Confusion reigns as Ecclestone backtracks on Bahrain

In a bizarre twist Bernie Ecclestone now appears to be urging the teams to come out against Bahrain.

Ecclestone took  part in Friday’s WMSC meeting in Barcelona, along with team principals Stefano Domenicali and Vijay Mallya, and was part of what the FIA says was a unanimous vote.

The Times reports that Bernie has had a change of heart, and is now talking about putting the race at the end of the season on the basis that it will be easier to cancel it – while thus presumably restoring India to October 30.

Bernie apparently wants the teams to demand a new vote, presumably on the basis that he will no longer vote yes and it won’t be unanimous.

“The way things are at the moment, we have no idea what is going to happen,” Ecclestone told the paper. “Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go.

“If they are not, then we don’t go and there are no problems. We listened to that report from the FIA and that was saying there were no problems at all in Bahrain. But that is not what I am hearing and I think we can see that we need to be careful.

“The money makes no difference. It is there because the Bahrain people asked us to keep it. If there is no race, we will return it, but money is not the issue here. It is whether it is safe and good to have a race that is the issue. We can change this Oct 30 date by having a vote by fax if necessary. It can be done, and fast.”

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Confusion reigns as Ecclestone backtracks on Bahrain

  1. I know the golden rule of listening to Bernie is to include a large pinch of salt. But this isn’t an internal row about tyre sizes or trucks in the paddock, it’s an issue of his sport being seen to directly support a regime which all independent news sources say is despotic and murderous.

    So to suggest that he and the other committee members listened solely to the word of the FIA delegate, who I don’t suppose arrived in the country incognito and equipped to find out the real situation on the ground, and did not take account of the multitude of reports from Reuters, Al Jazeera, CNN, Time etc etc absolutely beggars belief.

    I think there is still a charge available somewhere of bringing the sport into disrepute. I wonder if it can be applied to the WMSC itself.

  2. pjg

    Bernie should be more chaste. From the clutches of the FIA, to the arms of FOTA.

    If not for his insincerity, he’d be charming. But he’s not. And he’s as ever craven to be appear to be on the “right” side as ever.

    If it wasn’t so blatant, there might be evidence of his humanity. But he hasn’t any. He’s a mottled husk of low stature and lower morals.

  3. Will they decide whether the race will go ahead depending on whether Alonso/Ferrari need the potential points haul to overtake Vettel and Red Bull come the closing stages of the season?

  4. P.S. Would hate to think there are anything other than sporting issues to be considered here.

  5. This is just becoming a farce now.

  6. Dave Myers

    This is incredible. It’s making a mockery of the sport.

  7. Dave Myers

    I have to add that I’d rather the race was cancelled than rescheduled.

  8. Abuelo Paul

    Bernie, he’s on cloud cuckoo land. Watch him when he’s interviewed on TV without rehearsal. Lost, completely dumbfounded, and never gives a straight answer to anything. Now he can’t make his mind up what F1 should be doing about Bahrain, well… LET F1 DECIDE on its own! Bernie shut up and leave the teams to make the decision as to whether it is safe and morally correct to race in that country. It would unfair to ask individuals to compete in a sport in a country which goes against their principles.
    South Africa in apartheid, USA and Russia olympics during the 80’s, and now arab opression. All these are political occasions where sportsmen should be allowed freedom to decide on participation. Commercial contracts should be put to one side.
    Maybe the words aren’t quite correct but the sentiment must surely have come over.

  9. CARSON44

    You can’t help but notice, that there’s yet to be seen, one post lamenting the canceling of the Bahrain race. The whole thing seems to be a big yawn as a race, with all of the passion seeming to be on the not having it side.

  10. Cliff

    What sort of administrator picks one positive report amongst a sea of negative reports and decides to proceed. It’s unbelievable.

  11. Stone the crows

    I have lived long enough to hear Bernie Ecclstone say ‘the money makes no difference.’ Of course he doesn’t mean it, he’s seen the direction the wind is blowing and will go with it. Put the race on, or not all that really matters I think to Mr. Ecclstone is that he is not on the proverbial hook for failing to bring the circus to town is found to have reneged on the contract.

  12. CARSON44

    You could be confident that Mr. Ecclstone knew the type of people he was dealing with when he originally made the deal to hold the F1 race. He now is trying to appeal to all sides. No one would envy his position. He may be thought of as being ,”just about the money”, but if money could solve this it would have been solved by now.

  13. Some interesting comments here, the consensus seems to be that people are not too impressed with Bernie… I’m fascinated to see what the end game is.

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