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Was going ahead with Bahrain right?

As more and more details emerged about the incident involving four members of the Force India team, more questions were obviously going to be asked about the staging of this race.

Before the teams arrived in Bahrain, everyone involved in Formula One knew that there were still political protests ongoing in the country, with regular violent flair ups occurring in and around the countries capital of Manama.

Force India were the first team to encounter problems while travelling back to their hotel from the track.

A petrol-bomb attack took place on the streets, with protesters and police throwing object towards each other, with the road becoming a battle line.

The Force India team were not the target, they were just one of forty vehicles caught up in the incident and initial reports stated that their car escaped unharmed within minutes of the incident taking place.

Later reports however revealed that petrol bombs had actually been thrown over their vehicle, while some tear gas fired by the local police entered the car. The teams driver managed to drive out of danger through a gap in the flames on the road.

Not exactly ideal preparation ahead of a race weekend and quite understandably, some members of the team asked to return home.

'We shouldn't have been put in this position,' Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg told the BBC.

'It is obviously not right that that sort of stuff happens, We are here to race. The F1 business is about entertainment and these sort of things should not really be happening to us.

'Whether it is right or not I don't really know. It's difficult to say. I am not a politician, I am a formula 1 driver, but it should not really be happening should it?

'It is not good that we have to worry about it: that is the way it is now and let's see and hope that the rest of the weekend is good and calm.'

It is believed that Hulkenberg's thoughts are echoed up and down the pitlane with many drivers and team members uncomfortable with the situation, with McLaren's Jenson Button refusing to comment on anything outside of the events on the track.

'I'm not going to get into the details of it. You're here interviewing me as a driver, and that's exactly what I'm going to talk about - motor racing.

'The outside issues I'm not going to talk about because it's not what I'm here to do.'

On Thursday evening, the UK's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper joined the debate on the BBC's Question Time programme and she stated: 'It shouldn't go ahead, I don't think British drivers should go. I think the Formula One should not go ahead in Bahrain.'

Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle however believes that hosting the race was the right thing to do for Formula One.

'In many ways, I've never seen Bahrain looking better. Clearly, there is some trouble out there, but I've not seen any of it. Some journalists have gone looking for it and unfortunately the trouble found Force India,' he told their website.

'My view is this: F1 can't run away from this. The race is scheduled and it would be weak of F1 to do that and it [running away] would create problems in other parts of the world we go to. If I were in charge of F1, I would have made the same decision to come here and race. I think we're doing the right thing.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 20 2012

Time: 12:00PM


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