Formula 1 and Bahrain International Circuit today announced that the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix, scheduled for December 4-6, will take place on the circuit’s 3.543km outer track.
Following a detailed analysis of the circuit’s different track layouts, all of which have an FIA Grade 1 license, Formula 1 has concluded the outer circuit as the most suitable option for the second of Bahrain’s double header races.
The Grand Prix will be a full night race with both qualifying and the race taking place later in the evening compared to the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix taking place the previous weekend on the usual 5.412 km international track layout.
Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, chief executive of Bahrain International Circuit, said: “We thank Formula 1 for all their work in analysing options for our second race and it’s a great testament to our venue that we will be able to hold what is likely to be very contrasting races on consecutive weekends. Our outer track has never been used for international competitive racing, so will be a new and exciting challenge for all participants.”
The track has contrasting characteristics compared to the international track layout and will have the highest number of race laps at 87 and be the second shortest circuit in Formula 1.
F1 simulations predict qualifying lap times below 55 seconds and race laps below 60 seconds.
The Bahrain International Circuit, in collaboration with The Bahrain Motor Federation and the FIA, will be working over the coming weeks to ensure all elements of the track are prepared and tested according to current standards for an F1 race.
Ross Brawn, managing director of Motorsport, Formula 1, said: “We are excited to announce the outer circuit as the format for the Sakhir Grand Prix and want to thank our partners at the Bahrain International Circuit for their continued support.
"We assessed a number of options for the alternative circuit layout and concluded the outer circuit will provide the best alternative and will provide a new challenge for all the teams and entertain all our fans with high speeds and fast lap times.”