The 2020 Formula 1 calendar was turned on its head by the Corona virus pandemic. Racing should have got underway on 15 March with the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne, but that was cancelled along with several other rounds. After a longer and earlier official shutdown period than usual, the season eventually started in Austria in July. Several races were rescheduled and new venues added, such as Mugello and Portimao, while the new calendar also sees the return of former host tracks such as Imola and the Nurburgring and some venues, the Red Bull Ring in July and Silverstone in August, hosted two races on consecutive weekend. The third double appointment this year takes place at Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit, with the Bahrain Grand Prix from 27 to 29 November and the Sakhir Grand Prix being held from 4 to 6 December.
The Bahrain Grand Prix was the first Formula 1 race to be staged in the Middle East, as part of the government’s desire to promote tourism. The first F1 race in Bahrain was held in 2004, when Michael Schumacher won from Rubens Barrichello.
All the races have been held at the Bahrain International Circuit, located in the middle of the desert to south of the capital, Manama. The archipelago which makes up the Kingdom of Bahrain consists of 33 islands, featuring many classy resorts.
Bahrain GP Particularities
For the F1 circus, driving to the Sakhir circuit can involve spotting camels alongside the road, while the engineers face the task of keeping the sand from the track away from the engine and other car components. Fortunately, in recent years, a sophisticated track cleaning machine has meant this is less of a problem.
The Sakhir Circuit has been the only venue for this race, although they did try a longer track layout one year, but abandoned it as unsuccessful.