The Bahrain organisers have hit back against recent negative speculation about their race by compiling some positive quotes about the situation in the country – including a view from Lotus personnel who recently paid a visit.
A press release was issued tonight on behalf of BIC by London PR firm Dragon Associates.
It says that two Lotus personnel visited Bahrain and quoted a report they sent to team principals on April 5 as follows: “Yes there is a need to keep the circuit and the teams secure and they are doing this and they feel very comfortable about the arrangements. If there is going to be protestation then it will be confined to peaceful protests – you will maybe see some banners being waved and maybe some tyres on fire but that is all that they expect.
“We came away from Bahrain feeling a lot more confident that everything is in hand and to be honest if it wasn’t for a few more police you wouldn’t know any difference from the last year we were there.”
Exactly who told Lotus to expect only burning tyres and waved banners is not explained.
BIC also quote positive views from Ian Lindsay (British ambassador), Ben Wallace (Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Iran) and Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni (Chairman of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry), all of whom say the race should go ahead.
One of the more intriguing quotes comes from John Yates, described as “a former assistant commissioner in the London Metropolitan Police Service who is an adviser to Bahrain’s Interior Ministry on policing.”
Yates says: “It is very much hoped that the policing will be low key and discreet. But if there are problems, they…must be able to escalate their response if need be. People can be assured that if problems arise, then there will be a plan to deal with that, as there would be with any public event in the world.”
BIC boss Zayed Al Zayani concludes by saying: “What has been happening is that armchair observers – who have not been sufficiently interested or committed to investigate the situation for themselves – have been driving this debate, at the expense of those neutral parties who have taken the trouble to investigate the situation at first hand. This, combined with the scaremongering tactics of certain small extremist groups on social networking sites, has created huge misconceptions about the current situation.”
4 responses to “Bahrain hits back with positive Lotus report”
Well that sounds nice doesn’t it. I’ll just break my commute for a bit of innocent, harmless tyre burning outside Mr Ecclestone’s rather nice family home in Kensington on the way home now shall I?
Sure, F1 personnel may be relatively safe, but I also thought those unhappy citizens were human beings as well… You can’t stop them from protesting, but if they do — and if they do it in a way that will prevent people from getting to the circuit — people’s lives will be at risk. Perhaps no-one from F1, but those protesters can not expect to be told to move along by the police.
The thing that annoys me most is that the monarchy has fought fire with fire. Instead of engaging in dialogue, they’ve turned peaceful protests into what is now basically a civil war. When the government starts killing activists, you can expect them to get angrier.
So if there’s a protest during the Grand Prix weekend, I can’t see them leaving without a fight. And unfortunately, that will probably result in severe injuries or worse.
So would it be responsible for F1 to visit Bahrain when this can be prevented? Absolutely not. The blood will not only be on the hands of the Bahraini government, but Bernie and the FIA too.
They’ve got to look at it from two perspectives rather than one.
Yes, by going to Bahrain, F1 gets its race fee cheque. But if anything goes wrong, its entire reputation is at stake, including a huge portion of its fanbase that is so crucial to its success.
Noone on a carefully guided tour of Bahrain has ever come away with an overly positive impression of the situation before, so everything really must be wonderful.
Meanwhile in the real world: I wonder who they are touting for sponsorship from …
The Bahrain Gvt are good at one thing – fabrication, lying, spinning. Remember the Crown Prince owns the circuit and via his businesses owns 45% of MacLaren. Remember the Khalifas stole Bahrain 200 yrs ago from the Persians and none of them are elected. They are all illegal and all are egotistical. Have you seen the percentage of Bahrain stolen by the Khalifa family?
The police have no idea how to do “low key” and Yates has no idea what he is talking about – he is manipulated like so many, by the Bahrain Gvt.
Read BICI, read the UN report, wonder why AlKhawaja is on hunger strike, wonder why the tyres burn and banners are waved. Wonder why police are still using excessive teargas and why the anger is growing daily. Do not believe what the Bahrain Gvt tell you; use your own mind, don’t get sucked in. Look at the UNHRD and consider that torture is still commonplace in Bahrain, and no one has their right to article 21.