|FIA Grade||1 (5 layouts)|
|Broke ground||December 2002|
|Opened||17 March 2004|
|Construction cost||56.2 million Dinars ($150 million)|
Bahrain Grand Prix (2004–2010, 2012–present)
8 Hours of Bahrain (2012–2017, 2019–present)
Gulf 12 Hours (2021)
Desert 400 (2006–2008, 2010)
FIA GT (2005)
GP2 Asia (2008–2010)
|Grand Prix Circuit (2005–present)|
|Length||5.412 km (3.363 miles)|
|Race lap record||1:31.447 ( Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren MP4-20, 2005, F1)|
|Outer Circuit (2005–present)|
|Length||3.543 km (2.202 miles)|
|Race lap record||0:55.404 ( George Russell, Mercedes W11, 2020, F1)|
|Endurance Circuit (2005–present)|
|Length||6.299 km (3.914 miles)|
|Race lap record||1:58.287 ( Fernando Alonso, Ferrari F10, 2010, F1)|
|Paddock Circuit (2004–present)|
|Length||3.823 km (2.375 miles)|
|Race lap record||1:24.9102 ( Jason Bright, Ford BA Falcon, 2006, V8 Supercars)|
|Oasis / Inner Circuit (2004–present)|
|Length||2.550 km (1.584 miles)|
|Race lap record||1:03.819 ( Bashar Mardini, Porsche 911 (991 I) GT3 Cup, 2017, PCC)|
|Original Grand Prix Circuit (2004)|
|Length||5.417 km (3.366 miles)|
|Race lap record||1:30.252 ( Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, 2004, F1)|
The Bahrain International Circuit (Arabic: حلبة البحرين الدولية, romanized: Ḥalba al-Baḥrayn ad-Dawliyya) is a 5.412 km (3.363 mi) motorsport venue opened in 2004 and used for drag racing, GP2 Series (now FIA Formula 2), and the annual Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix. The 2004 Grand Prix was the first held in the Middle East. Beginning in 2006, Australian V8 Supercars raced at the BIC, with the event known as the Desert 400. However, the V8 Supercars did not return for the 2011 V8 Supercar season. 24 Hour endurance races are also hosted at BIC. The circuit has a FIA Grade 1 license. The circuit also has multiple layouts.
The construction of the Bahrain circuit was a national objective for Bahrain, initiated by the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The Crown Prince is the Honorary President of the Bahrain Motor Federation. TRL was asked to build the circuit, headed by Patrick Brogan.
Race organizers were worried that the circuit would not be complete in time for the 2004 Bahrain Grand Prix and attempted to cancel the event; however, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone refused this request. In the end, the circuit was not quite fully complete, but was good enough for the grand prix to go ahead.
In 2007 the circuit became the first Grand Prix circuit to be awarded the distinguished FIA Institute Centre of Excellence award, given for excellent safety, race marshal, and medical facilities, and for the high standards of technology required to maintain these.
At the 2009 Grand Prix, BIC announced a collaboration with @bahrain to develop land next to the circuit. @bahrain is part of the Mumtalakat group of companies. @bahrain will dedicate more than 1 million square meters of business, entertainment and educational space with a value in excess of US$2bn (BHD 850million), making it one of the largest investment projects to take place in Bahrain in the past five years.
In 2011 the circuit was scheduled to be the first GP of the season. However, due to civil unrest in the country the race had to be cancelled in March 2011. On 4 June the FIA announced that the race would be scheduled for 30 October, the original slot for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, which would be shifted to a season-closing date on 11 December. However, two days later following concerns from teams and other officials, the race organizers officially cancelled the race, choosing to focus their attention on the 2012 running. The 2012 Formula One calendar had the race scheduled for 22 April, the fourth of the season.
Construction and design
The circuit was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, the same architect who designed the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The main contractor for the project was Cebarco-WCT. The circuit cost approximately 56.2 million Bahraini Dinars (US$150 million) to construct. It has six separate tracks, including a test oval and a drag strip.
The circuit posed a unique problem. Positioned in the middle of a desert, there were worries that sand would blow onto the circuit and disrupt the race. However, organizers were able to keep the sand off the track by spraying an adhesive on the sand around the track.
The surface of the track is made of graywacke aggregate, shipped to Bahrain from Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire, England. The surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and Formula 1 drivers for the high level of grip it offers. The same aggregate material is used at the Yas Marina Circuit, venue of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Shortly after the Formula One February 2014 testing, the first corner of the track was renamed after seven-time champion German driver Michael Schumacher in honour of his achievements and also in support after he suffered an almost fatal skiing accident late December 2013.
"Grand Prix Circuit". Used in F1 in 2004–2009, and since 2012
"Endurance Circuit". Used in F1 in 2010
"Oasis / Inner Circuit"
A flat oval
|Grand Prix track||5.412 km (3.363 mi)||1|
|Oasis / Inner track||2.554 km (1.587 mi)||1|
|Outer track||3.543 km (2.202 mi)||1|
|Paddock Circuit||3.823 km (2.376 mi)||1|
|Drag Strip||1.2 km (0.7 mi)||n/a|
|Oval track||2.500 km (1.553 mi)||n/a|
|Endurance Circuit||6.299 km (3.914 mi)||1|
Formula One Grand Prix
The first Bahrain Grand Prix took place on 4 April 2004, making history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East. Bahrain fought off fierce competition from elsewhere in the region to stage the race, with Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix (the UAE would host a Grand Prix from 2009).
The Bahrain Grand Prix is usually the third race on the Formula One calendar, apart from the 2006 season, when Bahrain swapped places with the traditional opener, the Australian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games. In 2009, Bahrain was moved to the fourth race. For the 2010 season Bahrain was again the pre-season testing and season opener and Formula One cars drove the full 6.299 km (3.914 mi) "Endurance Circuit" to celebrate F1's 'diamond jubilee'. For 2011 however F1 was set to return to racing on the original layout used between 2004 and 2009. The race was postponed and finally cancelled due to protests in the country but F1 returned to the track for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. 2014 saw the track host its first ever Grand Prix under lights, as the race was scheduled as a night race to celebrate the tenth year of Formula 1 at the circuit. Subsequent editions of the race have also been held at night. In 2020 the circuit hosted two Grands Prix, the Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix, after the calendar was revised following the COVID-19 pandemic with the second using an alternative layout.
The Bahrain International Circuit hosts a number of high-profile series, including the FIA Formula One World Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the FIA Formula 2 Championship, FIA Formula 3 Championship, and Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East.
In the past the circuit has hosted the FIA GT Championship, Speedcar Series, Australian V8 Supercars, GP2 Asia Series, and a one-off Bahrain Superprix involving Formula Three cars, following on from the collapsed Korea Super Prix. The first ever Formula BMW World Final took place in Bahrain.
- March: Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix, FIA Formula 2 Championship Sakhir Formula 2 round, FIA Formula 3 Championship, Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East
- November: FIA World Endurance Championship 8 Hours of Bahrain, Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East
- December: Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East
- Bahrain Superprix (2004)
- Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific (2020)
- Ferrari Challenge Europe (2019)
- FIA GT Championship Bahrain Supercar 500 (2005)
- FIA GT Nations Cup (2018)
- Formula BMW Asia (2004–2005)
- Formula BMW World Final (2005)
- Formula One Sakhir Grand Prix (2020)
- Gulf 12 Hours (2021)
- GP2 Series Bahrain GP2 round (2005, 2007, 2012–2015)
- GP2 Asia Series (2008–2010)
- GP3 Series (2015)
- MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Championship (2013–2019)
- Porsche Supercup (2006–2010, 2012)
- Speedcar Series (2008–2009)
- TCR International Series (2016–2017)
- TCR Middle East Series (2017–2018)
- V8 Supercars Desert 400 (2006–2008, 2010)
- World Series Formula V8 3.5 (2017)
- World Touring Car Cup FIA WTCR Race of Bahrain
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- Natsoft Race Results
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