Bahrain Grand Prix in turmoil

Controversy continued to surround the Bahrain Grand Prix. Members of the Force India team found themselves caught up in protests, underlining the safety concerns regarding the race being staged amidst political unrest.

Their team car had been forced to halt when a petrol bomb exploded beside it. Two members of the crew decided to fly home because they feared more violence as protests escalated.

There is mounting anger among the teams that they were railroaded into staging the race in such a volatile situation. Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg, summed up a lot of the reaction when he said: "We shouldn't have been put in this position."

The Formula One authorities seem as keen as the Bahrain government to ensure that the race goes ahead, even though it seems impossible to deny that, by doing so, they are placing teams and spectators in danger. Although some British MPs have asked teams to withdraw from the race, the official UK government directives are unclear.

Given that Formula One drivers are highly-paid sportsmen, there are always going to be those who come up with insensitive comments. In this case, the job fell to Sebastian Vettel, who appeared to be oblivious to the unrest. "I haven't seen much of what people are talking about," he said, which suggests he walks around in a cocoon. "It is not a big problem and I am happy once we start testing tomorrow because then we can start worrying about the stuff that really matters like tyre temperatures, cars . . . "

The stuff that really matters.

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