Race Facts – Bahrain Grand Prix

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The Bahrain Grand Prix was the first Formula One race to be held in the Middle East when it joined the calendar in 2004.

Bahrain International Circuit (otherwise known as “Sakhir”) was designed by Hermann Tilke and built in just 16 months at an estimated cost of $150m USD. The first race in 2004 was won in dominant fashion by Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari F2004. The Bahrain Grand Prix was first held under floodlights in 2014 partly to provide a better spectacle and more comfortable conditions for spectators, but also to give the race a better time slot with 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.

Bahrain GP: did you know?

  • Local protests inspired by the Arab Spring resulted in the race being cancelled in 2011
  • Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are the joint most successful drivers in Bahrain with three wins apiece. Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton have each won twice
  • Ferrari is the most successful team in Bahrain with five victories; Michael Schumacher won in 2004, Felipe Massa in 2007-2008, Fernando Alonso in 2010 and Sebastian Vettel in 2017
  • Bahrain is one of only three current F1 circuits where McLaren have not recorded a victory (the others being Sochi and Baku)
  • Pedro de la Rosa holds the lap record at Sakhir. He set the 1m 31.447s lap for McLaren while filling in for Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005

Bahrain Grand Prix Facts

Circuit NameBahrain International Circuit (sometimes referred to as Sakhir)
Race first held2004
Track Length5.412km (15 turns)
Race Distance57 laps (308.405km)
Lap Record1:31.447, Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren 2005)
2017 Results1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:33:53.374
2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) + 6.660s
3rd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +20.397s
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The Bahrain Grand Prix was the first Formula One race to be held in the Middle East when it joined the calendar in 2004.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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