• Bahrain Grand Prix

Ecclestone could send own inspector to Bahrain

ESPNF1 Staff
June 8, 2011 « Austin council could scupper 2012 US Grand Prix | »
Bernie Ecclestone: "I wish I knew more. We've been told there are no problems" © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone is considering sending his own inspector to Bahrain to assess the changing situation on the ground, after admitting that the FIA's fact-finding mission did not tally up with news reports coming from the island kingdom.

On Tuesday former FIA president Max Mosley said that the FIA investigator, vice-president Carlos Gracia, "was taken around by the representatives of the government and had no knowledge of what was really going on, and above all didn't ask to see the people who a human rights lawyer would like to see".

On the subject of Bahrain, Ecclestone told the Financial Times: "I am speaking to [FIA president] Jean Todt and we are having a good look at it. I wish I knew more. We've been told there are no problems. The FIA said everything is fine, that [Gracia] met people. So who do you believe?"

When asked if he would send his own representative to Bahrain, Ecclestone responded: "That is precisely what we should do."

Speaking to Spanish press in Valencia on Tuesday, Gracia admitted the situation may have changed since his inspection: "That is something that neither I nor anyone else could predict. We do not want the grand prix held at all costs. Formula One in total is 2500 people and we would not put at risk the drivers, the mechanics, the sponsors, anyone."

The FIA also confirmed it has received a letter from the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), which is believed to question the decision to move the Indian Grand Prix to accommodate Bahrain.

"We have received the letter and we are considering it," said a spokesman. "The FIA is a transparent governing body and we welcome all input in the matter." And a spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph that the FIA is "checking the small print" of the regulations in the wake of the World Motor Sport Council's decision last week.