Lopez expects Bahrain return

Boullier happy to leave final decision in the hands of the FIA

Last Updated: 06/02/12 6:42pm

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Gerard Lopez: Runs Lotus team owners Genii Capital

Gerard Lopez: Runs Lotus team owners Genii Capital

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Lotus team chairman Gerard Lopez is happy to see Formula One return to Bahrain this season, providing the promises made are not broken.

Sakhir is set to host the fourth race of the new campaign on April 22, though at this stage it still remains unclear if this year's event will go ahead as scheduled.

"All I can say is Bahrain is a great country, I love being there, the people are nice there, and the events have always been really well run."
Gerard Lopez Quotes of the week

In 2011 the Bahrain GP was cancelled after a number of protestors were killed as they staged anti-government demonstrations, with sporadic protests occurring since then.

Assessing the situation, Lopez, who runs Lotus team owners Genii Capital, said: "First of all, Formula One is a sport and using a sport to provide a political message is wrong.

"We all have opinions the moment we step away and we can all talk about Bahrain, but it's difficult for us to say we're taking a stance on political issues.

"All I can say is Bahrain is a great country, I love being there, the people are nice there, and the events have always been really well run.

"What I've been hearing is a number of guarantees have been given in terms of how everything will happen and so on.

"So if things look good then there is no reason why we shouldn't go to Bahrain."

No checklist

Lopez, however, could not expand on the nature of the guarantees, adding: "I would simplistically say everything is run fair.

"I wouldn't go down a checklist in terms of what the expectations would be. As I said it would be wrong for the sport to be used politically, so if everything is set for Formula One to go to Bahrain then it should go to Bahrain."

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier, who was an outspoken figure last year when it came to voicing his concerns regarding visiting Bahrain, is happy to leave the final decision in the hands of the FIA.

"As a principal of a Formula One team I love to be racing, and in every part of the world where we are welcome, and Bahrain is one of these places," said the Frenchman.

"But with regard to the political situation in Bahrain, it is entirely up to the FIA to decide whether we have to go, if it is safe to go.

"We have commitments with regard to the Formula One championship, so it is not an easy decision to take.

"Right now we are awaiting feedback from the FIA on whether or not we go."

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