Bahrain crown prince and Ecclestone: Race will go ahead as planned
April 20, 2012
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Ecclestone has insisted there is no danger of F1 returning to Bahrain
Both Bahrain’s Crown prince and Formula 1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone have reiterated that the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend will go ahead as planned, despite several incidents involving protestors and the teams.
Force India pulled out of second practice to avoid a repeat of Wednesday evening, when their team bus was caught up in a petrol bomb attack. Sauber team personnel reported seeing protests and fires on their way back to the hotel.
Despite this, crown prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has said that cancelling the race would simply “empower extremists”:
"I think cancelling the race just empowers extremists. For those of us trying to
navigate a way out of this political problem, having the race allows us to build
bridges across communities, to get people working together. It allows us to
celebrate our nation. It is an idea that is positive, not one that is divisive."
Meanwhile, Ecclestone claimed that responsibility of the race had nothing to do with him:
"I can’t call this race off. Nothing to do with us. We’ve an agreement to be here,
and we’re here. The national sporting authority in this country can call the race
off. You can ask the FIA if they can."
Hacking group Anonymous threatened to take down the official F1 website in retaliation for the race going ahead. The site was down for several hours in the afternoon, but as of now it is back up and running. Other F1 websites have also been defaced in protest.