5 Reasons to Visit the Bahrain Grand Prix

The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix has been postponed due to the global COVID-19 outbreak and will not take place on March 20-22. Ticket refunds are being offered. Learn more HERE.

The Bahrain Grand Prix has been a popular addition to the F1 calendar since it joined in 2004. From the dazzling on-track action, the cool desert temperatures, great photo opportunities and a plethora of cultural attractions, here are five reasons to consider a trip to the Bahrain Grand Prix.

1. The on-track action

First and foremost, if you’re looking for high action and drama, the Bahrain International Circuit is a great choice from the modern venues. On a track which promotes overtaking, the Bahrain Grand Prix has produced memorable races since it became the first F1 race in the Middle East back in 2004. Whether it’s the legendary ‘duel in the desert’ between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in 2014, Fernando Alonso’s maiden Ferrari win in 2010 or Charles Leclerc’s almost victory in 2019, there are usually plenty of on-track scuffles in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Read more about the event’s history in Race Facts.

2. The cool(ish) temperatures

Since 2014, the Bahrain Grand Prix has been held after sunset, meaning that the desert temperatures are cooler for fans watching the race from the grandstands. Two of the three practice sessions, and most of the support races, take place in daylight hours though – so you should still be prepared for the heat, even if you’re in a covered grandstand. Read more about the circuit’s grandstands here. Temperatures will generally be around 25°C (77°F) during the day before dropping to as low as 18°C (64°F) after sunset.

Another great thing about the race being held at night is that race strategy becomes more unpredictable, as most of the Formula 1 practice sessions take place in daylight, in conditions which are not truly representative of the race.

3. Night racing

As we’ve just mentioned, the Bahrain Grand Prix is now a night race, and this brings lots of other perks in addition to the cooler temperatures. With its spot as the second race on the calendar, the Sakhir event is the first opportunity of the season to see the cars race under floodlights, making the new liveries look more vivid and the on-track battles look more dramatic. It’s also a photographer’s dream, thanks to the “golden hour” when the sun is setting during Free Practice, and the eye-catching sparks emitting from the cars as they fly around the circuit. Make sure you have your camera at the ready!

4. Bahrain’s cultural delights

Given its desert location, you may be inclined to believe that there is little to do in the area surrounding the Bahrain International Circuit; but that assumption would be wrong. The circuit is located less than 35km south from capital city Manama, a highlight of which is the Manama Souq – the go to market place for Arabic culture, souvenirs and street food.

Highlights of Bahrain’s cultural attractions include a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Bahrain National Museum and plentiful historic forts. If you’re looking for somewhere to relax, there are also private beaches and a selection of water parks. With Bahrain being such a small country – just 765km² – you can visit a lot of places in a short amount of time. Read more about places to visit during your Bahrain Grand Prix trip in Off-Track Activities.

5. The support races

While the later race start means you can have a lie in on Sunday morning, don’t be too lazy – as you’ll miss the supplementary on-track action. In 2020, both Formula 2 and Formula 3, the main support series to Formula 1, host the opening rounds of their respective seasons over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. Both series are fiercely competitive, with some of motorsport’s brightest young talents battling it out in identical machinery – and all will be hoping to get their seasons off to the best possible start. Find out more about the on-track schedule at the Bahrain Grand Prix here.

The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix takes place on 19-22 March. For information about attending the race at Bahrain International Circuit, check out the F1Destinations Travel Guide.

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About the Author ()

Nicky Haldenby is a Formula One writer from Scarborough, England. Having grown up with F1 often on the TV on Sunday afternoons, Nicky has been following the sport avidly since 2006. After graduating from University in 2015 with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature, he founded his own F1 website and now regularly writes articles about both the sport's history and current affairs.

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