Force India sit out Friday afternoon practice
21 April, 2012
Apr.21 (F1 Media) The Force India team sat out the second free practice session in Bahrain on Friday, citing ‘logistical reasons’ for an early withdrawal from the day’s track programme.
A press statement issued after the morning session stated: “For logistical reasons the team will run a rescheduled programme for the rest of the weekend, which will result in the team missing second practice to ensure the most competitive performance in FP3, qualifying and the race.” Rumour in the paddock suggested that the team opted to cut short its Friday running to ensure that team personnel could leave the track in the hours of daylight after a vehicle carrying team members from the circuit to Manama was involved in a firebomb incident on Wednesday night.
Team principle Bob Fernley later explained that the incident had “destabilised the team”. “I think that what you have to accept is that on Wednesday evening there was a very unfortunate incident for members of Force India, and there is no question, it de-stabilised the emotional element of our team,” he said. “Yesterday evening we put a programme together which addressed all the issues from the team. We sat down with them all, and that meant a slight re-structuring of the programme in order that we could make sure that there was comfort within the team and that we delivered a very strong qualifying and race programme.
“I have to say that Sheikh Abdullah, Bernie, everybody, has been enormously helpful in our process, but we have, as a team, to make sure that we gel that together properly and it’s nothing whatsoever to do with… It’s an internal matter that just needs stability, we provided that stability and we’ve stuck with the programme that we’ve had to put in place.”
However, Fernley went on to insist that the team’s action did not represent a comment on the event itself. “It’s not a slight at all on the event, it’s just about an internal structure of Force India,” he said. “We’ve had to do that, we’ve done it with pleasure and we’ve supported our team in that process and as a result of supporting the team, the whole of our programme is now secure for going forward for the Bahrain Grand Prix.”