FOM boycotts Force India on Saturday – Bernie denies it


Ecclestone denies the F1 TV cameras purposely missed Paul di Resta's Force India car in not one, not two, but three qualifying sessions

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has denied Force India was deliberately ignored by F1's television cameras on Saturday.

Journalists on Twitter speculated that the reason for the apparent snub by the Ecclestone-controlled Formula One Management could be because the team sat out Friday's second practice session over security fears in troubled Bahrain.

Ecclestone, however, denied the charge that Force India had been blacked out.

"Not at all," the 81-year-old is quoted by the Calcutta newspaper Telegraph.

But Britain's Sky channel appeared to confirm that Scot Paul di Resta's qualifying performance, including a run all the way into Q3, had been missed.

"For those asking, we have no control over who is being shown on the world feed, sorry you didn't get to see any of di Resta's lap," the broadcaster said on Twitter.

Ecclestone responded: "I asked them (FOM) to go and have a look. They missed two other people.

"It was simple. They are interested in who is going to be on pole. Nobody cares if someone is ninth or 11th, only the people that are watching a particular team."

Di Resta was also asked about the FOM-snub rumors.

"I've seen some stuff on Twitter," he admitted, "but I was in the garage or in my car driving so I saw my car."

Force India car sits idle in garage

04/21/12 Force India has refused to comment on claims that its television exposure during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix was deliberately kept to a minimum because of the team's decision to skip Friday afternoon's second free practice session.

The Silverstone-based team's screen time during qualifying appeared to be very limited in Q1 and Q2 despite Paul di Resta qualifying in the top 10 in what one team member described to AUTOSPORT as "payback" for the refusal to run.

Di Resta did not attempt a lap in Q3, but did complete an in- and an out-lap.

Di Resta himself admitted that he was aware of the comments about what happened, but declined to make any further comment on the situation when pressed.

"I have seen some stuff on Twitter but I was sat in the car driving," said the Scot. "So I saw my car." Autosport

04/21/12 (GMM) Rumors are swirling after qualifying in Bahrain that Force India was deliberately excluded from Saturday's 'world feed' television coverage.

That coverage is controlled by Formula One Management, the sport's Bernie Ecclestone-run company.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone is believed to have been angry on Friday that Force India sat out the second practice session over security fears.

The 81-year-old Briton offered to ride in the Silverstone based team's hire vehicles after dark with frightened mechanics and personnel, but revealed late on Friday that they had turned down the offer.

Then on Saturday, as Force India returned to the track for the third practice session and qualifying, television viewers noticed that the orange, green and white cars were conspicuously absent from their screens.

That was despite Paul di Resta racing all the way through the three-part qualifying session into Q3.

"You could say it was Bernie's revenge, I couldn't comment," The Times' Kevin Eason said on Twitter.

Another journalist, Adam Hay-Nicholls, joked that the Force India blackout "could be season-long unless the team goes groveling to Mr. E".

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