• Bahrain Grand Prix

Bernie denies TV feed deliberately ignored Force India

ESPNF1 Staff
April 21, 2012 « Massa saves tyres for race despite Q3 chance | Raikkonen confident of stronger race »
Force Indias qualified tenth and 13th in Bahrain © Sutton Images

Bernie Ecclestone has rejected suggestions Force India was deliberately neglected by Formula One's world feed during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Force India received next to no coverage throughout the qualifying hour in Bahrain, despite Paul di Resta qualifying in the top ten for the first time this season. The TV pictures, controlled by Ecclestone's Formula One Management, are broadcast around the world via various outlets and usually cover all the teams in the pits and on track. On Saturday, however, Force India's cars and garage received no significant coverage.

After Force India staff witnessed a petrol bomb exploding on their way back to their hotel on Wednesday, the team opted to skip the second practice session on Friday so that it could leave the circuit early. That led to speculation that Force India and its sponsors may have been left off the world feed on purpose, but Ecclestone denied the suggestion.

"It was simple," Ecclestone explained to Reuters correspondent Alan Baldwin. "They [the TV editors] are interested in who is going to be on pole. Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th"

British broadcaster Sky Sports responded to the lack of Force India coverage via Twitter.

"For those asking, we have no control over who is being shown on the world feed, sorry you didn't get to see any of Di Resta's lap."

According to Autosport, Force India refused to comment.