Bahrain Gp: F1 staff was arrested, suspended or sacked image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) Organisers of the Bahrain grand prix must boost their staff numbers if the race is to be rescheduled in 2011.

The Financial Times reports that, as the troubled island Kingdom’s government cracked down on protesters recently, about a quarter of the Bahrain International Circuit’s staff was arrested, suspended or sacked.

The potentially damaging claim was revealed by one of the detained staff who, according to the report, “declined to be named for fear of retribution”.

The source said two senior staff are among those who were detained.

“They (police) were all slapping and kicking me as they led me down the corridor,” he said.

“He put my head between his legs, flipped me on to the floor — and then the beatings really began.”

The Sakhir circuit declined to comment, but a government source said the staff were removed for applauding the cancellation of the race.

“Allegations are exaggerated or unfounded to gain international sympathy,” claimed government spokesman Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Mubarak al-Khalifa.

The deadline for the rescheduling of the 2011 race is June 3.