Latest news and info on the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir, including race information and places to stay.
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Joining the calendar in 2004, the Bahrain Grand Prix is held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir and has twice hosted the season-opener. The track was not fully ready for its debut race and was slightly modified for the 2005 edition. The layout has become one of the more successful of Herman Tilke’s designs, with overtaking opportunities at Turn 1, Turn 4 and Turn 14 aided by a DRS zone leading into Turn 11. The wide track and changes of direction allow for side-by-side racing as evidenced by a thrilling battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in 2014. The 2010 edition of the race used a special endurance circuit - measuring 6.299km - but this was promptly dropped. Since a special event to mark ten years of the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2014, the race has been run at dusk and finishes under floodlights.
Situated in the Gulf, Bahrain boasts a warm, stable climate with frequent high temperatures. The Bahrain International Circuit is situated in the middle of the island, some 35km south of the capital Manama. Next to the circuit itself is an international-standard karting track, giving you the perfect opportunity to try and emulate the feats of your favourite F1 driver.
The circuit also offers plenty of things to do away from the race. The all-new Ultimate Track Experience includes four separate activities, including a passenger ride in a Clio Cup sports car, a drive in the same car, a drive in a Radical SR1 prototype, and a passenger ride in an ultra-quick Radical SR3 prototype. There's also the Dragster Xperience at the track and an off-road Land Rover Experience in the desert.
The capital is a relatively lively city, with many hotels boasting bars and clubs, while it also has the popular Bahrain City Centre and Seef malls. For a more traditional shopping visit, check out the Bab al Bahrain souq.
There is plenty of culture to take in, too, such as the stunning Al-Fatih Mosque or the Bahrain Fort (or Qal'at al-Bahrain). The latter is situated in the north of the city and is best visited in the late afternoon and early evening - it takes a while to get round but is illuminated after dark.
Outside of Manama, Al Jazair Public Beach is much closer to the circuit on the west coast of the island for those looking to chill out, while the Lost Paradise of Dilmun water park is also right by the track. Manama is the ideal location to base yourself as there is little south of the circuit, but one notable attraction is the Tree of Life, situated alone in the desert some 20km away from the track by car.
HOW TO GET THERE
Bahrain is served by the Bahrain International Airport in Muharraq, less than 10km north of the centre of Manama and 40km from the Bahrain International Circuit. Taxis or rental cars are the easiest form of transport from/to both the airport and the circuit, with fuel notoriously affordable in the Middle East.