The action and glamor of a Formula One race coming to town is usually more than enough to shine an international spotlight on a host country, but Malaysia has made headlines recently for another reason entirely. That, of course, would be the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370. But with the two events coming together, something's going to have to give, and unfortunately in this case, it's the grieving families of the flight's passengers.

The clash came to a head when the Scuderia Ferrari came to town to set up for next weekend's race. Team members were booked to stay at the Cyberview Hotel in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, arrangements which F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone points out were likely to have been made long ago. The trouble is that over a dozen relatives of MH370 passengers who had come in from China were still staying at that hotel while awaiting word on their loved ones' fates, and with the hotel apparently filling up fast ahead of the grand prix weekend, those family members were forced to leave.

Just where they've gone, we don't know, but while the development may not look good for Ferrari or for F1, it strikes us as one of those unfortunate situations where no one is really to blame. The race has been booked for months, the team likely made their reservations long before the flight went missing, the hotel is obliged to honor the reservations and the grieving families need somewhere to stay. The tendency to point fingers often prevails, but in this situation we're afraid no one is to blame but the circumstances. That, and the still as-yet unknown cause of the flight's mysterious disappearance.

UPDATE: Ferrari North America director of communications Krista Florin has offered us this clarifying comment:

"We are deeply saddened by the unfolding of the events for the families of those missing on Malaysia Airlines flight. We did not receive any request to change hotel from Cyberview nor were we made aware that some families were staying at this hotel. The reservation was made in May last year following the '13 Grand Prix.



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  • 38 Comments
      Bob Funn
      • 9 Months Ago
      Very strange tact you're taking with this article, other articles I've seen mention many F1 teams/Organizers booked months in advance for this hotel not just Ferrari. Other articles also mention the fact that the relatives were simply bused to other hotels and it was not a big deal.
        gtv4rudy
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Bob Funn
        What a cheap shot from AB to put up an article such as this and isn't it interesting to see how the British and American press love to find ways to humiliate or shame the most famous name in motorsports.
      John Ralphio
      • 9 Months Ago
      Displace?! Click-bait @Autoblog!!!
      Justin B.
      • 9 Months Ago
      I really feel for the families but what good does it do hanging around a hotel anyway? The only updates that they get turn out to be lies or misinformation anyway.
        juststudent
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Justin B.
        I'm trying to be racist here: It sounds like they're mainland Chinese families (let see if I'm wrong). They like to make scene, impolite, loud, rude and their attitude is disliked by many, even non-mainland Chinese, just google it.
      Dedalus5150
      • 9 Months Ago
      It is quite unfortunate that the media insist on manufacturing controversy and hype by taking normal hotel business (unexpected prolonged stays conflicting with long-standing confirmed reservations, so the hotel arranges alternate accommodations for the guests who were there) and twisting it to make an easy target out of a high-profile team. The reports are feloniously misleading, especially the ones that falsely assert or imply that Ferrari were directly involved with the displacement that was performed by the hotel. Shameful media spin.
      Jeremiah R.
      • 9 Months Ago
      The families of the missing people are some of the most abusive, foul-tempered people I've ever seen. No one's sitting on their hands, 15 countries are looking for their relatives and pumping 100s of millions (if not billions) of dollars into the effort. When my sister went missing, she disappeared for 3 weeks when she was 17, we didn't blame the police agencies who were trying to locate her (they eventually did, she had ran off with a boyfriend), or use every TV camera around to wail and complain for attention. We wished the police the best and tried to help in any way we could. They do a disservice to their missing loved ones by acting the way they do, it's actually quite embarrassing. Were the hotels even charging the people to stay there? I heard that they weren't, the hotel has to take in business to keep its doors open, and expecting someone to cater to you for weeks, without you showing even modest amounts of gratitude, is ridiculous. Go home, wait for the reports, no one has forgotten about your family and you being constantly up their butts about it only makes the situation worse for all involved.
        onewayroll
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jeremiah R.
        The hotel rooms were provided by Malaysian Airlines.
      mylexicon
      • 9 Months Ago
      This attempt to shame F1 and Ferrari is so weak. I'm embarrassed for the people who thought it would gain traction.
        juststudent
        • 9 Months Ago
        @mylexicon
        I fail to see that. It's simply a gold mine for newspaper. Disheartened families, replaced by wealthy sports team, what a chance.
      Durishin
      • 9 Months Ago
      Bullshit! F1 booked these rooms when the schedule was set in 2013. Rooms, function rooms, meals, events in the hotel, transportation all booked. The aggrieved have been re-housed. This is typical travel stuff and business of the hotel, not the Scuderia. F'tards!
      SloopJohnB
      • 9 Months Ago
      If the relatives were given freebies by the hotel they don't have anything to cry about when the freebies ended. If the relatives contracted to stay at the hotel the contract is implicit for a maximum number of days if the room(s) are booked by someone else. Tough nanners for the relatives…but I see no difference in the hotel's treatment of the relatives, especially since the search has taken so long that the relatives should have gone home to wait already.
        Ron
        • 9 Months Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        You sound like a real caring individual... :-(
      Hek!
      • 9 Months Ago
      What a terrible attempt to shame Ferrari. As other have pointed out they reserved rooms long in advance, what good is a reservation if it doesn't reserve anything? From the hotel's standpoint, they have an obligation to honor those reservations. As these people didn't have any they had to be moved, Cyberview moved them to a different hotel in the city. There's nothing wrong in that. I know as news media the only purpose here is to produce page views and generate revenue, but do it with some integrity please.
        Neez
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Hek!
        As opposed to reporting anything at all??? I don't see anything wrong with this article, it says no one is to blame other than the circumstances. It is also sad that these families have to suffer enough, now they are kicked out of the hotel they're staying in. That's some news.
          Dedalus5150
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Neez
          "Scuderia Ferrari displaces relatives of missing passengers at Malaysian hotel" - sounds like a perfectly neutral, unincriminating title to me.... (/sarcasm for the obvious)
          Hek!
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Neez
          There's really nothing newsworthy here. People with no reservation got moved to another hotel to make room for people with reservations. If you or I were staying in a hotel without a reservation and got asked to move to a different hotel because a hockey team with a reservation was rolling in would it make international news? No, it wouldn't and neither should this. if you have a reservation at a hotel do you phone ahead to ask if people without reservations are going to have to move? No you don't, and Ferrari shouldn't have to either. There is nothing newsworthy here. Just false controversy to get some free clicks.
      Slideways
      • 9 Months Ago
      IMO I think the relatives should just go back home. Especially when the Malaysian government isn't providing much credible news... I would imagine being stuck in the hotel for days awaiting news is just pure torture. Those pictures of the relatives grieving in the hotel is just really painful to watch. I really wish them well.
      VL00
      • 9 Months Ago
      Malaysian airlines is leading the relatives along, not wanting to admit the obvious: all the passengers are dead. Its a recovery operation.
        VL00
        • 9 Months Ago
        @VL00
        The relatives still think they might be found, that's why they're hysterical in the hotel. Sorry you're unaware.
      GFB
      • 9 Months Ago
      Everything must grind to a halt in Malaysia until flight 370 is found and all questions are answered? The wheel of commerce must fall off? Bernie must cancel the race? I'm sure that the government of Malaysia, already facing a PR mess of their own making, had arranged to take good care of the passengers' families during the ongoing crisis. No harm, no foul.
        Famsert
        • 9 Months Ago
        @GFB
        Nah but they could've rebooked at a different hotel considering the context.
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