• Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain GP won't happen - Mosley

ESPNF1 Staff
June 7, 2011 « Renault stands firm on 2013 engines | »

Ex-FIA president Max Mosley has said there is not the slightest chance the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as the teams need to unanimously agree to a change in the calendar for it to be held on October 30 or any other date.

On Friday the FIA World Motor Sport Council agreed to reinstate the race in place of the Indian Grand Prix, which in turn will shift to a new date at the end of the season. Since then Bernie Ecclestone has backtracked on that plan with concerns that Bahrain might not be ready to host a race by October, casting serious doubt over the event once more.

But Mosley insists the biggest sticking point will be persuading the teams to agree to an extended calendar. Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has already labelled the calendar extension "unacceptable" due to the added workload it would put on his employees, and the teams are set to meet in Canada to agree an official position.

"I don't think there is the slightest chance the grand prix will actually happen," he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme. "Apart from anything else, you cannot change the calendar in the way that it's proposed to change without the unanimous agreement of the teams."

He said the council's decision meant little without the team's approval.

"The council is organising the event but the teams that participate, if there is going to be a change say for example moving the Indian event, then there has to be unanimous agreement," he added. "It's absolutely part of the rules, it's Article 66 of the International Sporting Code. So until the written agreement of the teams is forthcoming, you can't actually change the date, it can't be done."

Article 66 of the FIA's International Sporting Code reads: "No amendments shall be made to the Supplementary Regulations after the beginning of the period for receiving entries, unless unanimous agreement is given by all competitors already entered, or by decision of the stewards of the meeting for reasons of force majeure or safety (see Article 141)."

Mosley also discredited the FIA's fact finding mission in Bahrain, on which the World Motor Sport Council based part of its decision, which was conducted by FIA vice-president Carlos Gracia.

"The problem there was they sent someone to look at Bahrain but the gentleman they sent, a very, very nice man called Gracia, speaks no English and, as far as I know, speaks no Arabic. He was then 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."

Mosley said that he believes the FIA should steer clear of getting involved in Bahrain's politics.

"The problem in Bahrain is that the grand prix would be being used by the regime in order to further its aims, so it almost becomes an instrument of the regime in oppressing the people who are being badly treated," he said. "That's I think when it goes beyond what you can accept as a sporting body."

However, Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, head of the Bahraini Economic Development Board, told the same programme that many of the issues in his country will be solved by the time the race takes place.

"We're very confident that by the time the race comes around we will have addressed a lot of the issues," he said. "We honestly feel that the grand prix is a uniting force, the majority of the people view [it] that [way], including the opposition. We look forward to this grand prix helping Bahrain deal with the issues it went through."