Bahrain Grand Prix
|Bahrain Grand Prix|
|Circuit||Bahrain International Circuit|
|Circuit length km||5.412|
|Circuit length mi||3.363|
|Race length km||308.238|
|Race length mi||191.539|
|Most wins driver|| Fernando Alonso (2)|
|Most wins constructor||Ferrari (3)|
|Pole driver||Robert Kubica|
|Pole team||BMW Sauber|
|Winning time||1h 31m 06.970s (202.974 km/h)|
|Third team||BMW Sauber|
|Fastest lap driver||Heikki Kovalainen|
|Fastest lap team||McLaren-Mercedes|
The Bahrain Grand Prix, sponsored by Gulf Air, made 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 all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix.
The inaugural race was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA.
The Bahrain Grand Prix has usually been the third race of the Formula One calendar. However, in the 2006 season it swapped places with the traditional opener, the Australian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games.
The building of the Sakhir track was started in 2002 with high domestic interest about the project as it gave a future to the next generation of Bahraini racers. By the completion of the project, the Circuit soon outshadowed the Kuwait Circuit and became the center of motor sport in the Gulf ,as it held many other races such as drag races, GT races, Formula 3 races and the Australian V8 Supercar series.
The first race was in 2004 and it was won by German driver Michael Schumacher. Fernando Alonso won the second Bahrain Grand Prix in 2005, and then became the first repeat winner of the Middle Eastern race in 2006, after a thrilling race-long battle with Michael Schumacher. In 2007 and 2008, Brazilian Felipe Massa won the race for Ferrari.
A characteristic of the course is the giant run-off areas, which has been criticised for not punishing drivers who stray off the track, although this has made Bahrain one of the safest tracks in the world, and tends to prevent sand getting onto the track.
The drivers do not spray the traditional champagne on the podium, although alcoholic beverages are legal in Bahrain, in contrast to neighbouring Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Instead, they spray a non-alcoholic rosewater drink known as Waard.
Gulf Air have sponsored the Bahrain Grand Prix from its inaugural race in 2004 right up until the 2008 race.
Winners of the Bahrain Grand Prix
Repeat Winners (Drivers)
|Number of wins||Driver||Years|
|2||Felipe Massa||2007, 2008|
|Fernando Alonso||2005, 2006|
Repeat Winners (Constructors)
|Number of wins||Constructor||Years|
|3||Ferrari||2004, 2007, 2008|
Year by Year
Formula BMW Asia supported the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004, with Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee winning both rounds. But the series had logistical problems after the race, when the cars were delayed on their way to Malaysia, missing the next event and had to reschedule the rest of the season. Formula BMW Asia has not supported the Bahrain Grand Prix since, but the first ever Formula BMW World Final was held in Bahrain. The Porsche Supercup has supported the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 races. The GP2 Series supported the race in 2007 and a celebrity race was held in 2006 with the likes of Simon Webbe competing.
- Bahrain Grand Prix home page
- Bahrain Grand Prix Statistics 2005
- Bahrain statistics
- Trackpedia guide to the Bahrain Circuit
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