Trackside – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix

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The lowdown on the trackside experience at the Sakhir Circuit for the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, plus full weekend schedule. The next race takes place on April 6-8, 2018.

This guide will be fully updated for 2018 around 2-4 weeks before the race.

With most of the on-track action taking place late in the afternoon and at night (avoiding the worst of the daytime heat), you can have a lazy start to the day in Bahrain and still make it to Sakhir Circuit in time for the best racing. The weekend begins on Thursday afternoon with a pitlane walk for 3-day ticket holders. If you miss this, there’s another driver’s autograph session tentatively scheduled for lunchtime on Saturday. The good news is that Formula 2 (ex-GP2) will also featured on track this year, plus TCR touring cars and a local Porsche GT3 series. Taking a leaf out of neighboring Abu Dhabi’s book, the organizers have also scheduled a concert on Saturday with the hugely popular King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias.

On-track action at Sakhir

In addition to around six hours of Formula 1, the schedule at Sakhir this year also features open-wheel action from Formula 2 (ex-GP2), touring cars and a single-make Porsche series:

  • Formula 2: previously known as GP2. The premier feeder series for F1 kicks off a new season in Bahrain. Expect close racing and regular crashes!
  • TCR International Series: the third season of this touring car championship (a rival to WTCC) returns to Sakhir in 2017 and also visits Yas Marina for the first time on Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend in November
  • Porsche GT3 Cup Middle East: a single-make Porsche series features on most race weekends, though this is the Middle-Eastern series, not the Porsche Supercup one that supports F1 at other rounds.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix schedule

  • Thursday, April 13

    • 17:00-18:45: Pitlane walk for 3-day ticket holders
  • Friday, April 14

    • 10:45-11:05: TCR practice
    • 11:30-12:15: Formula 2 practice
    • 12:40-13:10: Porsche GT3 practice
    • 14:00-15:30: Formula 1 free practice
    • 15:55-16:15: TCR practice
    • 16:40-17:00: Porsche GT3 qualifying
    • 18:00-19:30: Formula 1 free practice
    • 20:00-20:30: Formula 2 qualifying
    • Concerts: Klingande, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
  • Saturday, April 15

    • 11:00-11:30: TCR qualifying
    • 11:55-12:25: Porsche GT3 race (10 laps / 25 mins)
    • 12:30-13:30: Driver’s autograph session TBC
    • 13:10-14:15: Formula 2 race (32 laps / 60 mins)
    • 15:00-16:00: Formula 1 practice
    • 16:30-17:00: TCR race (10 laps / 20 mins)
    • 18:00-19:00: Formula 1 qualifying
    • Concerts: Enrique Iglesias, Steve Aoki
  • Sunday, April 16

    • 13:00-13:25: TCR qualifying
    • 14:15-15:05: Formula 2 race (23 laps / 45 mins)
    • 15:30-16:00: Porsche GT3 race (10 laps / 25 mins)
    • 16:30-16:40: F1 driver’s track parade
    • 18:00-20:00: 2017 Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix (57 laps / 120 mins)

Concerts

Bahrain puts on concerts after the track action finishes on Friday and Saturday nights. Latin pop superstar Enrique Iglesias, who has also recently appeared at F1 concerts in Abu Dhabi and Baku, headlines the main concert on Saturday night. He will be joined on Saturday’s bill by EDM artist Steve Aoki in his first ever appearance in Bahrain. On Friday, Klingande, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike all take the stage. Not quite something for everyone, but well done to the Bahrain organizers for making an effort! (we recommend Klingande).

F1 Village

When there’s nothing interesting happening on the track, the F1 village behind the Main grandstand is the place to go for food, drink, merchandise and entertainment. Taking a leaf out of Singapore, Bahrain have organized a big roster of roaming entertainment acts (for kids and adults), including circus performers and comedians. In addition, the planned F1 driver’s autograph session on Saturday will take place in the F1 village area.

Been to Sakhir? Leave a comment with your Bahrain Grand Prix trackside tips!

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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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