Yesterday, we talked about Jean Todt’s insistence that the FIA’s special envoy to Bahrain found ‘a stable situation’ throughout his visit to the country.  Today, we learned a little more about that envoy, FIA vice-president Carlos Gracia.

Gracia is the head of Spain’s motorsport federation,  He made headlines in 2009 when he suggested that the incumbent president, Max Mosley, couldn’t possibly be planning to support Jean Todt’s candidature in that year’s presidential elections.  Clearly a man with his finger very much on the pulse, Gracia may also be quite the linguist.  Here’s an excerpt from Mosley’s interview with BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday:

“The problem there was they sent someone to look at Bahrain but the gentleman they sent, a very, very nice man called Gracia, speaks no English and, as far as I know, speaks no Arabic.  He was then taken around by the representatives of the government and had no knowledge of what was really going on, and above all didn’t ask to see the people who a human rights lawyer would like to see.”

Meanwhile, the online campaign group Avaaz, whose No F1 In Brutal Bahrain petition has attracted just under 448,000 signatures at the time of writing, have offered their thoughts on Senor Gracia’s work in this press release.  If you’re pressed for time, this quote sums it up pretty well:

“Maryam Al-Khawaja, from the independent Bahrain Center for Human Rights, on seeing the report today, said “the report is disastrously unbalanced. The FIA has chosen to turn a blind eye to the ongoing violations in Bahrain.”

You might also be interested to know that Gracia’s report to the FIA has been leaked.  Among his key conclusions were that the atmosphere was one of total calm and stability, that life in Bahrain is completely normal again and that security is guaranteed.  See those conclusions for yourself, along with a write-up on the events that led Carlos to reach them, by clicking here.


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