FIA insists Bahrain is not harming Formula One- 23 Apr 2012 00:00:00
Jean Todt, president at the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) has insisted Formula One will not suffer any long-term damage to its brand following the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Formula One boss and commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has also maintained that the event has a future in the sport.
The event took place at the weekend following months of negative headlines regarding the decision to race in the troubled Gulf state.
The grand prix race weekend took place amidst sustained protests throughout calling for greater democracy in the country.
The protests did not directly affect the race circuit at Sakhir, however images of the incidents dominated global news reports, threatening embarrassment for the sport and its partners.
Speaking ahead of the race, Todt told media: ‘I am sorry about what has been reported. I am not sure that all that has been reported corresponds to the reality of what is happening in this country. I feel F1 is very strong. I think it is a very strong brand, and I think all the people among the teams to whom I have been speaking are very happy.’
The head of motorsport’s world governing body said the majority of F1’s senior figures backed the decision to return to Bahrain. ‘That is what I have been told by most of the team principals here,’ he said, according to Reuters.
‘Unfortunately I did not see so many of those quotes in the media. I respect the media, I respect what they write, but it is not what I have seen and what I was told by a lot of people to whom I have been talking.’
The race was won by current world champion and Red Bull driver, Sebastian Vettel.