The Ferrari brigade needs hotel rooms for the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 30. No big deal, right? The Sepang circuit has hosted many Formula 1 races before, so it's not a new occurrence for the city of Kuala Lumpur and country.
But it's a bit of a tedious situation this year. The Cyberview Hotel that Ferrari is staying at for the grand prix next weekend is also the hotel that has been hosting the families of people on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the plane that has been missing for over two weeks.
According to NBC, more than a dozen Chinese family members of passengers on the flight were forced to switch hotels Friday because of Ferrari's arrival.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said he felt sorry for the family members forced to move because of Ferrari's bookings.
"I feel terribly, terribly sorry for these people," he told NBC. "But it is up to the hotel. What would happen if you told somebody that they no longer had a booking? You would get sued, I’d imagine.”
“If you have a booking at a hotel, what are you supposed to do?”
It's a double-edged sword for sure, but let's be realistic for a moment. Wouldn't it have been possible to make arrangements for the "more than a dozen" affected?
We're not talking an exorbitant amount of hotel rooms here. Cyberview likely has connections and you could probably find some members of Ferrari's team who would be willing to stay at a nearby hotel so that the families could stay put. (Ferrari declined comment, according to NBC)
It's a tragic situation that looks less and less likely to have a happy ending after each passing day as an extensive search has found no conclusive results so far. It's a bit more important than a grand prix.
Yes, Ferrari booked the rooms far in advance and they have a right to them. There's no disputing that. But the good public relations move in this case would be to let those who are waiting for news stay put and for a team with vast resources to make other arrangements for some team members.
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