FANS NOTICED A lack of coverage of the Force India F1 team during qualifying for tomorrows Bahrain GP after the team’s safety concerns on Friday.
Having had some of their crew members caught up in a petrol-bomb attack earlier in the week (although not directly targeted at them) the Sahara Force India team decided not to participate in Friday’s second free practice session so as to have enough time to pack up and leave the circuit before nightfall; believing that this was safer for the team.
However, it seems Bernie Ecclestone and his Formula One Management, who provide the world feed for Formula One, have not taken kindly to this as fans and broadcasters noticed that the cars were not appearing in any of Saturday’s television coverage, despite Paul Di Resta qualifying in the top ten.
Fans reacted angrily to this speculation on internet forums and Twitter, acusing FOM and Bernie of being “petty”, “childish” and “vindictive”. Whether this was a deliberate and malicious act of revenge or simply a coincidence is unclear, but it has certainly added another level of controversy to an already difficult Grand Prix weekend.
News agency Reuters spoke to Bernie Ecclestone and asked him whether Force India had been targeted, “Not at all. I asked them (the television people) to go and have a look. They missed two other people. It was simple. They are interested in who is going to be on pole. Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th, only the people that are watching a particular team.”
Paul Di Resta said, “I’ve seen some stuff on Twitter, but I was sat in the garage or sat in my car driving so I saw my car.”