Controversy surrounds decision on Bahrain F1

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Controversy surrounds decision on Bahrain F1

LONDON - The controversial decision by Formula One’s governing body to reinstate the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix was taken after receiving a report saying that the political unrest in the country had stabilized, FIA president Jean Todt told the BBC on Monday.

Todt, the former mastermind behind Ferrari’s success, said that FIA vice-president Carlos Gracia had been to Bahrain and apparently decided after in-depth talks that everything was fine to return there on Oct. 30.

Todt’s remarks came on the same day as 24 doctors and 23 nurses went on trial in Bahrain for their apparent roles in the unrest in January and February that left 24 people dead according to the authorities - some of the medics claimed they had been tortured into confessing. Todt was adamant that the FIA felt it was safe to return there after originally calling off the March 13 race, though he did admit they would be constantly assessing the situation.

“Our special envoy had many meetings in Bahrain, even with the human rights people responsible,” said Todt. “He found a stable situation, a quiet one, and we unanimously agreed. Carlos’ report was discussed by the World Council and the decision was taken to .?.?. re-program the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011.”

Todt also said the FIA got a request from the opposition to the Bahrain government to go ahead with the event.

“The messages coming out are about peace, about restoring a good situation in this part of the world. .?.?. My thinking is that, as a sporting body, we must support that.”

But Avaaz, an international campaigning organization, issued a statement contradicting the FIA’s findings.

“Claims that calm has been restored and life is back to normal in Bahrain are completely untrue,” said campaign director Alex Wilks. “In the last week the police have continued to use tear gas, rubber bullets and sound grenades to break up peaceful marches, killing and injuring dozens of people.”

Not everyone in the sport has voiced their support for the decision and several teams are thought to be opposed. Australian star Mark Webber has been one of the few to publicly express his disagreement with the decision.

“Even though a decision has been made, I’ll be highly surprised if the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead this year,” Webber said on his Web site on Saturday.


한글 관련 기사 [연합]
F1 코리아 그랑프리, 2012년에는 4월 개최
국제자동차경주대회 포뮬러 원(F1) 코리아 그랑프리가 2012년에는 4월에 열린다.

국제자동차연맹(FIA)이 4일 F1 인터넷 홈페이지를 통해 발표한 2012년 경기 일정에 따르면 한국 대회는 2012년 4월22일 전남 영암의 코리아 인터내셔널 서킷에서 결선 레이스를 치르게 됐다.

연습 주행은 4월20일, 예선은 4월21일에 같은 장소에서 펼쳐진다.

2010년 10월 처음 한국에서 대회가 열린 F1 그랑프리는 올해도 10월14일부터 16일까지 사흘간 레이스가 예정돼 있다.

2012년 한국 대회는 바레인, 호주, 말레이시아, 중국에 이어 시즌 5라운드로 열린다.

내년 대회는 개막전이 3월11일 바레인에서 펼쳐지며 6월17일에는 미국 대회가 추가돼 올해보다 1라운드 늘어난 21라운드로 치러진다.

F1 그랑프리가 한 시즌에 21라운드를 소화하는 것은 2012년이 처음이다.

한편, 올해 개막전으로 예정됐다가 민주화 시위가 격화되는 바람에 대회가 취소됐던 바레인 그랑프리는 10월30일에 열리는 것으로 결정됐다.

원래 이 기간에는 인도 대회가 예정돼 있었으나 인도 대회가 12월11일 시즌 마지막 대회로 미뤄졌다.

이로써 올해 예정됐던 20개 대회가 모두 열리게 됐다.
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