Explosions mark countdown to Bahrain

Explosions near the F1 track in Bahrain have marked the travelling circus' quick march from China to the island Kingdom.

AP news agency said 'a series of explosions', including a gas cylinder that set a car ablaze but injured no one, set the tone in Bahrain on Sunday, one week before formula one's most controversial annual race.

Bahrain authorities, however, have pledged "adequate" security for the grand prix, which has been under a cloud since the 2011 edition had to be cancelled due to clashes between the government and protesters of the regime.

Albeit expecting there to be some trouble this weekend, Force India deputy boss Bob Fernley said he is not overly worried.

"You'd be a bit foolish to think there's not going to be some sort of protest and things like that," he told Reuters.

"If formula one activates some protests and they want to get things off their chests, that's good as well."

But last year, after a petrol bomb incident, Fernley ruled that Force India would sit out a late practice session so that team members could safely travel from the circuit back to the hotel before nightfall.

Recalling the incident, Fernley said in Shanghai: "Once we'd got over that initial hiccup, we were fine."

(GMM)

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