The Bahrain Grand Prix has been a fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 2004. We take a look at the history and some interesting facts from the 12 races held at the Sakhir circuit to date. The next race is on April 14-16, 2017.
The Sakhir circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke and built in just 16 months at an estimated cost of $150m USD. The first race in 2004, which was won in dominant fashion by Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari F2004, was also notable for being the first Formula 1 race ever held in the Middle East. The Bahrain Grand Prix was first held under floodlights in 2014 partly to provide a better spectacle, but mainly to give the race a better time slot with the important TV audiences in Europe. The track has a seating capacity for 45,000 spectators, including 10,500 in the main pit straight grandstand. The circuit also features a distinctive 8-storey VIP tower. According to the circuit’s website, there are over 4700 staff working at the circuit on Grand Prix weekend, including 1800 police & security staff, 600 track marshals and 25 doctors.
Did you know?
- Local protests inspired by the Arab Spring resulted in the race being cancelled in 2011.
- Fernando Alonso is the most successful driver in Bahrain with three wins. Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have won twice apiece.
- Ferrari is the most successful team in Bahrain with four victories; Michael Schumacher won in 2004, Felipe Massa in 2007-2008 and Fernando Alonso in 2010
- Bahrain is one of only three current F1 circuits where McLaren have not recorded a victory (the others being Sochi and Baku)
- The only driver on the grid in 2017 to have competed in every Bahrain Grand Prix is Felipe Massa.
- Pedro de la Rosa holds the lap record at Sakhir. He set the 1m 31.447s lap in 2005 for McLaren while filling in for Juan Pablo Montoya, who had injured himself on the tennis court.
Bahrain Grand Prix Facts
|Circuit Name||Bahrain International Circuit (sometimes referred to as Sakhir)|
|Race first held||2004|
|Number of Turns||15|
|Race Distance||57 laps (308.405km)|
|Lap Record||1:31.447, Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren 2005)|
|2016 Results||1st Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:33:34.696|
|2nd Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) + 10.282s|
|3rd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +7.756s|
The Bahrain Grand Prix has been a fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since 2004. We take a look at the history and some interesting facts from the 12 races held at the Sakhir circuit to date.