No extra security for Bahrain Grand Prix

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The Independent Online

No Extra special security measures are expected to be in place for Formula One's first visit to the Middle East. The Bahrain Grand Prix marks the sport's first trip to a region that the UK Foreign Office still lists as having a "high threat of terrorism".

No Extra special security measures are expected to be in place for Formula One's first visit to the Middle East. The Bahrain Grand Prix marks the sport's first trip to a region that the UK Foreign Office still lists as having a "high threat of terrorism".

Despite the warning, the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead with the "normal preparations from the viewpoint of spectator safety, crowd and traffic control," a spokesman said. Race organisers also said that there was no intelligence indicating that the western-dominated event has been targeted. King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa arrived at the circuit for its inauguration ceremonies last month in a helicopter protected by two army gunships.

Meanwhile, the smooth running of the event is to be aided by a special shuttle bus service transporting Formula One fans arriving at the Bahrain International Airport to the Bahrain International Circuit during the Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, BAR Honda's encouraging start to the season continued with an impressive showing in testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France. After their team leader, Jenson Button, scored his first podium finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend, he set the fastest time on the second day of testing. After a gruelling 118 laps, Button's best time was 1min 11.04sec.

Williams' test driver Antonio Pizzonia was second quickest, Button's team-mate Takuma Sato third and Williams' Ralf Schumacher fourth, just under half a second slower than Button. BAR and Williams will return for a third day of testing tomorrow along with test drivers from McLaren, Renault and Toyota.

The Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello has accepted that his tyre gamble did not pay off as he struggled to finish in fourth place at the Malaysian Grand Prix. While his team-mate Michael Schumacher led from pole position to record his second victory in two races this season, Barrichello was unable to repeat the Ferrari one-two of Australia after opting to drive on a harder tyre compound.

The Brazilian explained: "When I made the decision on Friday, it looked like it was going to be one of the hottest ever races in Malaysia, which is why I went for the harder tyre. It was a gamble that didn't pay off. It was really slippery and the tyres were not working so well at that point. It was in those two or three laps that I lost the most time and any chance of winning."

Barrichello also rejected Juan Pablo Montoya's accusation that he deliberately slowed the Williams driver down to protect Schumacher. He said: "I don't feel Juan Pablo ever really had a chance to overtake me. I could see him behind me, but not in a way that he could have got by. I certainly didn't change my strategy just to hold him up."

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