Apr.21 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The actual flames of Bahrain’s unrest have touched yet another member of the formula one fraternity.
It has already emerged that Force India and Sauber team personnel, driving in hired vehicles en route from the circuit to their hotels, have come close to the Molotov cocktails being thrown by protesters.
Germany’s Bild newspaper reports that the latest figure to come face to face with the controversial off-track action this weekend is Pasquale Lattuneddu, the well-known right-hand man of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
The report said a Molotov cocktail exploded close to Lattuneddu’s car as he witnessed a clash between young rioters and police.
He would not confirm or comment.
Bild also reported that Michael Schumacher, despite publicly backing the Bahrain grand prix on several occasions, has moved to a “secret” location that is “protected by barbed wire” for the rest of the weekend.
Media reports say the 2012 event at Sakhir has quickly become the most controversial event in F1’s long history.
“The worst case scenario?” speculated Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary from the Persian Gulf state. “It doesn’t bear thinking about.
“But it could mean (Jean) Todt and (Bernie) Ecclestone are gored on the horns of a dilemma of their own making.”
Other first-hand observers are less worried.
“So far my picture of Bahrain is different from what the news agencies painted and what was said in the paddock in Malaysia and China,” wrote O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent Livio Oricchio.
“At least with the information I have, the scenario is less tense than it seemed. But, you know, anything can happen. Hopefully not.”