The F1 teams have written to the FIA, FOM and the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers, stating their collective position regarding Friday’s FIA World Council decision regarding Bahrain.
Having deliberated on it yesterday, the teams collectively, via the channel of the F1 Teams Association (FOTA – which does not include HRT), is understood to have said that they are unwilling to race in Bahrain on October 30th, as was decided by the WMSC and feel that the Indian Grand Prix should be restored to that date, as originally scheduled in the 2011 calendar.
It was reported earlier today that the teams are not closing the door on a race in Bahrain later this year, possibly looking at the December 11th slot. But I understand that this is not the case. Their objection is logistical and they are not prepared to go there this year. They are focused on Bahrain getting itself together in time to host the first race in March 2012.
Clearly they believe that it was premature to schedule a race for October 30th when the security situation remains uncertain.
It appears that Bernie Ecclestone has been aligned with the teams on this one, against the FIA, shifting position last night.
Speaking last week, before the FIA’s decision, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said that extending the F1 season into December was not something he or Mercedes could consider,
“Our guys have been working since January and to then give them no time for a holiday until Christmas is not acceptable,”he said. It seems that this is the position all the teams share.
Meanwhile the impetus behind this is that the teams believe the vote was unconstitutional. Former FIA president Max Mosley has said that F1 should not visit Bahrain at all in the current circumstances and went on BBC radio this morning to say that the FIA vote had not been carried out correctly as it was not done with the unanimous support of the teams, as any last minute change needs to be. This would make it an unconstitutional change.
The teams have taken a quiet position here, but a firm one. It’s not over yet, but the event is clearly not going to take place this year, without the teams, who have demonstrated that there is no show without Punch.
A solution will be found, but it looks like the Indian Grand Prix will take place on October 30, as originally scheduled.