JANUARY 15, 2004
Gurdjian to Bahrain
Bernie Ecclestone Formula 1 "fixer" Philippe Gurdjian has been appointed to help the locals get everything ready in time for the planned race in April. Gurdjian has a long and successful record as a race organizer, having run 13 French Grands Prix and another three in both Malaysia and Spain. Gurdjian is still going to be keeping an eye on the development of the airport and hotel at Le Castellet in France. Gurdjian and Ecclestone visited Bahrain in December and were obviously perturbed by what they saw although all public statements have been positive and officially at least the construction work is ahead of schedule. However if all was going well there would be no need for Gurdjian to oversee the completion of the circuit construction in time for the event on April 4 and will supervise the set-up of the paddock area for the F1
teams and the erection of grandstands to host the public.
Ecclestone continues to make optimistic noises about Bahrain.
"We are extremely serious about our commitment in the Middle East and fully support the addition to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship," he said, in a statement issued in Bahrain. "Nobody is immune from terrorist threats and I know how seriously the authorities take such claims. Neither the circuit nor we have received any such threats."
This is not surprising as terrorists generally do not announce their plans.
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