• Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain pressure tells on Ecclestone and Todt

ESPNF1 Staff
April 16, 2012 « Week of protests planned ahead of Bahrain GP | Jean Todt finally breaks cover over Bahrain »

The Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead but the pressure appears to be telling on F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt after a weekend of media questions over the wisdom of staging the event.

Ecclestone was clearly on edge after repeatedly being asked about the situation in Bahrain, reacting to one question about protests with a snapped: "What protests?" despite widely-reported escalating trouble in the kingdom on the same day.

When asked by AFP about shootings in Bahrain, he replied: "Nobody has been shot …. what are you talking about?" AFP had earlier reported a 15-year-old boy was in intensive care after being shot by anti-riot police at a post-funeral rally. According to several onlookers, Ecclestone then "swore and stormed off", ending the brief interview in the paddock .

Todt, meanwhile, who has been widely condemned for his failure to provide any public leadership in the past few weeks, got into an argument with a reporter from the Times, accusing him of writing an article without checking his facts over the situation in Bahrain.

Kevin Eason, the motorsport correspondent, wrote that he had "talked at length to team personnel, team principals, secretaries, motorhome catering staff, public relations men … and cannot find anyone who truly wants to go to Bahrain".