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Bahrain circuit boss insists all is well

NEWS STORY
16/04/2012

Visiting Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuits boss insists that all is well in the Gulf state and that the F1 circus has nothing to fear when it visits next week.

Maybe it was the on-track excitement in China that appeared to push next week's race out of the spotlight - or maybe it was refusal of most interested parties, certainly those at the top of the food chain - to discuss the matter.

One person who did want to talk about the forthcoming event was circuit boss Zayed Al Zayani, who insists that all is well and that the sport and its participants have nothing to fear.

"We wouldn't take a decision on a gamble," he told Reuters. "I think it's a calculated decision, we've weighed our options and we are committed to the grand prix and to its success.

"I don't think anything drastic will happen," he added. "It's not Afghanistan, it's not Syria. I don't see why anything should happen this year that hasn't happened in the previous years."

Referring to the ongoing 'unrest', he said: "You have some stuff going on in villages, but it's nothing that can't be handled. I have no doubt at all that Formula One is not a target, not the teams, not the media."

However, talking of the media, referring to next week's race, which has already seen a couple of TV broadcasters pull out, he said: "I think they (the protesters) will probably look out for the media to try and get their message abroad, which is fine. Let them express their opinion.

"The country has gone through a tough year, we are still wounded in some aspects or another and we are on the way to regaining our health, so to speak. I think the race will be positive to the country," he continued, referring to an event which is being billed as Unif1ed - One Nation in Celebration. "We need it as a country, we deserve it. I think we have passed the worst of the incidents and we need help to restore the country back on track."

Like Bernie Ecclestone, Zayani blames the media for much of the negativity surrounding the event, suggesting that some appear to have an agenda. "Every time we plug a hole about Bahrain, something else seems to pop up," he said. "I sometimes wonder and ask myself what is it that they've got against Bahrain? Are they just trying to find anything to spoil the race?"

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