Bahrain Grand Prix is no bother for McLaren man Jenson Button
Jenson Button has admitted he’s placed all his faith in the bigwigs over the safety of this weekend’s controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.
The McLaren man was speaking as anti-government protestors seemingly upped the ante in the troubled Gulf kingdom claiming they’re planning “days of rage” directed at Formula One.
For weeks now there have been doubts as to whether the race would take place. But in spite of the death of a protestor last month and police being injured in a bomb attack last week, the FIA has pressed on with the staging of the GP.
And with the engines set to rev up for the fourth spectacle of speed of the season Button has revealed he’s only there because the powers that be have ensured it will be safe.
“I trust in the FIA that they know all the information - I don’t personally - so we have to trust in their decision” the Briton said. “I don’t think they will ever want to put us at risk. They do a lot on safety for drivers, in terms of the circuits and the cars and what have you, and that’s a priority for them.
“So I believe in the FIA’s decision. If everything is straightforward and nothing happens, it’s not even going to be in the back of my mind at all.”
On the track Button’s feeling even more bullish. The 32-year-old sits second in the driver’s standings, behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, after victory in Australia and a second spot last week in China, and he’s happy with his speed going into the race at the Sakhir circuit.
“The table makes for good reading at the moment,” he said.
"It’s not quite as good as Lewis, but we’re very close. Only two points between us. The thing we’ve got to take from the first three races, in terms of the performance of our car, is that we might not have been the quickest all the time, but we’ve been close to being the quickest and that is important.”
But while he focuses on affairs on the track, many will be looking at what happens off it. Anti-government protesters in Bahrain are planning more demonstrations in the run up to the race, while security forces have rounded up dozens of activists in a clampdown on the opposition on the island.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said last week the race would go ahead because all was “quiet and peaceful” in Bahrain, which paid last year’s hosting fee of an estimated $40 million despite cancelling the race due to the conflict.
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