Michael Schumacher backs controversial staging of Bahrain Grand Prix

 

Michael Schumacher is convinced the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers will pull out all the stops to ensure no harm befalls the Formula One fraternity next month.

The sport is due to make its return to the Gulf kingdom in just four weeks' time following a two-year break after last season's race was cancelled in the wake of anti-government protests.

Clashes between police and protesters continue on a daily basis, primarily in villages on the outskirts of the capital Manama.

There is the fear further protests will occur, in particular in the week of the race itself as the biggest event to be staged in the country unfolds since the last grand prix in 2010.

But asked about the prospect ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, seven-times champion Schumacher concedes to being "pretty relaxed to go there".

The 43-year-old Mercedes driver added: "From our perspective we're going to be very well looked after because they might foresee whatever, but we'll be prepared.

"I've a few good friends over there, and I'm pretty sure for them it's a very important event, and they just want to make everybody happy.

"If you look around the world you will find in other places the possibility to think about similar things, but we don't.

"At the end of the day I'm pretty certain they're going to do their utmost and we'll be okay."

Reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel shared his German compatriot's sentiments.

Vettel said: "There are a lot of people who have to make a decision as to whether it's safe or not.

"If they decide it's safe then we shouldn't worry, so I'm happy to go to Bahrain.

"Of course, it was a shame the race didn't happen last year, but I think ultimately it was the right call.

"It's not really our business, and we'll see what happens, but I am quite confident we'll be all right."

Jenson Button, however, winner of the season-opening grand prix in Australia on Sunday, was a little more circumspect as he said: "I think for us, as you know, it's a very difficult subject.

"Personally, from my point of view and for all of us, we need to look at the FIA for common sense, and we will go with what they have to say."

PA

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