Bahrain protesters have stepped up their anti-grand prix campaign, with F1 vowing to push ahead with a race in the troubled island Kingdom next week.
After the FIA declared that the race is definitely going ahead, Bernie Ecclestone on Friday met with team bosses in the Shanghai paddock.
“There’s nothing (bad) happening. I know people who live there and it’s all very quiet and peaceful,” the F1 chief executive insisted.
Media reports, however, suggest otherwise. Photos have emerged of protesters burning flags depicting Ecclestone’s face, whilst others marched in F1 overalls and helmets, carrying machine guns. Anti-F1 graffiti, meanwhile, is sprayed on walls throughout the capital Manama.
Ecclestone, however, told the BBC late on Friday that the Bahrain protesters are “not protesting about Formula One”.
So with the race still scheduled, are the teams feeling comfortable?
“All the teams are happy to be there,” insisted Ecclestone.
Commented Red Bull’s Christian Horner after the meeting with the F1 chief executive: “The FIA have obviously done their research and come out with a clear statement that as a team entered into the championship we respect.
“We’ll do our best to ensure that all our guys and girls are in a secure environment, but I don’t doubt that for a moment.”