F1 bosses "comfortable" with Bahrain GP security

Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:05am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Leading Formula One team principals expressed confidence in security measures at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday even as police and protesters faced off with teargas and petrol bombs half an hour up the road.

On a day again dominated by politics and safety concerns, as well as a visit to the circuit by the country's Crown Prince, those charged with running the teams battled to focus on motor racing.

The first question, posed by an official questioner, at a news conference organized by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) concerned the security situation however.

McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh, whose championship-leading team are part-owned by Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, said he was "comfortable".

"Clearly we race as an international sport all over the world and we have security concerns and issues at a number or races and we take that very seriously, and we're cautious, and we try to take the right precautions," he said.

Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug, Red Bull principal Christian Horner, Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali, Force India's Bob Fernley and Lotus boss Eric Boullier agreed.

They also backed Whitmarsh's assertion that the team's top priority was to go motor racing.

"Formula One is a sport at the end of the day and it's wrong for it to be used politically. We're here to race, we trust in the FIA, in the decisions that they made, and we're comfortable with the decisions that they have made," said Horner.   Continued...