- Bahrain Grand Prix
'Huge misconceptions' over situation in Bahrain - BIC
The chairman of the Bahrain Grand Prix insists "armchair observers" and small groups of "extremists" have created "huge misconceptions" about the security situation in his country ahead of this year's race.
Following several reports of intensifying violence in villages around Manama, Zayed Al-Zayani issued a statement responding to concerns about safety at the upcoming event.
"What has been happening is that armchair observers - who have not been sufficiently interested or committed to investigate the situation for themselves - have been driving this debate, at the expense of those neutral parties who have taken the trouble to investigate the situation at first hand," Al-Zayani said in a statement. "This, combined with the scaremongering tactics of certain small extremist groups on social networking sites, has created huge misconceptions about the current situation.
"We have welcomed a number of people to Bahrain over the last few weeks, who have all been able to find out for themselves that the Kingdom is ready to host Formula One next month. I therefore urge all stakeholders in the sport to listen to those with an informed, educated view of the situation and to form their views on the facts of the situation, as presented by neutral first-hand observers."
Among statements from several prominent visitors to the country, two unnamed members of the Lotus team were quoted in the press release as saying: "Yes there is a need to keep the circuit and the teams secure and they are doing this and they feel very comfortable about the arrangements. If there is going to be protestation then it will be confined to peaceful protests - you will maybe see some banners being waved and maybe some tyres on fire but that is all that they expect. We came away from Bahrain feeling a lot more confident that everything is in hand and to be honest if it wasn't for a few more police you wouldn't know any difference from the last year we were there."