London: McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has rejected suggestions that they would take special security measures for the security of their star drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button along with the other staff during next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Last year’s race on the troubled island of Bahrain was cancelled after at least 35 people were killed during a political uprising, and the situation is flaring up again as angry mobs burned images of F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, following the news that the race will go ahead next Sunday.
Whitmarsh played down the security risk in Bahrain, and said they will be extra cautious for the safety of their players and staff.
“We haven’t taken any special measures. We are always cautious and mindful of the safety of our staff but we have no special measures,” The Sun quoted Whitmarsh, as saying.
“We do risk assessments. We are a sport, which travels around the world, and we are mindful about that. We are responsible in the way we conduct ourselves. I think at any moment we could have a calamity — here in China or anywhere else,” he added.
A quick-thinking police driver at the Brazilian Grand Prix saved Button from an armed gang in 2010.
But Whitmarsh insists there is more of an individual threat posed to Button and Hamilton, who start in fifth and seventh place today, in Brazil compared to Bahrain.
“There are serious threats to individuals in Brazil. There are clearly problems in Bahrain but we don’t believe there are individual threats posed to us. We don’t know what’s going to happen — just as we don’t know what’s going to happen here in China,” Whitmarsh said.
“But we enter a championship and the governing body decides if it’s appropriate to race. We have to follow their lead,” he added.