Formula 1 - Ecclestone: Bahrain 'stupid' to host Grand Prix

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has branded the government of Bahrain "stupid" for hosting a Formula One Grand Prix, as it gives a platform for protests.

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Bernie Ecclestone

Opponents of the kingdom's Sunni Muslim regime use Formula One's global spotlight to focus their displeasure against the ruling Al Khalifa family.

On Saturday thousands of protesters blocked a major motorway in an anti-government march.

Ecclestone said: "The government here are really in a lot of ways stupid to put this race on because it's a platform for people to use to protest."

Asked whether Bahrain should be allowed to host a race because of its questionable human rights record, Ecclestone said it was not F1's job to make moral judgements and called on the people of Bahrain to observe the country's laws.

"We don't go anywhere to judge how a country is run," he said. "I keep asking people human rights are. I don't know what they are.

"The rights are; the people that live in a country abide by the laws of the country, whatever they are.

"I might be in Africa and I can do 200km/h on the highway with no problem. If I come to England and do the same thing, I'm in trouble.

"So it's a case of: whatever the laws are in a country, people need to respect them."

Ecclestone was also dismissive of a group of MPs who this week called for the race to be scrapped.

He said: "MPs are really good. We see them, like, once a year. We never see them otherwise.

"They suddenly pop up, which is good really because nobody knows who they are and they get their name in the paper."

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