Last Updated on January 18, 2024

When and Where

  • Dates: 29th February to 2nd March 2024
  • Venue: Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain

History of the Bahrain Grand Prix

The Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix made its spectacular debut on the international racing calendar in 2004, marking a significant milestone in the region’s motorsport history.

Started by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Bahrain Grand Prix has now evolved into a regular race on the F1 calendar.

The event serves as a platform for showcasing Bahrain’s rich heritage, attracting international visitors to experience the unique blend of tradition and modernity that defines the Kingdom.

BIC Circuit Layout

User: Will Pittenger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The most recent layout of the circuit features 15 turns and some of the key turns/corners include:

  • Turn 1: A sharp right-hander at the end of the main straight, offering overtaking opportunities.
  • Turn 4: A medium-speed left-hander leading to the circuit’s infield.
  • Turn 8 (Viceroy): A long, sweeping left-hander.
  • Turn 9: A right-hander leading to the back straight.
  • Turn 10: A right-hand kink before the back straight.
  • Turn 11: A tight hairpin left-hand turn at the end of a long straight.
  • Turn 12: A left-hander leading to the final sector.
  • Turn 13: A double-apex right-hander.
  • Turn 14: A left-hand turn before the final corner.
  • Turn 15): The final corner leading back onto the main long straight.

Note: F1 circuits are often adapted and modified (especially for safety reasons) over time so it is worth checking the BIC site for any updates on the circuit layout.

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC)

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), located in Sakhir, is approximately 35 km (about 35 35-minute drive) from the bustling city of Manama.

Inauguration and Design

The circuit was inaugurated in 2004, becoming the first Grand Prix circuit to be constructed in the Middle East and designed by the renowned German architect Hermann Tilke.

Track Layout
The BIC boasts a challenging 5.412-kilometer (3.363-mile) track with 15 turns.

The circuit is known for its mix of high-speed straights and technical sections, demanding a balance of power and agility from the Formula 1 cars.

Among the notable turns are the sweeping T1 and T2, and the flat-out blasts along the straights.

Unique Features

In 2014, Bahrain made history by becoming the first venue in the Middle East to host a Formula 1 night race.

The circuit’s state-of-the-art floodlighting system transforms the desert landscape into the background for an F1 race.

In recent years, the Bahrain International Circuit introduced an alternative Outer Circuit layout. This configuration offers a shorter and faster track.

Beyond Formula 1, the Bahrain International Circuit hosts various other motorsport events throughout the year.

Where to Stay in Bahrain

Your best option can be to stay in the nearby city of Manama and then use one of the free shuttle buses that are normally provided from the main hotels to the F1 circuit.

 

Getting to Bahrain

More than likely you will need to fly into Bahrain as most visitors to the F1 tend to do. There is one major international airport, BAH.

1. By Air

Bahrain International Airport (BAH)

  • The primary gateway to Bahrain is Bahrain International Airport.
  • Numerous airlines fly into BAH from many major cities so the choice is wide.
  • Gulf Air is the national airline for Bahrain and can be worth checking first as they have many direct routes into Bahrain.

2. Local Transportation

  • Taxis are readily available at Bahrain International Airport and throughout the city.
  • Uber also operates in Bahrain.
  • Buses – You can find information on buses from Bahrain International here. The A1, A2, 10, and 11 all connect the airport with Manama.

Getting to the Circuit on Race Day

Shuttle Services

  • There are usually shuttles on F1 race weekend connecting central Manama, the international airport, and the race circuit.
  • Note though that some hotels offer shuttle buses to and from the circuit for their guests.

8 Attractions Worth Seeing While in Bahrain

Best Bahrain attractions

Here are 8 things I recommend seeing and doing before or after the F1 to get the most out of your time in Bahrain:

1. Bahrain International Karting Circuit

If you are in Bahrain for the F1 and with a group of like-minded friends, why not also set a day aside to head to Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC)?

Located next to the F1 circuit, BIKC offers an exciting karting experience for both beginners and seasoned drivers, making it a great attraction if you are already a motorsport enthusiast.

2. Manama Souq

Immerse yourself in Bahraini culture at Manama Souq!

As you can probably imagine, this marketplace will provide you with a sensory experience of the tastes, smell exotic spices, and taste foods you’ve probably not seen before.

Furthermore, it’s a chance to view and have the chance to buy a range of interesting traditional craft products.

If you love shopping or want to buy something memorable, then I recommend heading to the Manama Souq.

3. Bahrain National Museum

My favorite attraction in Bahrain (apart of course from the F1 track and race) is the Bahrain National Museum.

The exhibits showcase archaeological treasures, traditional crafts, and the cultural evolution of the island, providing a captivating glimpse into its past.

We really enjoyed this museum (Valeria studied history and loves it) and it was great to learn something about Bahrain while there. We definitely recommend the National Museum.

4. Qal’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort)

A great archeological site that certainly is worth a visit if you enjoy history is Bahrain Fort.

Now classified as a UNESCO heritage site, the fort is ancient ruins and provides a lovely panoramic view of the surrounding area.

5. Royal Camel Farm

Experience a unique encounter with camels at the Royal Camel Farm!

This attraction allows you to interact with these majestic creatures, creating memorable moments for families and animal enthusiasts.

6. Al Dar Islands

If you enjoy water activities then a great option is Al Dar Islands.

There are several water sports you can try or you can just relax on the beach with a book. As you wish!

There is also the option to rent a chalet and stay on the islands for a day or two.

7. Adhari Park

If you have come to Bahrain with kids in tow, then it can be worth also considering Adhari Park.

This amusement park features rides, attractions, and a variety of dining options, providing a perfect setting for a day of fun.

8. Dolphin Watching Tours

Bahrain is also a great spot for a relaxing few hours on a boat dolphin watching.

Numerous tour operators offer excursions, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the Gulf while observing these playful marine creatures.

Getting Tickets for the Bahrain F1

So what are the best areas of this circuit to get tickets for?

Main Grandstand Tickets

  • As with most F1 Grand Prix races, the main grandstand will provide a prime view of the start/finish line and pit lane activities.
  • But do consider whether you prefer a higher vantage point or proximity to specific turns.
  1. Turn Grandstand Tickets:
    • Explore turn-specific grandstands for a close-up experience of the thrilling on-track maneuvers.
    • Different turns offer unique perspectives on the race action.
  2. Sakhir and Victory Grandstands:
    • These grandstands provide panoramic views of the circuit, offering a comprehensive view of the race unfolding.
    • Ideal if you want to witness multiple sections of the track.
  3. Batelco Grandstand:
    • The Batelco Grandstand is a good option if you are looking for a VIP experience a great view.
    • Some packages may include access to the VIP Batelco Paddock Club.

Purchasing Tickets

Official Bahrain F1 Website

6 Interesting Facts about the Bahrain F1

Here are 6 interesting facts about the Bahrain International Circuit and the Bahrain Grand Prix in Formula 1:

1. Desert Setting

The Bahrain International Circuit is located in the desert, surrounded by sand dunes.

The track’s desert setting makes it distinctive and provides a challenging track for the teams and drivers.

2. Heat and Sand Challenges

The extreme heat in Bahrain, especially during the day, poses challenges for both the cars and the drivers. Sand blowing onto the track can also affect grip levels, making it a unique test for teams.

3. Multiple Layouts

The Bahrain International Circuit has multiple configurations.

In addition to the Grand Prix Circuit, there’s also an endurance layout used for 6 Hours of Bahrain in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

4. Oasis Complex

The Bahrain International Circuit is part of the larger “Bahrain International Circuit Oasis Complex,” which includes not only the racetrack but also facilities such as a drag strip, karting track, and a driving school.

5. Palm Tree Lighting

One distinctive feature of the Bahrain International Circuit is the illuminated palm trees that line the track.

These decorative lights add a visually striking element to the circuit, especially during night races, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of the venue.

6. Horsepower in the Desert

The Bahrain International Circuit features a challenging combination of long straights and technical corners, making it a track where engine power is crucial.

Teams often focus on finding the right balance between straight-line speed and aerodynamic grip to optimize their performance on this circuit.

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