Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Bahrain, 2012

Predictions Championship round cancelled for Bahrain

Predictions Championship

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Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Bahrain, 2012The F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship round for the Bahrain Grand Prix has been cancelled.

Feedback from readers in the past 24 hours has made it overwhelmingly clear many do not consider it appropriate to run the competition given the events in Bahrain.

On reflection, I agree this is the correct course of action to take.

It retrospect, this is a decision I probably should have taken sooner. But better to make the right decision late in the day than not at all.

No points will be awarded for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The next round which will count towards the championship is the Spanish Grand Prix.

More on the situation in Bahrain this weekend:

Image ?? Williams/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 146 comments on “Predictions Championship round cancelled for Bahrain”

    1. It’s OK by me, I was considering not watching at all.

      1. may aswell cancel the points for when brazil in on! afterall it is worse in brazil than bahrain is now!
        Stupid decision…

        1. Are you sure? I live in Brazil and do not have to dodge petrol bombs in my way to work everyday. Yes, there is violence. But nothing like that.
          Stupid comment…

          1. the part of brazil where the track is, is worse than bahrain. Button got his hire car knabbed last year, its always known for its violence. So i would prefer it if the prediction comp was cancelled for brazil. to make it fair.

            1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
              21st April 2012, 9:32

              There is a difference between the types of violence in the two countries, while neither is really acceptable in the civiliesed world, one has a Government murdering people and the other just has gang violence. Not really grounds for a comparison there

            2. Street crime or organized crime are totally different form State Crime and oppression. Get the difference?
              Anyway, I would have left the competition open so people have their options open to choose what they like to do, and not forced to.

        2. brazil is fine. the problems there are not extremist, or revolutionary. i had a great trip over there. no political uprising in sight.

          1. Bahrain is fine. You are not in Bahrain.

        3. Big difference between crime caused by povery, and people fighting for democracy.

      2. The entire “F1’s safety” argument just went out the window lol.

        All this seems to have ever been about for Keith is pushing for pro-democracy.

    2. Shame, to be honest. However, respect for reacting to tour followers. Shows a lot of decency.

      1. Tour followers?

        1. Your followers*

        2. Sorry @keithcollantine Ben was right, *your. I’m on my phone, silly small keyboard.

        3. @andrewtanner I should’ve looked at a keyboard and guessed that one, really!

        4. Sour grapes Keith. Sour grapes.

    3. sid_prasher (@)
      20th April 2012, 21:26

      hmm…strange decision but its not like i would have scored any points anyways.

    4. I may never watch it again, I’m so upset and disappointed with every F1 team and driver.

    5. rosberg for pole, button for podium, hamilton for DNF, tyvm :)

      1. yeah i would have put ROS on pole, put not on podium. maybe vettel or webber for win.

    6. Good Call Keith! At least I can say that you are just and have respect for the people of Bahrain.

      On to Barcelona it is.

    7. Right decision in my view, well done to Keith for taking it. I think it was silly for the sport to go there anyway, and I still think the race is still 50/50 after what happened to Force India yesterday, despite Bernie’s assurances. Either way, with the teams likely wanting out of there ASAP, and with any race meaning little in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t right to go ahead with the predictions championship.

      By the way, you’ve said “It retrospect” in the article when I think you mean “In retrospect”, just thougth I’d point it out.

    8. I honestly don’t see why we shouldn’t guess the race order – after all it’s not that this decision has brought F1 to Bahrain, it’s us who have started predicting as a consequnce of F1 going to Bahrain. The event will happen anyway, so I don’t see why we shoudln’t enjoy the show the sport will offer us.

      1. Wish I had a picture of Bruce from Family Guy right now

      2. Maybe because it’s supposed to be a fun prediction game and there are prizes in play too. So it does feel odd to compete for some prizes while the situation is this critical.

        Besides, it’d go against what Keith commented over the past weeks about the Grand Prix. Sure, the news are still coming, but to hand prizes and stuff after the race, seems a bit off…

    9. Okay, but I don’t see what this will accomplish though

      1. The bottom line is, this is supposed to be a bit of fun. And it’s been clear from the responses I’ve had from many readers in various forms, that it simply isn’t going to be the case for a lot of people this weekend.

        What’s more, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we end up a scenario where some teams compete and some don’t. In which case we’re effectively asking people to predict who will and who won’t choose/be forced to pull out on whatever grounds. Again, it’s another example of how the weekend has ceased to be about sport.

        1. I understand your reasoning, but i think if the race happens, we should still do the prediction.

          On another note, will you be watching the race? Some people say they won’t, i definitly will, this season is amazing so far!

            1. How about covering only the politics of the even and given the race itself a total blackout.

          1. If you want to make predictions go right ahead and post them on here, no one is stopping you!

          2. It’s your call,mate….allow no-one else to dictate your decisions….

    10. Good choice Keith – admire your decision.

      1. I second that. I was thinking of some kind of boycott like not posting the pole time but this is even better. We want to see F1 but not at every cost and specially not at expense of the lives of people in Bahrain. I regret that F1 teams went there at all.

      2. I third that. @keithcollantine I have gained A LOT of respect for you and your site these past few days (Not that I didnt respect you beforehand).

        Definatly the right decision to cancel the predictions round.

    11. Decision respected. No moral ambiguity for anyone entering.

      1. @hey +1 good shout Keith, you certainly can’t be accussed of being a hypocrite. It’s the right call.

    12. Correct decision Keith.
      Very disappointed with F1 drivers and F1 team team principals. Why do they not break the silence?

    13. The right move, Keith

    14. Nice one, Keith. A difficult decision to make, but I’m sure you’ve made the right call on this.

    15. Maybe halve the points for China then – it’s not so bad there after all but still – human right problems exist there. Or maybe 40%, or 65% – your site, your call.

      1. Ah but the right-on brigade cannot condem China because then they’d have to reflect on disposing of their iPhones and laptops and all the other items in their lives that have come from, and support, the economy of China.

        Let’s all pretend that there haven’t been more deaths this year caused by the crackdown on the Tibetan plain and Xinjiang that in Bahrain (there have) or that the Chinese government doesn’t care about the Chinese grand prix (a country doesn’t spend as much as the Chinese do on getting international sporting events, such as F1 and the Olympics, if it doesn’t care.).

        1. I responded to the China point here:

          The Bahrain Grand Prix: A matter of conscience

        2. China did care about the Olympics, but not F1. That is why, if you recall, the Olympics were controversial, whereas the GP is not. In China the highest authority in the country doesn’t attend the races in a prominent position and use the F1 logo to make a political statement. Nobody denies China has shocking human rights abuses. But the race being there isn’t an issue because there is no direct link to that- the location of the race is inconsequential to the event.

          1. Exactly.

          2. So you won’t do anything about it because you can’t do anything about it? Great excuse to keep using all your goods made in China.

          3. So because China is a large country and journalists can be excluded from the areas of oppression but get to the track, and protesters can be locked up before they make it to Shanghai it is alright to race there? The track was built with state funds and the first prize giver was a member of the national government.

    16. “Each small candle lights a corner of the dark”
      Good call. Respect.

      1. And a good quote :-)

    17. rethymnoracer
      20th April 2012, 21:55

      Good decision Keith.

    18. Now if we can only stop buying their oil………

    19. thank you 1000000…. am a bahraini, and i appreciate any move to support my people. we r f1 fans but we have human lives issues at the momemt. we have an activist who could die any moment as he is in his 72th day hunger strike in jail….many thanks again

    20. Great move Keith, much respect

    21. So very very sad and very very stupid for F1 to be in this position. Gaurdian reporte 50,000 protesters assembling tonight.

      Keith, writing the article 2 days ago has been proven highly insightful. I fear this will be a very dark weekend for F1. I have friends out there who are desperate to leave and come home immediately. Ecclestone is a fool.

    22. It’s one thing holding personal opinion and expressing it with justification, it’s another having a high head and implementing measures for false “symbolism”.

      I respect this is your website Keith and you deserve to run it how you will but this is tad unnecessary. If you have a massive moral burden with the race, don’t watch it personally or highlight your own dissent in your own way.

      It’s disappointing that your personal opinion is clouding your professional role of running an online media website. I’ll argue why not go ahead and not cover the race at all? This decision seems to be the sitting on fence middle ground.

      1. I understand where you’re coming from, but you must’ve missed the “Feedback from readers in the past 24 hours has made it overwhelmingly clear many do not consider it appropriate to run the competition given the events in Bahrain” part.

        Keith’s decision was not just “personal opinion” based and you should know that since it’s very clear here.

        1. Again, if it were some readers personal opinion then they could simply not participate in the predictions for this weekend.

          Those who do end up contacting Keith clearly have strong opinions and are probably hence not representative of readers as a whole in general who would presume norm “will carry on”.

          Perhaps a poll asking for reader’s opinions or is that too clingy democratic?

          1. Count up the comments – most people who have read around the facts don’t want this race. I greatly Admire all the fans who are giving up the sport they love for his weekend because they know this is a race that shouldn’t be run.

            1. Again, let me stress I’m not a proposing force for Bahrain either in this case. I personally wrote why Bahrain should have never been on a calendar at all this season when it was released, well before all this kicked up in the last weeks.

              There is a different between personal opinion and professionalism. When matters are well out of your control, it’s an uncomfortable feeling but you carry on.

      2. This entire event is all over the middle ground. It is incredibly complex and valid arguments can be made for all sides.

        Having sport become a focal point of a social/political issue is wrong, but it is what has happened and if the rulers of Bahrain follow through on their promises there is going to be human life at stake here.

      3. If you have a massive moral burden with the race, don’t watch it personally or highlight your own dissent in your own way.

        Well, he did it twice already over recent weeks with two very good articles.

        It’s disappointing that your personal opinion is clouding your professional role of running an online media website. I’ll argue why not go ahead and not cover the race at all? This decision seems to be the sitting on fence middle ground.

        Isn’t that contradicting yourself? He’s still covering the race even after he clearly stated he’s against it. This prediction championship is supposed to be a fun game for the followers, has nothing to do with journalism.

        1. Yes, he did and I respected that. It’s his blog and I personally prefer opinion polls with voice! It’s what I like about this blog compared to the numerous other press release hashing media F1 sites on the web.

          I’m saying that if his personal opinion has already influenced himself already enough to make professional amens to cancel this fun game for followers, why not go the whole way? It’s sitting in the middle of the fence because if he feels so strongly about it and wants to send a signal out then a stronger version could be boycott and not over the race in it’s entirety. It seems a cop out to do so just for the prediction’s championship. All for nothing would be better.

          1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
            21st April 2012, 9:46

            Because while he feels against it morally, he is going to cover the event as he feels it’s his duty and obligation as a journalist to allow those who do wish to follow the event to do so. He is doing his job and nothing more then that, and saying that because he cancelled the fun game that he should go the whole way is stupid, the two things are completely different.

      4. Your concept of professionalism is depressingly modern and nonsensical.

    23. Good choice Keith!

    24. I’m sorry, but I’m finding it difficult to not get frustrated at this… Surely the idea is that if people don’t want to compete in what is meant to be something to be enjoyed, then they don’t enter? Now what’s happened is that the people who don’t want to play have moaned loudly and forced the round to be called off, therefore ruining the fun of anyone who might actually want to play…

      It’s sad to think that after avidly following and commenting on this blog over the past year, I’m thinking about leaving over the handling of 1 race weekend (the Predictions Championship is just the most recent part)

      1. MOST TRUE F1 fans will be watching the situation for the next 36 hours praying that some disaster does not occur.

        The sporting competition for whatever reason has been blown away by the context in which it is set.

        I had a text today from a team member I know, who said that someone invaded their hotel last night screaming….murderers. He was not present but if you read the tea leave you’ll know which team he belongs to.

      2. So sorry that human rights and the real world of life, death and freedom had to ruin your little game of fun. I’m glad to see so many fans of F1 standing up and saying that this race is wrong, even if none of the teams and drivers do.

        1. Funnily enough, the race hasn’t ruined my fun.. The Human Rights and real world of life, death and freedom hasn’t ruined my fun..

          What has is the people who have come on here and decided that the game should be cancelled, effectively making a bad weekend even worse.. The GPRO race on Friday was set at the Bahrain track, there were no calls for it to be cancelled, and it went ahead without any complaint.

          One of the reasons given is that ‘because teams may pull out of the race, it will be more difficult to predict’, so we’re not allowed to try and predict the more unpredictable races this year? Malaysia immediately springs to mind…

          All these people protesting the championship going ahead are doing is giving in to the people who declared ‘3 days of rage’, thrown petrol bombs over cars, and hacked into the website.. And it’s now ruining the fun for people who were hoping for a semi-decent race weekend , despite the regime in Bahrain…

      3. @keeleyobsessed I totally agree, but we’ve known this race was going to create a ********* for weeks, lets just get through this weekend and hope things go back to normal :)

    25. Ridiculous!

      “It doesn’t feel right as it’s a game and prizes are awarded” Every team who scores points this weekend gets a “prize” points equal benefits in terms of travel and tv budget.

      F1 is about money and contracts and lawyers. Any team that didn’t go was in breach of their legal contract to the FIA and would be fined heavily, It’s about sponsors and money not about people whether they are F1 people or local citizens. If F1 wanted to make a real stand run the race with no signage on the track or the cars in protest to what is going on. That would be a real protest.

      1. F1 is about money and contracts and lawyers.

        F1 may be. F1 Fanatic is not. Keith is making the right decision here, especially if he’s received enough feedback to justify it. One thing I’ve found in the years since I started reading this blog is that @KeithCollantine doesn’t do things like this on a whim.

    26. Anyone who has ever been on strike, or on a protest march has taken a stance potentially putting their livelihood on the line and broken a contract. I wish a team or driver would do this – they would earn a lot of respect and potentially save lives. Time to make stand someone . . .

    27. Thanks for doing this Keith.

    28. And this was the week i was going to get maximum points

      Disapointed its canceled but understand the reasoning fair enough Keith.

    29. Will the rate the race feature be cancelled too?

      Rightly or wrongly, you know that it will turn into a farcical ‘rate the regime’ vote instead.

      1. The point of Rate the Race is purely to canvas enjoyment of the race – as has been made pretty clear in recent days some people’s enjoyment will be affected by the political situation, others won’t. So it seems to me it would be worth keeping. What does everyone else think?

        1. If we have a great race, the rating would still be a 2.3 or so for non-sporting reason, so I think it’s better not to allow ranking as to avoid doing what would distort the truth about the race in the records.

    30. “Predictions Championship round cancelled for Bahrain”

    31. Seems like an odd decision to me, if your not going to run a fairly meaningless competition (in the grand scheme of things) then surely you should not be reporting on the practice/qualifying/race either?

    32. Good decision Keith.


      I haven’t seen anyone mention the predictions championship in comments, just the usual overblown reactions I’m used to seeing on the interbutt, ‘I’m not going to watch the race, you guys should feel bad!’ etc.

      It feels as though with this Keith has gone from expressing his own opinion to shoving his opinion down our throats, but whatever, his game his rules.

      1. I haven’t seen anyone mention the predictions championship in comments

        I’ve had a lot of feedback via comments (e.g. here), tweets and email. And I think the many positive responses to this so far is further indication I’m not ‘shoving my opinion down your throats’.

        1. There is a very vocal minority that agree with you Keith, some have opposing views and most are ambivalent.

          There are what, around 2000 people that play the predictions championship? You’ve stopped the game because about 1/100 of that number have decided it’s immoral, some of whom aren’t even registered to the site and therefore dont play.

          As I said in the first post, it’s your game and your rules, but it’s a bit like taking your football home in the middle of a match because someone you dont like turned up. You’re punishing everyone here and it makes no difference to the situation over there.

          1. Technically no one is being punished if no one is gaining points. Minority? Did you ask every single person who is participating int the predictions champs their opinion? Strangely you didn’t ask me personally or any of the other 2000+ which about 25% will play less than half the rounds(see I can make up numbers too). Are you that desperate for a couple measly points?? Scrap the race and your fictional points!! See you all in Barcelona :)

          2. Besides your random made up comments on %, in case you hadn’t notcied THIS SITE IS AN F1 BLOG SITE – set up by Keith. By definition it means articles on this site are his opinion – WRIGHT OR WRONG. Games and polls are run by Keith.

            And anyway just like you, I’ve spoken to everyone who ever visited this site and 110% of them are in favour of Keith’s stance!!!

          3. @george

            There is a very vocal minority

            Regarding the Predictions Championship, you’re not in a position to judge that.

          4. it’s a bit like taking your football home in the middle of a match because someone you dont like turned up. You’re punishing everyone here and it makes no difference to the situation over there.

            Ridiculous. It’s a game set up by Keith for people to enjoy predictions and win prizes through absolutely zero effort on their part and lots on his. So when he makes decision about how to, or not to, run it people get upset because he took their fun away? o.O Grow up man.

      2. My sentiments exactly!

    34. f1azzer (@)
      21st April 2012, 0:16

      …after what happened to Force India yesterday,….
      But surely nothing ‘happened’ to Force India, they were on the road when a petrol bomb was thrown, it didn’t hit them, was not aimed at them (according to reports) and was nothing to do directly with them.
      Only the folks who are actually there can know the truth about what ‘the press’ are giving us and as we know there can be a lot of embellishment in order to ‘sell paper’ or space on the web.
      Has the F1A now become a political entity? do they aspire to control world politics? Surely on this basis F1 should not come to the USA on the basis of children being slaughtered in their schools by madmen, or that people are wandering around the streets with guns in their belts!
      I’m ok with Keith cancelling the Prediction championship if that’s his choice, but come on everyone, it’s a sporting event and will almost certainly go off with non of the dire outcome some seem to to be expecting. Bernie may be in the winter of his life, but I’m sure he is also expecting to die peacefully in his hotel bed and not on the streets of Bahrain.
      Now from a different angle, I’m a little pleased that the prediction thing is not on here because I cannot wait up 3 nights in a row (MST is GMT plus 7 or 8) watching and deciding, so it lets me off the hook.

    35. Firstly, I think you’ve made the right decision based on your strong opposition to the race going ahead. However I also hope you think about cancelling your “rate the race” and “driver of the weekend” features too as they both are about enjoyment and entertainment, both of which could be seen as irrelevant given the background circumstances to the weekend.

      Secondly, personally I’m disappointed that this round of the predictions championship has been cancelled as, whilst I don’t think the Bahrain round should have been on the calendar at all, the race is very likely to go ahead. Therefore I’m trying to put the political issues to one side and separate them from watching and maybe enjoying the on track action of 24 cars and drivers going around the circuit come Sunday afternoon, and participating in the predictions championship (all be it I’m rubbish) would have been part of that.

      1. Good talk!

    36. It is quite funny how this prediction was cancelled because the question the race in Bahrain, what about those (me and others) that don’t question it. Bahrain has their own problems like every other country, playing this game will not change a thing or even watching it or not in the case of others. If I were asked I would say don’t go to Bahrain, not because of the issues there, but the safety of the F1 crew (whatever I think will not change the fact). F1 has decided to go so everyone should deal with it, including those goody-two-shoes raising questions on this website, as I said whatever they think will not count. However, as the powers that be on this really good website have decided to cancel this race, I accept it, don’t like it but accept it. Simples!

    37. Good call Keith.

    38. Keith,

      Iin order to be consistent with your actions against the Bahrain Grand Prix you should sponsor a boycott for baning McLaren from F1 as they are 50% owned by the dictator currently ruling the country, the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

      According to your logic, both Button and Hamilton should quit the team because they are driving for a company 50% owned by a dictator. Under such perspective they are plain accomplices by working for a cruel regime.

    39. dysthanasiac (@)
      21st April 2012, 1:52

      The application of morality here is absolutely fascinating. The editorial stance of this site presents a stark choice: “You can either stand with [the protesters], or with those seeking to make money out of their misery.” This ultimatum is stated on a page with prominent ads for, amongst others, Metro, Amazon, and the U.S. Department of Energy. And aside from the suspension of a petty contest, everything else is business as usual, as if the proprietors are somehow encapsulated within a magic bubble that shields them from the staggering amount of irony that’s positively dripping from its stated high-and-mighty position up in the clouds.

      Then somehow, some way, the empty words professed in support of “the struggle” are lauded by readers who seem to be just as oblivious to how laughingly hypocritical this whole thing really is.

      When confronted with an issue it truly cared about, Wikipedia, a far larger site, took itself off-line for a full day in protest. That’s what it means to care. Sacrifice. What’s happening here is something else entirely.

      To its credit, this site has not altered a single critical word of my posts on the subject. But, I’d sincerely love to know how any of this is justified. Anyone?

      1. @dysthanasiac
        I think that’s quite unfair, the site hasn’t been ‘business as usual’, Keith has made several articles making his opinion on the subject clear, which will have a greater effect than taking the site down. Fans don’t have much power in F1, but the general dissatisfaction with the events of this weekend wont go unnoticed, even if it has little effect in reality.

        With regards to the topic at hand though, cancelling the predictions round makes no difference to “the struggle”, all it serves to do is alienate anyone that disagrees with Keith on this matter, or simply wants to enjoy the sport.

        I assume the point you’re making about irony is about those companies’ profits, but I dont know much about that so I cant comment. Money isn’t the big issue in Bahrain though, it’s more about civil liberties and the unwarranted arrests (at least to us from outside, I’m sure they’d love to share the wealth).

        1. dysthanasiac (@)
          21st April 2012, 3:05


          I can somewhat understand how someone would see it that way. I just don’t think the addition of a few editorial condemnations, which, to me, look like little more conscientious excuses, does anything to change the fact of the matter that this site is operating as it would for any other race. It’s still aggregating stories, and it’s still collecting ad revenues as a result, and all of this is happening despite the self-professed claim that, “You can either stand with [the protesters], or with those seeking to make money out of their misery.” That’s a very poor choice of words for someone to use unless they’re willing to give up any money made in connection with the event.

          Frankly, that’s F1 in general right now. It’s not at all isolated to this website. Everyone, from the organizers to the teams to their sponsors and everyone in between, is operating as if they exist in a vacuum where Bahrain is just another destination on the F1 calendar. My only desire is that they stop kidding themselves and making excuses to us.

          F1 has shown a willingness to resort to extreme measures when lives are on the line (2005 USGP), sponsors have shown a strong distaste for ethical breaches (ING, 2009) and teams have shown a willingness to forgo money in favor of a strong message (Ferrari, Monza 2001). That nothing even resembling any of those acts is happening now says it all in resounding fashion: no one cares. So, just be honest, and stop pretending.

          It’s the hypocrisy that drives me mad.

          (For what it’s worth, none of this has any bearing at all on how I feel about the situation away from F1.)

    40. How lame! I have an English friend that is there who says there is ABSOLUTELY NO violence around the circuit at all!

      1. So is your friend happy to walk through the middle of town? Of course there is no violence around the circuit, that’s where all the security is.

      2. Tell it to the protester shot dead last night buddy

    41. Thanks, Keith. Good decision.

    42. Hmmm…
      I respect your decision, but Malaysia has the death penalty (same as Singapore & Texas), China gunned down students in Tiananmen square and has an appalling human rights record, several countries have nuclear warhead capabilities, King Juan Carlos of Spain believes it’s fine to shoot elephants in Botswana while the country goes down the financial tubes, The UK government believes it’s fine to video-surveil everyone all the time almost everywhere (under the guise of ‘terrorism and security’), etc., etc. So, I think the real question for us all is “where do you draw the line?”.

      We follow a sport that travels the globe spending millions (or billions) of Pound Sterling, Yen, Dollar, Deutsche mark, Franc, with people suffering globally we and ponder tyre strategy.

      It’s fine for us to sit on our bums thrashing at our keyboards saying “I don’t agree with this” but at the end of the day what have we done to change anything? That question I don’t have the answer to.

      I think the Predictions championship is a bit of fun and anyone who didn’t want to contribute to that race, shouldn’t. We aren’t F1. We’re not forced to compete. We have that choice.

      That being said, the Bahraini people don’t seem to have much of a say in anything, so to that end, maybe we get off our collective bums, organize, get down to your local city centre and protest the policies of these offending countries. At the end of the day, you