British drivers asked to shun Bahrain Grand Prix

Written on:April 20, 2023
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Labour’s Yvette Cooper has urged British Formula One drivers including Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The shadow home secretary told the BBC’s Question Time that the race should be suspended, adding that “I don’t think British drivers should go.” But, Conservative Party chair Baroness Warsi said the decision regarding the Grand Prix should be taken by Formula One officials.

“The government can’t stop British drivers from taking part in a grand prix,” said Warsi, adding that its Formula One officials who need to decide about the race.

“Although it should be a matter for the sport to decide – I don’t think the government should be taking the final decision - I do think government ministers can express an opinion”, argued Cooper.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat party president Tim Farron agrees that the race should be stopped, saying “it endorses and legitimises the regime”.

Last year’s race was cancelled after 35 people were killed during protest that has been going on for a year with no signs of peace any time soon. Recently, Bahraini security forces fired at protesters in the capital Manama, just 25 miles away from the race circuit.

Under the circumstances, the Foreign Office has asked Brits travelling to Bahrain for F1 to “maintain particular vigilance”.

Commenting on the situation, McLaren’s ace driver Jenson Button said, “I’m not going to get into the details of it. You are here interviewing me as a driver and that’s exactly what I am going to talk about – motor racing. The outside issues, I’m not going to talk about.”

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