Shanghai: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has blasted the media for misrepresenting the real situation in Bahrain where the next round of F1 races will be staged.
After attending a meeting with teams in Shanghai, Ecclestone said the authorities in Bahrain want to portray their country as stable and safe, and for that reason conducting this race is quite vital.
“Holding the Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2012 risks being interpreted by the government of Bahrain as symbolizing a return to business as usual. For the authorities there, much is at stake. They are keen to portray Bahrain as a stable and secure country in order to stave off international criticism,” The Daily Mirror quoted Ecclestone, as saying.
“But as the country prepares to host the Grand Prix, daily anti-government protests continue to be violently suppressed by the riot police that uses tear gas recklessly with fatal results,” he added.
The FIA finally declared the race was officially on despite extensive concerns over the security of the 5,000 members of F1’s traveling staff.
A Facebook site for Bahrain pro-democracy protestors showed an Ecclestone flag in flames, but an unperturbed Ecclestone said: “Everybody’s happy. We haven’t got any problems.”
“It’s a problem being discussed by the media. They don’t have any idea what’s going on. That’s the problem. This race is on the calendar and has been for quite a long time, and we will be there,” Ecclestone said.
“All the teams are happy to be there. There’s nothing happening. I know people who live there and it’s all very quiet and peaceful,” he added.