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F1 drivers swerve Bahrain issues
A trio of Formula One's world champions refused to be drawn on the burning issue overshadowing this weekend's controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.
The tranquillity of the paddock at the Bahrain International Circuit is only 25 miles away from the capital Manama, but it is a million miles removed from the battle for pro-democracy being waged on the streets of the Gulf kingdom between protesters and police.
Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel attempted to brush Bahrain's plight under the carpet as he said: "I heard about the issue at Force India.
"Generally in the paddock it seems to be no problem. Outside of the paddock maybe there is a risk, but I think there is a risk everywhere we go."
The Red Bull star added: "I think it's not a big problem.
"I'm happy once we start testing tomorrow because then we worry about the stuff that really matters - tyre temperatures, cars.
"I haven't seen anyone throwing bombs. I don't think it's that bad. I think it's a lot of hype.
"It's good that we start our job here, which is the sport, and nothing else."
Seven-times title winner Michael Schumacher, initially insisted he did not want to get involved before saying: "I just want to say one thing which is I don't want to mix the sport with politics. I'm here for the sport."
The Mercedes driver had a fair point - that is what the drivers should be concentrating on this weekend, instead of fearing they will get caught up in violence.
As for McLaren's Jenson Button, he gave a clear indication he was aware of what has happening in Bahrain, but felt better served to keep his personal opinion to himself.
"I'm not going to get into the details of it," said Button.
"You are here interviewing me as a driver and that's exactly what I am going to talk about - motor racing.
"The outside issues, I'm not going to talk about."
Button admits his focus can only be on one thing, adding: "When you are in the car you don't think of anything else but driving around the circuit trying to feel the car and do the best job you can.
"But when you are outside the car, of course you are asked questions, and of course you understand what is going on around you. Some of us are intelligent human beings."