Force India reveal Bahrain concerns

Paul di Resta claims there is now "an edge" to this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix in the wake of Force India personnel being involved in a petrol bomb incident.

The young Scot awaits his turn in the paddock.

The group were en route from the Bahrain International Circuit to their team hotel in Manama on Wednesday night when they were caught in traffic as anti-government protesters clashed with police.

During the demonstration a petrol bomb landed close to their car, and although no injuries were sustained, it has sent a shockwave through the team.

Two unrelated team members are to now return home after voicing their concerns on safety grounds.

It is understood one of them has a key role as he works on radio transmissions, without which the team will struggle to function.

It has meant there is an uneasy air within Force India as this is the first incident to directly affect a team.

Di Resta, speaking on Thursday at the track, said: "The team, like many others, has taken steps on security.

"Clearly something has happened and there has been an issue, and we've all said we'd take direction from the FIA because they said it is safe. We need to see how things develop."

Asked if it was safe, Di Resta added: "It's a difficult one isn't it. I'm sure it's affecting everybody at the moment, the actions that have happened.

"I've not spoken to everybody within the team, but there is some concern and some people have felt it a bit more than others.

"As for me, I'm pretty neutral. It's how I've felt for the last couple of weeks, although there is an edge to things at the moment.

"It's early (into the weekend) and everybody is here, and at the end of the day if there is a race on then I want to be racing."

Di Resta does at least have sympathy for the team members who are going home, adding: "I can understand that everybody has their own feelings and families.

"I'm not sure what has driven them to make their decision. It's an unfortunate circumstance, and it's affected our team."

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Di Resta does not believe, though, there will be any increase in the team's own security measures, in particular as the incident occurred on a main highway and not off the beaten track.

"The guidelines and the way the team are approaching things at the moment are the same, and I think they'll continue to do that," said Di Resta.

"I believe all the teams are also working together with all the information they have. We're just going about things as normal.

"I don't think, from what we've seen at the moment, the people (protesters) are here to hurt us.

"The people we have providing us with information are telling us it's demonstrations, and you hope their opinion is right.

"Everybody is individual, but when you feel uncomfortable, then you take action like the two people in our team have done.

"Right now, I don't feel that uncomfortable, but then I've not been here long enough to understand it."

The incident, however, has undoubtedly raised concerns within the BIC, who released a statement on Thursday attempting to play down what unfolded.

The BIC claim it was "an isolated incident involving a handful of illegal protesters acting violently towards police".

The statement added: "During this incident a 'Molotov cocktail' landed in the vicinity of their (Force India) vehicle.

"After approximately two minutes the route was cleared and the vehicle carried on its journey.

"There were no casualties and eyewitness reports from the scene confirmed their vehicle had not been targeted itself.

"The BIC would like to reiterate its confidence in the relevant Bahrain authorities in their ability to deal with such isolated incidents.

"We can confirm that all the usual precautions are being taken around the track to ensure the level of security is maintained."



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