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Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix: Force India Team Members Caught Up In Petrol Bomb Attack

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BAHRAIN PROTESTS
Protests have been rife in Bahrain since February 2011 | AP

Members of the Force India Formula 1 team were caught up in a petrol bomb attack in Bahrain on Wednesday.

One of the team members has returned home from the Grand Prix, after the group witnessed the incident on the way back to their hotel from the circuit in the evening.

A hire car with four of the F1 team's mechanics was accidentally caught up in the middle of a clash between protestors and police on the main motorway in to Manama.

They were not targeted by protestors and although a Molotov cocktail exploded near their car, nobody was injured.

Despite their presence being coincidental, it has nevertheless compelled one Force India team member not involved in the attack to depart the Gulf state ahead of Sunday's race.

However the four members involved in the incident will continue to carry out their duties for the remainder of the week.

Bahrain's International Circuit chairman Zayed R Alzayani, who earlier this week defended the decision to go ahead with the race, said: "It was an isolated incident, and my wife was involved too," he said. "The protestors were not targeting the cars, they just happened to be there. Nobody was injured.

"I don't command the police; they know what to do better than I do. I have a race to run."

Last year the Bahrain GP was cancelled and many teams privately expected this year's race to be scrapped, but the FIA assured last week it would go ahead.

John Yates, the former Metropolitan Police officer who resigned over the phone-hacking scandal, admitted security cannot be guaranteed for the event.

Yates, who is currently on a six-month contract advising Bahrain's ruling Khalifa family and the government on police reform, stated protests to coincide with the race are inevitable.

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