FOTA clarify position over Bahrain

The Formula One Teams Association today clarified their position over the Bahrain Grand Prix which has been the subject of much discussion and conjecture in recent days.

They published a letter to the FIA, which asks the governing body to make clear the calendar for 2011, as well as putting forward the teams’ concerns and detailing their position on the issue.

“Whilst we support the idea of racing in Bahrain – a country that has always hosted us with enthusiasm and warmth – once the security conditions have been fully reestablished, we feel that there are fundamental issues linked to the logistics of reintroducing such a race as proposed that have to be considered,” the letter read.

“With regard to holding a race in Bahrain this year, we also have been warned that insurance coverage could not be necessarily granted and this is an additional cause of concern for us,” they said.

Over the possibility raised by the FIA at the beginning of the week that the inaugural Indian Grand Prix would move to December, the teams went on to voice their numerous objections.

“As we have been planning around the 30 October as the date for the Indian Grand Prix, a change of this date would severely undermine our scheduled transport plans,” it said. “Similarly, our sponsors, international media and fans have organised travel and accommodation for the Indian Grand Prix and changing it now would cause an unacceptable degree of disruption and cost.

“Most importantly, the addition of the Indian race to the calendar for 2011 was a fantastic development for the sport and it is critical that we do not undermine its success by these changes.

“We would also like to highlight that an extension of the 2011 F1 season in December could also prove unbearable for the staff of a vast majority of the Teams and it would conflict with our other internal activities already scheduled for that month.”

The letter comes almost a day after Bernie Ecclestone admitted that a race in Bahrain this year was unlikely. The added weight of the teams’ opposition – firstly on the grounds of security and secondly because of calendar changes – would seem to make the FIA’s current position an untenable one.