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Insensitive Ecclestone shrugged off Bahraini protests as race took place

Manama, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 ANI

Manama, Apr 23 (ANI): Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone joked about the unrest in Bahrain, saying, "You know what they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity".

Bernie laughed off the riots and defied the anti-government protests that have left several dead injured till now, to go ahead with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The race track of Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), 25 miles away from capital Manama, was heavily guarded by police with dogs and armoured vehicles after the violence in the city intensified in the recent days, the Daily Mirror reports.

Outside the event, groups of masked protestors chanting anti-government slogans revolted by setting piles of tyres on fire, hurling Molotov cocktails into the air.

But it was business inside the circuit at Sakhir with Sebastian Vettel beat Kimi Raikkonen annual to win the race.

The race went ahead without any reported hiccups, despite the two days of mass protests.

Ecclestone spent all weekend insisting he had no intention of axing the race despite fears for the drivers's safety in the troubled Gulf state and sarcastically commented that 'an earthquake or something like that' was need to detract attention away from the event.

However, Jean Todt, President of Formula One's governing body, the International Automobile Federation, broke his silence to the media yesterday claiming all the reports on the event as hype. He said he was sorry 'about what has been reported'.I am not sure that all that has been reported corresponds to the reality of what is happening in this country," Todt was quoted, as saying.

The race drew over more than 100,000 visitors and generated over 500 million dollars in spending. Bahrain's government is thought to have spent 40 million dollars to host the event. (ANI)

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