article is correct, which it would appear to be, then it seems pretty cut and dry… India will stay on Oct. 30th and Bahrain is out until next year at least.

      1. All this running around & we’re back to square one. :)

        1. I’m happy that the fans backlash has actually had an effect.

          Now watch everyone in F1 double take and try to pretend they were always against it.

          Webber was the ones who said it. I have new respect for him.

          1. There is a petition going around aimed at F1 teams that has around 500,000 signatures on it

      2. Looks like its going that way.

        So why on earth was the FIA (and Bernie and the teams) not able to do this kind of discussion before the “unanimously” voted the nonsense of Friday based on that cringlingly out of dept “fact finding mission” last friday?

        I would think this only shows, how much a change in governance is needed where the parties are actually working for the sport and not ridiculing it on a world stage.

        1. We’ll have to see, but I think Max Mosley tipped his old pal Bernie to get Jean Todt caught with his pants on his ankles…

          Bernie himself can afford to backtrack – no, that doesn’t look good – but not halfway as bad as Jean Todt: He should’ve known the rules of the FIA, the organisation he is leading!

          So, in the end, Max got even with Bahrain and Bernie gave Jean’s credibility a serious blow. These men know how to make the best out of a mess.

          1. Verstappen,

            If I had to describe why Mosley and Ecclestone have been successful in f1 for so long, it would definitely be: ” These men know how to make the best out of a mess.”

            Just perfect mate

          2. I think that’s a brilliant assessment of what’s happened.

            Mosley and Bernie played Balestre like a chump in their years together, looks like Todt is going the same way. Jean could have saved himself by saying that this was all subject to the teams’ approval in the first place but he had to go and make an ultimatum out of it. Bad move.

            1. Yep, the damage Todt has done to himself and the FIA is incalculable. You get the impression that, even in the very short time he has been in control, Todt has completely swallowed the incestuous, corporate ‘party line’ of the FIA bad old days.

              Pick up the damn phone Jean, and talk to people outside the FIA circus who don’t toe the party line. They’ll tell you what’s really happening on the street.

    5. In the leaked docuement the guy signs a petition saying F1 should be brought back ‘as an act of good will.’ I don’t care why he did it, it is wrong to show support one way or the other while he is still supposedly collating infortion from which to form a decision.

      A lot of the information he was given does sound very government biased, blaming protesters followed with a tiny admittance that ‘maybe’ the police went too far. It might be fact. But it might not be, and comes across looking one-sided. Even the human rights meeting doen’t ease things seeing as so many others human rights groups appear to be denied entry to the country.

      Very happy with FOTA. Nice to see them with a back-bone.

      1. I like the way his visit to the city shopping center is at 21:00 when one paragraph earlier it states the country is in a state of emergency after 18:00 so he gets to visit when the police have complete control over who is where…

    6. I struggled for a while to understand why Alec Baldwin cared about F1 and FOTA. It was only after about a minute or so that I figured it out.

      1. I thought I was the only one. I should never read before my morning coffee.

    7. At least common sense is prevailing and the teams aren’t trying to make some political statement about Bahrain. That would not have ended well.

      1. That certainly is exactly why they chose not to.

        1. Sorry, what exactly do you mean by that? Are you being sarcastic?

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            8th June 2011, 10:41

            The teams did not need to make any kind of political or moral judgement. In sheer logistical terms they were against any event in December – ref Ross Braun sometime last week for proof.
            By their own rules, the FIA needed ‘unanimous agreement’. Not going to get it, never going to happen.
            Perhaps the FIA will now amend/scrap Article 66 and legally force the Teams to agree to race. But they won’t get their ‘unanimous agreement’.

    8. Quite disappointed that I cant find much information on this Tariq Al Saffar guy. I wonder if he really is a member of the National Institute of Human Rights or just a “mascot”. I mean, someone of such importance would be mentioned somewhere other than on this FIA report, am I not right?

      1. According to this report:

        They also met with Tariq al-Saffar of the pro-grovernment National Institute of Human Rights, who was appointed in 2010 by King Hamad. (Saffar is also managing director of advertising firm Fortune Promoseven, which lists the F1 Grand Prix as a client.)

        However, I can’t find any mention of him on the Fortune Promoseven website although LinkedIn suggests he has ‘Investment Management’ and ‘Marketing and Advertising’ connections.

        But you’r right. He’s suddenly come to prominence from total obscurity. Sounds like a puppet to me…..

        1. Marketing/Investment guys really make the best experts on Human Rights in my opinion… them and Buemi’s uncle.

          1. Yeah….bankers make really fine human rights campaigners……

            You always see hundreds of them demonstrating and marching in their Armani suits, Gucci shoes and silk shirts in a hail of rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas……don’t you ?

        2. Russell, you’re right. Tariq Al Saffer is a puppet recently appointed by the royal family to head the pro-government “National Institute of Human RIghts”.

          1. @mvi: thanks, but don’t think Tariq Al Saffar is the head of the ‘National Institute of Human Rights’ (as defined by the FIA report), but is in fact a member of the Bahraini ‘National Human Rights Organisation’ (the name that the Government seems to have given to the same organisation)..

            Sure he was appointed by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, but was at the time (April 2010) described as a ‘Bahrain Human Rights Watch member’, not the head of the local advertising agency that apparently listed F1 Grand Prix as their client and who also had interests in Investment Management.

            I think the confusion between the correct names of the supposed Bahraini human rights organisation reflects the ineptitude of Carlos Gracia.

            Still, a puppet nonetheless.

            But the really interesting thing is why the Bahrainis fronted a mere member (one of 20) of the National Institute of Human Rights, not the head of it, Salman Ali Kamaluddeen, the former deputy president of Bahrain Human Rights Society who has been imprisoned for his views.

            Perhaps the Government thought Salman Ali Kamaluddeen would be a loose cannon, whilst Tariq Al Saffar could be kept more under control?

        3. The moment I read “pro-government National Institute”, alarm bells rang. Everyone the FIA met there appears to have had an agenda to get the race back as soon as possible irrespective of whether the country is ready for it or not (having a large number of people willing to host the race is not the same thing..

    9. Going through the comments on the Italian drivers for Ferrari article, it looks like a lot of us were sure Fisi would do well. Instead he just proved that the F60 was a complete dog of a car and highlighted just how well Raikkonen drove that year.

      1. I think it also shows that testing a car for several days to get to grips with it makes a huge difference – both Massa and Raikkonen had those days before the start of the season, and even then seemed to have issues with the driveability of the car early in the season. So yes, it was a badly handling car, and I guess stepping into a team near the end of their badly going year isn’t a smart move for a F1 career.

        But Fisichella does seem to do pretty okay in his GT Ferrari team (saw a Le Mans pre-show bit on Eurosport with him yesterday).

    10. so all of a sudden, Vue cinemas are listing Senna as viewable this weekend! why did they only just do this???

      1. Tom Chiverton
        8th June 2011, 10:17

        Because Senna has become the most successful documentary film in English history.

        1. And Vue are a bunch of money-sucking over-priced…anyway, they realise it could make them a pretty penny.

    11. Reading that report really made me think I was in a cliche movie, hard to believe they take that serious. Poor Garcia guy having to defend that, it is just so clearly unbalanced. I am sure he meant well, but then this just shows how naive he is.

      Come get a good impression by yourself before judging. But don’t do investigative journalism, or have a credible human rights record, you’d ask the wrong questions and wouldn’t want to stick to our carefully arranged guided tour.

      1. Whilst I appreciate we can all have some sympathy for the Garcia guy, the reality is that he was specifically requested to go to Bahrain on a fact-finding mission by an organisation that governs a sport which is worth (according to Bernie) £5-8bn.

        Given the sums involved, the FIA can’t just send muppets who don’t speak the lingo and seem incapable of asking the hard questions.

        Todt has to be accountable for this.

        1. It sort of explains why LAK et al have spent the last week banging on about ‘Human Rights organisations that want the race to go ahead’ – because the new government-created human rights organisation represented by someone with a vested interest in the GP going ahead says it is all fine, and everyone in Bahrain will get a puppy as a gift from their loving rulers…

          1. And where is LAK et al now? Strangely quiet it seems.

      2. He was selected to bring back the report that the Kings buddies in the FIA, WMSC wanted him to bring back, it’s a common tactic in any political body.

        1. ‘Political’ being ( very ) operative word.

      3. HounslowBusGarage
        8th June 2011, 21:48

        I bet they bought him a lovely lunch too.

    12. Sorry for going off topic, but i remember watching a video pre-season in association with comic relief which featured interviews with JB and LH, they seemed to be bragging about some sort of sensational front wing invention Mclaren had come up with,which supposedly provided a heap of downforce, which quote LH: ” knowone will catch us” , ” the mechanics have come up with something baaad”

      They seemed to be so excited, what was that all about?

      Video Link:

      1. It was a joke!

        Comic Relief is a comedy fund raising initiative run by the BBC. If you watch the video through you’ll see it isn’t serious.

      2. FACEPALM

      3. Hey Hamisham, here’s another development that McLaren had for the first Singapore GP… can’t for the life of me see why they didn’t go ahead with it…

      4. How could they fool us? We are going to believe anything, especially McLaren fans that want them to win.

    13. Just read the report from the FIA rep about Bahrain. I have never read anything so one sided in my life, even the meetings he had appear to have been set up by the government. Worse why did no one question its bias??? Then they approved going back – unbelievable.

    14. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how quiet the shills/trolls from Bahrain have suddenly become?

      1. It would appear to have become too much of an uphill struggle to keep trying to convince everyone that it should go ahead, with the new reports of violence along with FOTA, Bernie and Max all saying they don’t want it to happen.

        Shame, I miss LAK’s obsession with winking at everyone while inviting them to stay with him in Bahrain: it made him come across to me as a Bond villain…

        1. Yes poor old LAK I look forward to his updates on new power sharing initiatives.

          1. I certainly would not put LAK in with that troll crowd to much.

            She has been posting in the comments on the blog, in the Forum and has been very active with the Live blog for a long time now.

            I can understand, that it now needs a bit of time, first to have the news officially confirmed and then to let it sink in before contemplating and moving on.

            But it does seem that the other Bahrain support voices with too many remarks about Iranian terrorist are off somewhere else. I even start to miss pointing out how completely insane some of their posts were :-D

    15. HounslowBusGarage
      8th June 2011, 10:59

      I followed BasCB’s link to the India Greater Noida construction pics yesterday. And while I was impressed with the construction, I was worried by the amount still left ot be done. Towards the end of that blog (page47, I think) there was general relief expressed when the possible delay of the Indian race to December became known.
      Now, the realisation that the race may still be on October 30 has come as something of a disappointment. I wonder how JayPee Construction have reacted.
      Link to good article here “F1 Shoots Itself In Both Feet”
      Depressingly true.

      1. I had much the same feelings reading it.

        Pity the guys photobucket account got too much traffic so I couldn’t see the later pics anymore today, but I really like having more of an insight on what is happening at the facility. I hope that the “Friends of Austin” people will give us a similarly good view of how that race is progressing.

        I am not into construction, so I don’t know how much time the work still will take.

        I do think that it looks busy and a bit chaotic right now. But having seen building sites around me (just casually, of course), I think it might just mean they are all hard at work. They also seem quite organised behind the chaos, or there would have been big accidents already with that many people and equipment being used, and things being done at the same time.

        A lot of what still has to be done is finishing up things, which makes it look more messy than it really is. So I have hope they will be ready.

        But the people on that site seem to be much more into building, and they do seem worried, especially about sloppiness in the finishing, as I read it. I hope they are just pessimistic after the Common Wealth Games mishap.

      2. It did strike me as well that there seems to be quite a hill to climb in making it ready.

        On the other hand, the track is almost ready and just settling before it has the final layer of tarmac, so racing would be fine.

        And they might have the grass and bushes ready in time, by the activity there.

        I will have to look in a couple of days, wether there is someting new on the time table with India back to end of October.

      3. Looks like the guy who posted the pictures (he connected to/involved in the construction teams) writes it should be no problem to be ready on time

    16. The Telegraph article is probably spot on. As you say, depressingly true.

    17. From’s Perez interview

      Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
      SP: Copse, the first corner at Silverstone, Turn Nine from Barcelona, Turkey’s Turn Eight and some sections of the Monaco track like the chicane after the tunnel. That would make a great circuit.

      How can he like that turn after the crash he sustained there?

      1. Wow I hadn’t noticed that! I wonder if he gave the interview before the crash?

        1. He did, its stated above the interview.

          I had a bit of a strange feeling reading that, after knowing of the crash.

    18. jose arellano
      8th June 2011, 17:35


      last night i saw in national news here in Mexico, that charlie whiting visited the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. in mexico city to inspect the track and tell the promoters what would be needed to have an F1 race.. and its true because the filmed the guy walking the track!

      1. Sounds very interesting! If you find any links to footage or coverage do let me know.

          1. Looks interesting. Seems F1 in the Americas is on the up.

            Thanks for posting that link, I read it through translator.

    19. Something on a bit of a different note.

      Today McLaren was nice enough to post this video of Neil Oatley about the MP4-4.

      But what my post is about is a key part of what he says about that car, and specifically the engine.
      He highlights how that V6 turbo is nice and small to fit into the car. Now that made me thing again about those new nifty 1.6 engines (right all you haters, please read on before getting a stroke).

      With the stretch version cars we have now, I must say that having the cars get shorter (smaller engine AND fueltank) would be a major difference, and a positive at that, making these cars more agile.

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