Today: Bahrain Broadcasted

22 Apr

Vettel driving during Friday practice

Vettel driving during Friday practice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This weekend of racing has been a mixture of emotions.

On the track, the event was incredible, more wheel to wheel action, more over takes and a different person from a different team on the top step of the podium. And although it’s the familiure finger of Sebastian Vettel filling our TV screens, he is the 4th person to take to the top step this season.

Off the track was a whole other board game. Protests, a death, a political uproar…. You name it and I can pretty much assure you that that is what the media were reporting.

Though a quote from Damon Hill today, to which Martin Brundle (SkySports F1) backed up was:

From what I have experienced here, and what I have seen in the media, are different. I felt fine going round Bahrain…”

Or words to that effect.

My twitter feed has been filled with my opinions of the Bahrain GP, infact I have blogged previously on it. I stand by what I said then, but I will add this analogy for you, one which people I know have had to go through.

Imagine you are working for an oil company. You know there are some pretty rough places out in the world, places you have heard on the news, places that your work are considering sending you to. These places include: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Nigeria. Your raise the issue of travelling to these places and your work place agrees to inspect the location you are going to work for safety reasons.

Your workplace present the evidence to you, evidence from local security, local government, and external security forces. The evidence states that the place they are to send you to is safe.

You know that there are areas of these places which suffer unrest, infact you have heard it on the news, but only in fleeting passes.

Sound familiar?

It should. Because that is what happened in Formula One. Hindsight is a powerful thing and I bet if they could make a decision now about the race they wouldn’t have gone there. But as was pointed out as well by Martin Brundle, there has been a major golf and cricket tournament held there within the past month, where arguably, they received more coverage on the sports channels.

Why has F1 had to get involved in this? The media.

Simple two words but they have blown everything skywards. F1 had no choice to go there as soon as the FIA declared it fine to go and the teams said yes. I have great respect for those who openly spoke against it, Force India being the main ones with Ross Brawn saying that a dialogue was needed if a situation like this ever arised again.

As everyone was just doing as they were told I believe that it was a decision unfortunately taken out of the teams hands.

What this weekend has taught me, and what I hope everyone will take away from this, is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Bahrain, according to the media, was a hell on Earth. According to the people there it was an uncomfortable situation, as they didn’t know how to feel about it.

I will from now on take the media reports with a pinch of salt. Yes Sky News is owned by the idiot that is Murdoch, and yes the BBC are meant to be impartial. But if it wasn’t for the F1 being there then nobody would be interested.

Thursday this news was headlines for the sports news.

Only by Friday evening was it hitting the main headlines, which goes to show how horrific the news is. It feeds on terrible news and information and doesn’t mind taking a small line from someone and making it seem like gospel. So please people, form your own opinions. Whether it is fom an amalgamation of the news sources, or from people you know have been there (the latter being where my info has come from).

And when it comes to activist groups and those involved with human rights… eat a spoonful of salt. They make everything worse than it is to just get it attention. (No bad thing I suppose… but not the right way to do things).

Should they have gone? No.

Did they have any choice in the matter? No.

Should Jean Todt be smacked in the face for saying that “things outside the circuit are of no importance to us” ? YES.

And before anybody comments, just know I was writing this down to get it out of my head. This weekend has caused a lot of thinking to be done by everyone it seems.

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