Bahrain International Circuit

motorsport track in Bahrain

26°1′57″N 50°30′38″E / 26.03250°N 50.51056°E / 26.03250; 50.51056

Bahrain International Circuit
Bahrain International Circuit
Location Sakhir, Bahrain
Time zone GMT +3
Major Events FIA Formula One
Bahrain Grand Prix
GP2, GP2 Asia, V8 Supercars, F3, GT Festival, Drag racing

Grand Prix Circuit
Circuit Length 5.4086 km (3.3596 mi)
Turns 15
Lap Record 1:30.252 (Germany Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004, Formula One)

Endurance Circuit
Circuit Length 6.2967 km (3.9126 mi)
Turns 24
Lap Record 1:58.287 (Spain Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 2010 Formula One)

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is a motorsport track opened in 2004 and used for auto racing. The main race is the Bahrain Grand Prix. The 2004 Grand Prix was the first held in the Middle East. In 2006, Australian V8 Supercar started racing at the BIC. 24 Hour endurance races also hosted at BIC.[1]



Building the Bahrain circuit (track) was important for Bahrain, and was started by the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The Crown Prince is the Honorary President of the Bahrain Motor Federation.

In 2007 the track became the first Grand Prix circuit to be awarded the distinguished (important) FIA Institute Centre of Excellence award. The award was given for having and keeping high race safety and medical facilities.[2]

Construction and design


The track was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke. Tilke also designed the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The track cost approximately US $150 million to build.[3] It can be set-up as six different tracks, including a test oval and a drag strip.[3]

The track had a special problem. The track was located in the middle of a desert. There were concerns that sand would blow onto the track and disrupt the race. Organizers (the people who run the race) were able to keep the sand off the track by spraying an adhesive (glue) on the sand around the track.[4]

The surface of the track has a high level of grip. The same surface is used at the Yas Marina Circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.[5]




Track [3] Distance [3]
Grand Prix track 5.412 km
Inner track 2.55 km
Outer track 3.664 km
Paddock Circuit 3.7 km
Drag Strip 1.2 km
Oval track 2 km
Full Circuit 6.4 km

Series hosted


The Bahrain International Circuit hosts a number of races, including the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, the GP2 Series, GP2 Asia, Chevrolet Lumina Series, Speedcar Series, Thunder Arabia and Radical.

In the past the track has hosted the FIA GT Championship, and a one-time Bahrain Superprix involving Formula Three cars, following from the failure of the Korea Super Prix. The first Formula BMW World Final took place in Bahrain. Every year there is the 24 Hours of Bahrain race.

Bahrain 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. Other countries, including Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates wanted to host the Formula One Grand Prix.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is usually the third race on the Formula One schedule. In the 2006 season, Bahrain traded places with the usual first race, the Australian Grand Prix. The Australian Grand Prix date was changed to avoid interfering with the Commonwealth Games. In 2009, Bahrain was moved to the fourth race on the schedule. In 2010, Bahrain was the first race of the season. For 2010, the Formula One cars raced on the full 6.299 km (3.914 mi) "Endurance Circuit".

Starting in 2011, Formula One will return to the original track layout. This is the layout that was used in 2004.[6]


  1. "24 hour Race of Bahrain 15-16 December 2006". n.d. Retrieved 2009-09-11.[permanent dead link]
  2. "Bahrain named Centre of Excellence by FIA". 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Bahrain International Circuit Info". Bahrain International Circuit. Retrieved 2006-12-17.
  4. "Schumacher admits sand fear". BBC News. 2004-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  5. "From Shropshire to Abu Dhabi GP". BBC. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  6. "BIC returns to old track layout". Gulf Daily News. 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2010-09-09.[permanent dead link]

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