BAHRAIN will host two races on consecutive weekends later this year, it was announced yesterday.
Formula 1 said the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) will host the two races as the penultimate race venue for the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship.
The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 will take place from November 27 to 29 while the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020 will be held from December 4 to 6.
This will be the first time that Bahrain will be hosting back-to-back Formula 1 races in a season.
The GDN had exclusively reported on June 10 that F1 insiders had indicated Bahrain could be hosting a spectacular double-header before concluding the season in Abu Dhabi.
The updated F1 calendar was issued following the postponement and cancellation of a number of grands prix due to the global pandemic; F1 has now announced 17 races for the 2020 season.
“As the health and safety of all participants is of the highest importance, a decision on whether to host fans at these race weekends will be made in due course, that evaluation will be based on instructions and guidance from Bahrain Government,” said a statement.
BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa revealed that they had worked closely with Formula 1 and The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) as they sought to plan the 2020 calendar.
“We thank Formula 1 for offering us the opportunity to host two races, which reflects the exciting racing which our venue consistently delivers for fans, and their faith in Bahrain’s ability to host both races safely for all involved,” he said.
“Since F1 restarted its season, it has demonstrated its ability to deliver incredible racing in a safe and secure environment, with detailed measures and procedures in place to protect the health of all participants.
“We congratulate F1 and the FIA in particular for demonstrating clear leadership within the global sports industry.
“With health and safety of paramount importance, we are working closely with the Government of Bahrain, as well as with the F1 and the FIA, to structure the race weekend according to prevailing best practice, for the protection of all involved.
“Development is underway on the detailed planning of the event format. We will provide regular updates of our plans as we move forward,” he said.
The GDN reported early this year that Bahrain’s premier sporting event, the 2020 Formula One Grand Prix, has been postponed in view of the continued global spread of Covid-19.
BIC was scheduled to host the race from March 19 to 22 as a “participants-only” event amid virus fears.