The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) will be building on peak worldwide global interest in Formula 1, as it kicks off the 2022 F1 season in March.
During the March 18-20 weekend, Bahrain will witness the 18th Gulf Air Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, alongside the launch of the Formula 2 and Formula 3 seasons, during an action-packed weekend.
“The 2021 season of F1 was one of the most exciting ones in recent history, and there is huge global interest in how the season will kick off, under the new rules,” BIC commercial director Sherif Al Mahdy noted, during the press conference.
“Our international ticket sales, in particular, are evidence of this, and we have seen them rise by 50 per cent over pre-pandemic 2019 levels. In particular, we have seen more interest from Dutch fans eager to come and support the 2021 World Champion Max Verstappen.”
The launch of the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix took place during a Press conference last night at the BIC and also included the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car, with special Bahrain livery. BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa and Gulf Air acting chief executive Waleed Al Alawi also attended the Press conference.
The BIC also noted that Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and DJ Afrojack would be performing on the first day of the season-opening weekend.
Details about the Saturday and Sunday concert performers will be unveiled closer to the race weekend.
“The new seasons follows the epic championship battle we witnessed last season, with the whole world still talking about F1,” noted Shaikh Salman.
“In addition to the excitement on track, we have put together a mix of incredible concerts and entertainment, suitable for fans of all ages.”
In addition, F2 and F3 will also be holding their season-opening rounds in Bahrain featuring many of motor racing’s stars of the future. Meanwhile, the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East will be holding the final round of its 2021-22 season in Bahrain, with the series’ newest champion set to be crowned in front of a global audience.
In advance of the March 18 - 20 weekend, Bahrain will also stage preseason testing for the second year in a row.
The F1 testing, taking place during the March 10-12 weekend, will be the second time globally that the completely revamped 2022 F1 cars will be seen on the track.
In a landmark first, the testing will be opened up to fans, with ticket details to be announced in the coming weeks. BIC officials also noted that discussions were being held about ticket arrangements in particular for those who have purchased tickets for the season-opening race weekend.
Covid-19 protocol regarding the two events will be decided in coordination with the health authorities, according to Mr Al Mahdy.
“We will have to assess closer to the race weekend what our capacity and protocol is, but to help mitigate some of the unpredictability associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have also introduced an enhanced refund policy, basically telling our fans to ‘buy with confidence’,” he told the GDN.
Amongst other attractions at BIC over the March 18 - 20 race weekend are stage acts and roaming performers, such as renowned street performer Abraham Thill, a life-sized Toy Brigade, Funky Style Band from Italy, Jam Batucada musical show from Spain, and plenty of other entertainment.
Gulf Air also announced the return of its F1 packages, which include flight, accomodation, a three-day pass to the race and transportation to and from the race.