Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit

First grand prix 2004

Number of laps 57

Race distance 307.405KM

Circuit length 5.412KM

About the Bahrain Grand Prix

The Bahrain Grand Prix, hosted at the Bahrain International Circuit, has been a regular on the Formula 1 calendar for the past fifteen years since its first race in 2004, with the exception of the race in 2011 being cancelled due to civil unrest going on in the country at the time.

It has been the seasons opening race twice in its history. In 2006 a swap was made with the Australian Grand prix to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games, and in 2010. Normally Bahrain is the third race of the season.

In 2018, Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix for Ferrari, making it two wins in two races at the time for the Scuderia.

Bahrain International Circuit Track guide

The start/finish line of Bahrain International Circuit is about half way down the pit straight. Drivers make their way down to turn one, now named ‘Michael Schumacher Turn’, which is a prime overtaking opportunity after the lengthy DRS pit straight.

The chicane of turns 2 and 3 are flat-out down towards turn 4, and very wide corner that spans around 30m, giving plenty of options for overtaking. Turns 5,6 and 7 make up an ‘S’ shape of high speed turns down into the right-hand hairpin of turn 8.

Drivers then go up to the left hand turns of 9 and 10 which are blind corners, where braking is essential at just the right moment to ensure a lock-up doesn’t occur. This leads to the back straight of the track and the other DRS section providing another good opportunity for overtaking at the left-hand turn 11.

Turn 12 is a flat-out right before dropping down to get a good entry onto the straight after turn 13. Braking at the right time for the right turns of 14 and 15 can allow drivers to go flat-out through 15 and down the pit straight for maximum speed.

Race history

Michael Schumacher won the first Bahrain GP in 2004, despite the circuit not quite being fully complete it was deemed good enough to be able to race on.

The track was slightly realigned at turn 4 in 2005, decreasing the overall length of the circuit by 5 meters. Fernando Alonso won both races in his championship winning seasons of 2005 and a thrilling battle throughout the race in 2006, before Felipe Massa won in 2007 and 2008.

Jenson Button in his Brawn GP won in 2009, before in 2010 where the ‘Endurance Circuit’ layout was used. This change meant that the track was 6.299 km long as opposed to the normal layouts 5.412 km, adding a few extra turns after turn 4 before returning to the original track.

Due to protests going on in Bahrain in 2011 the Grand Prix was cancelled, to be rescheduled for later on in the year but this plan was scrapped.

Despite protests for the 2012 race to be cancelled it still went ahead in the original track layout used before 2010 and saw the first of Sebastian Vettel’s four wins at the Bahrain International Circuit, others coming in 2013, 2017 and 2018.

In 2014 the race changed from a daytime race to become one under lights to initially celebrate the tenth year of Formula 1 at the circuit. This race saw a huge crash between Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez, in which the Mexican was sent flipping and spinning.

All races since 2014 have been held under lights since and were dominated by Mercedes from 14-16 until Vettel and Ferrari won the past two.

When is the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix?

The race weekend in Sakhir kicks off Friday March 29th, with Free Practice 1 starting at 2pm local time (11am BST, 6am EST). FP2 starts that afternoon at 6pm (3pm BST, 10am EST). On Saturday, FP3 starts at 3pm local time (12pm BST, 7am EST), and qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at 6pm on Saturday (3pm BST, 10am EST).

The Bahrain Grand Prix will start at 6.10pm local time on Sunday March 31st (4.10pm BST, 11.10am EST). 

Session Date Time
Practice 1 29 March 2019 07:00 - 08:30
Practice 2 29 March 2019 11:00 - 12:30
Practice 3 30 March 2019 08:00 - 09:00
Qualifying 30 March 2019 11:00 - 12:00
Race 31 March 2019 11:10 - 13:10
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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