Force India misses 2nd practice at Bahrain GP
SAKHIR, Bahrain - The Associated Press
Force India's Scottish driver Paul di Resta drives on April 20, 2012 during the first practice session at the Bahrain international circuit in Manama ahead of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. AFP photoThe Formula One team Force India skipped the second practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday due to safety concerns.
Deputy team principal Robert Fernley said the decision was made following the first practice and a day after two Force India members left the Gulf nation in the wake of a team vehicle being briefly delayed because of a firebomb. The announcement also came amid reports that anti-government protests will start at 4 p.m. local time, about 30 minutes after practice ends.
The sport's governing body, the FIA, released a statement confirming Force India would miss the second practice after neither of its two drivers took the track. It said both drivers would miss the practice due to "logistical reasons" which will force the team to "run a rescheduled program for the rest of the weekend." Force India driver Paul Di Resta was third fastest in the first session and Nico Hulkenberg was sixth.
The Bahrain GP was canceled last year due to anti-government protests and this year's race has been overshadowed by sometimes violent clashes. The ruling Sunni dynasty supports the race but it is opposed by demonstrators who contend it rewards an abusive regime.