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BIC gears up for F1 extravaganza

Thu, 22 Feb 2018
By Vijay Mruthyunjaya
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RACE The Stars is the ambitious theme under which this year’s Formula One 2018 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix spectacle will be held at the spectacular Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on April 8.

“It will be an experience you won’t want to miss,” said the organisers at a Press conference last night at the BIC to launch the 44-day countdown to Bahrain’s biggest and grandest sport-cum cultural extravanganza which combines international motorsport with top-class family entertainment and major international music artists at the ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’.

The headline event will once again be the highly anticipated 57-lap night race, the second of 21 rounds on this year’s FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The season begins in Melbourne on March 25.

One of the significant changes to this year’s event is the fact that this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix will flag off at 6.10pm, 10 minutes later than its regular start time. The aim is to allocate more time for broadcasters to show an extended pre-race build-up, said BIC commercial director Sherif Al Mahdy addressing a packed media briefing which was also attended by Gulf Air director of corporate affairs and communications Diya Al Shakar and BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.

“Each year, we strive to deliver an ever more exciting race weekend and 2018 will be no exception. New rules, new drivers and a revised programme for the race weekend will make the experience for fans better than ever,” said Al Mahdy.

“In 2017, we saw a record-breaking event, with 33,000 fans in attendance on race day and 93,000 over three days. This included a sell out for the Main, Turn One and University Grandstands, as well the highest ever ticket sales for the Paddock Club. Given how tickets are selling so far this year, we expect similar interest, so we would urge fans to get their tickets early, to avoid disappointment.

“The slogan for our Grand Prix this year is ‘Race the Stars’ which we feel is apt given the long list of Formula 1’s superstar drivers set to compete under the stars of the Kingdom of Bahrain for a fifth successive night race. It is with great pride that we invite everyone to join us here at ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’ for an experience you won’t want to miss!”

Among the new technical regulations, the use of a halo cockpit protection device will be the most obvious modification to the car, providing an additional safety feature for the drivers in case of an incident, added Al Mahdy.


The main Grand Prix will again be supported by two exciting events – the FIA Formula 2 Championship and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.

“Formula 2 is the chief feeder series to Formula 1, with many of its graduates moving on to the top flight after honing their skills at this level. The BIC is delighted to be staging the opening round of its 2018 season,” said Al Madhy.

“The Porsche GT3 Cup is the biggest and most popular one-make motor racing championship in the entire region. It has been the number one choice of the Arab world’s most promising circuit racing drivers to broaden their racing experience in a professionally run series. The series will be holding its sixth and final round of its 2017-2018 campaign.”

Tickets available now, including new options for Batelco Grandstand

Tickets can be purchased at the BIC stand at Bahrain City Centre. They can also be bought online at or by calling the BIC Hotline on +973-17-450000

“The prices are amongst the most competitive for any event on the Formula One calendar, with prices held at the same level for the fifth consecutive year,” said Al Mahdy.

Tickets can be purchased for seating at the Main Grandstand, Batelco Grandstand, Turn One Grandstand, University Grandstands and Victory Grandstands. Main Grandstand seats cost BD150 each for the three days, while Batelco Grandstand tickets are BD120 and Turn One tickets BD100. University and Victory Grandstand tickets cost BD60.

Also, for the first time this year, fans will be able to purchase a single Friday ticket for the Batelco Grandstand at BD60, or they can buy a two-day ticket for Saturday and Sunday, also for the Batelco Grandstand for BD100.

Both new ticket options offer great value for money for seating at a prime location, offering a perfect view of the inner part of the circuit, the support race pit lane and plenty more, added the official press release.

For further information on the 2018 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix or to make a booking for tickets, visit or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17-450000.

Also, find BIC on Facebook (, follow BIC on Twitter (@BAH_Int_Circuit) and Instagram (, and subscribe to BIC’s YouTube channel ( for regular updates on all happenings at the world-class Sakhir circuit.

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