Speaking to journalists, so-called “F1 Supremo” Bernie Ecclestone said he had “no concerns, none at all” about the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix. He continued:
I haven’t had any negative reports from anybody there. Somebody who actually lives there came to see me yesterday and said everything’s very normal.
I think they (both sides) are talking now anyway… so I don’t think they’ll upset the talks by making protests. It didn’t help them last year, so if they had any brains they’d just get on with their talks.
Ecclestone’s comments were challenged by Brian Dooley of Human Rights First, who said:
He must have a strange idea for what normal is. Bahrain remains volatile and its human rights crisis continues.
One issue is whether or not human rights violations might be happening as a result of the race being there. If the regime arrests people in order to intimidate others from peacefully protesting around Formula One, then the organizers, participants, and sponsors really need to say something about that.