Bahrain Grand Prix: First Formula 1 Race in Middle East 2004 

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Bahrain Grand Prix, presently known as the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand, is a Formula 1 motor event held in Bahrain. The first race was held on April 4, 2004 at the Bahrain International Circuit. FIA gave it the title of “Best Organized Grand Prix.”

Hermann Tilke designed the Bahrain International Circuit (Sakhir), which was built in under 16 months at a cost of $150 million USD. The track’s tarmac is built of greywacke material imported from Shropshire, England. The circuit can accommodate 45,000 spectators, with 10,000 of them in the main pit straight grandstand. A unique 8-story VIP tower is visible on the track. On Grand Prix weekend, the circuit employs roughly 4700 people, including 1800 police and security personnel, 600 track marshals, and 25 medics.
The Star, Michael Schumacher, driving a Ferrari F2004, won the first race in overwhelming fashion in 2004.

History

Construction

The construction of the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir began in 2002, with strong public support for the project, which provided a future for Bahrain’s next generation of racers. Bahrain had faced stiff competition from other countries in the area for the right to host a Formula One race, with Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. The circuit became the Persian Gulf’s center of motor sport after it was completed, hosting big events like GT races, Formula 3 races, and the Australian V8 Supercar series.

Winners

The first race was won by Michael Schumacher of Germany, driving for Ferrari in 2004. Furthermore, Fernando Alonso won the second Bahrain Grand Prix for Renault in 2005 becoming the first repeat winner of the Middle Eastern race in 2006. Brazilian Felipe Massa won the race for Ferrari in 2007 and 2008. Jenson Button won the Brawn GP in 2009. Alonso became the first three-time champion with his victory in 2010.

Yearly Updates 

In 2006 the Australian Grand Prix pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games by Bahrain. The Grand Prix was held on a new circuit configuration in 2010 and the cars raced the whole 6.299 km (3.914 mi) “Endurance Circuit” to commemorate F1’s “Diamond Jubilee.” For the 2011 event, the course might have reverted to its original layout, which it did for the 2012 race. Moreover, due to claims of human rights violations by Bahraini authorities, human rights activists urged for the 2012 race cancel. Therefore, team personnel also voiced concerns about safety nonetheless, it was held as planned on 22 April 2012. 

In 2014, the race contested as a night event under floodlights to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the first staging of the Bahrain Grand Prix. After the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008, it became the second Formula One night race. In 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix was once again the season opener as the Australian Grand Prix postponed owing to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Interesting Facts About Bahrain Grand Prix

  • At the Bahrain Grand Prix, The superstar Lewis Hamilton holds the record for most victories. In 2021, he won the event for the 6th time.
  • Mercedes drew even with Ferrari as Bahrain’s most successful team in 2021. Each squad has 6 victories.
  • Bahrain is one of just a few contemporary Formula1 circuits where McLaren couldn’t win yet.
  • Although, No champagne is allowed on the podium on the event day. Therefore, drivers celebrate a rose water drink to spray known as Waard.
  • The hairpin Turn 1 is the only named corner on the Bahrain International Circuit. It was entitled with the name “Schumacher” in honor of the 7 time world champion.
  • Furthermore, Kimi Raikkonen has been on the podium in Bahrain 8 times but has never won the race.
  • It is still considered as a controversial venue for the race as it was ultimately cancelled in 2011 due to local demonstrations sparked by the Arab Spring. 
  • 7/17 Bahrain Grands Prix staged since 2004 have had a German driver on pole.
  • In 2014 a 4,500 floodlight system was initiated at the track which allowed the race at night. It began in the evening and ended in full darkness.
  • Moreover, Bahrain International Circuit, less than half of the races have been won from the pole position. Only 7 of the 18 races held at the track have been won from the pole position.
  • Sergio Perez, who was last at the end of the first lap, became the first driver to win an F1 race.
  • Yuki Tsunoda became the 65th driver to score in his debut, and the first at this track since Stoffel Vandoorne in 2016.
  • Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari engine failed on the formation lap in 2016, resulting in his only (DNS) in his F1 career.

Big Race – Bahrain Grand Prix!

Gear yourself up for the most exciting race of this year. Bahrain Grand Prix is taking place over 57 laps of the 5.412-kilometre. Mark your calendars, its at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on Sun, 20 Mar, 8:00 Pm.