About Bahrain Grand Prix




Bahrain made history in 2004, as the first country in the Middle East to successfully play host to a Formula One Grand Prix weekend. The Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir, started construction in 2002 after having fought off a fierce competition from other middle-eastern countries like Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, all with the same hope of hosting the Formula One Grand Prix in their region. Bahrain won the confidence with high domestic interest about the project as it gave a future to the next generation of Bahraini racers to experience Formula One races in their own backyard.On its maiden year, Bahrain received the award for the “Best Organised Grand Prix” by the FIA.

About Bahrain Grand Prix

About Bahrain Grand Prix

In the nine years of Bahrain GP, Fernando Alonso has won the maximum number of times (three) and as a team, Ferrari have registered the maximum number of wins (four). The Circuit is a 5.4 kilometre stretch with 15 turns. The race is held for 57 laps which add up to 308.4 kilometres as the race distance. This is the only track which is located in close proximity with the desert and the track because of this is very sandy. The sand on the track is always a problem for the teams as it results in low tyre grip and high tyre degradation. However if you think that the high temperatures will again affect the race, you are wrong. The temperature here in Bahrain is expected to be same or even lower than Chinese GP as the race start time has now been postponed to make it a twilight-night race.

Gulf Air is the official sponsor for the track since the beginning. The circuit today has become the centre of motor sport in the Persian Gulf as it hosts many other races including drag races, GT races, Formula 3 races and the Australian V8 Supercar series.The first race took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004.The race was won by German driver Michael Schumacher for Ferrari.The Bahrain Grand Prix is usually the third race of the Formula One calendar except in for2006 when Bahrain swapped places with Australia to become the season opener.The reason the race was pushed back was to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games. In 2010, Bahrain staged the opening race of the 2010 season and the cars drove the full 6.299 km (3.914 mi) “Endurance Circuit” to celebrate F1’s ‘diamond jubilee’.

Since the start in 2004, the races however, have been plagued with problems from domestic disturbances. In February 2011, it was announced that the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix scheduled for 13 March was cancelled due to the 2011 Bahraini protests. On 3 June, FIA decided to reschedule the race for 30 October. Bernie Ecclestone told the BBC in an interview, “Hopefully there’ll be peace and quiet and we can return in the future, but of course it’s not on. The schedule cannot be rescheduled without the agreement of the participants – they’re the facts.” A week after its decision to reschedule the race, Formula One announced the cancellation of the race for 2011.

In 2012, human rights activists called for a cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prixbecause of reports of ongoing use of excessive force by authorities and torture in detention. F1 drivers including Damon Hill and Mark Webber had protested against racing in dangerous situations however, the race weekend was on.

Last year in 2014,Clashes between protesters and police took place following demonstration from the local people. An alliance of Bahraini human rights organisations including the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights wrote to FIA President Jean Todt, requesting that the Bahrain Grand Prix be suspended until the FIA’s Ethics Committee could investigate the impact the race has had on human rights in Bahrain. No actions were taken by the French motorsport governing body and the race was held under tight security.
The race last year saw Nico Rosberg taking pole position after being fastest in qualifying only to finish second behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton in the race.With the two Mercedes having repeatedly duelled overthe race leadin the closing laps of the race, Rosberg had taken the best from his tyres by the start of the final lap. Hamilton held onto the lead to take his second win of the season with Sergio Pérez completing the podium in third. This was only Force India’s second ever podium since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.

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Anjan K Merkap

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