The first to be held in the Middle East!
The Bahrain Grand Prix made history in 2004 as the first Formula One race held in the Middle East. Although there were initial concerns about how the Arabian Gulf's high temperatures might impact tyre performance, the region has since been host to many memorable moments.
That said, there are some facts about the Formula One GP in Bahrain that even the most ardent F1 fans might not know. From rosewater on the podium to a track that originated in Shropshire, let's learn more about this unique Gran Prix location!
Built on a Former Camel Farm
Built for US$150 million, the Hermann Tilke-designed Grand Prix circuit in Bahrain stands on the site of a former camel farm in Sakhir, around 30km south of the capital, Manama.
Special Track Requirements
These high construction costs were due, in part, to the expense of shipping extra-grippy aggregate from a quarry in Shropshire.
Sandstorms in the area make keeping sand off this grippy track surface a big challenge, though. As a solution, organisers spray the surrounding desert with a sticky substance to hold it in place. They also have to sweep the track for sand and other debris between sessions.
A Bright Idea
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the event, organisers held the 2014 Grand Prix in Bahrain under floodlights for the first time. The US$17 million investment made the Formula One racing event more comfortable for spectators. It also allowed the race to have a better timeslot for key TV audiences in Europe.
The inaugural night race also featured a memorable "duel in the desert" between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. As F1 fans will remember, Hamilton came out on top to record the first of his three victories at the Grand Prix in Bahrain.
All Fizz, No Champagne
Although the sale of alcohol isn't banned in Bahrain (unlike in neighbouring Saudi Arabia), there are still restrictions. For example, Formula One racing teams aren't allowed to display the logos of alcohol sponsors on their cars. And, instead of the usual champagne, the top three spray a non-alcoholic rosewater drink called Waard.
Following Michael Schumacher’s 2013 skiing accident, organisers named the first turn at Bahrain International Circuit in honour of the seven-time World Champion and winner of the first Bahrain Grand Prix. Schumacher's Turn remains the only section of the Bahrain circuit with a name instead of a number.
Discover the Bahrain Grand Prix for Yourself
It definitely is fascinating to learn more about the history and facts of the Bahrain Grand Prix. As F1 fans know, though, there's nothing like the experience of being there to see it for yourself!
You'll have to wait until March 2023 to head to the next Formula One GP in Bahrain. But some exciting upcoming Grand Prix tours include Singapore, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, and more!
If you want to be part of the action, feel free to contact us here at Grand Prix Adventures to find out more about our services, make a booking, or request a callback!