Bahrain International Circuit--Grand Prix Layoutsmall
Bahrain International Circuit
Location Sakhir, Bahrain
Active from March 17, 2004 -
Major events FIA Formula One
Bahrain Grand Prix
GP2, GP2 Asia, V8 Supercars, F3, GT Festival, Drag racing
Length 3.363 mi (5.412 km)
Turns 15
Lap record 1:31.447 (Pedro de la Rosa, Mclaren, 2005, Formula One)

The Bahrain International Circuit (Arabic: حلبة البحرين الدولية) is a motorsport venue opened in 2004 and used for drag racing, GP2 and the annual Bahrain Grand Prix. The 2004 Grand Prix was the first held in the Middle East. Since 2006, Australian V8 Supercar has been raced at the BIC and the V8 races are named as the Desert 400. 24 Hour endurance races also hosted at BIC.[1]


The construction of the Bahrain circuit was a national objective for Bahrain, initiated by the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The Crown Prince is the Honorary President of the Bahrain Motor Federation. TRL was asked to build the circuit, headed by Patrick Brogan.

Race organisers were worried that the circuit would not be complete in time for the 2004 Bahrain Grand Prix and attempted to cancel the event; however, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone refused this request. In the end, the circuit was not quite fully complete, but was good enough for the grand prix to go ahead.[2]

In 2007 the circuit became the first Grand Prix circuit to be awarded the distinguished FIA Institute Centre of Excellence award, given for excellent safety, race marshal, and medical facilities, and for the high standards of technology required to maintain these.[3]

At the 2009 Grand Prix, BIC announced a collaboration with @bahrain to develop land next to the circuit. @bahrain is part of the Mumtalakat group of companies. @bahrain will dedicate more than 1 million square meters of business, entertainment and educational space with a value in excess of US$ 2bn (BHD 850million), making it one of the largest investment projects to take place in Bahrain in the past five years.[3]

Construction and design[]

The circuit was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, the same architect who designed the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The circuit cost approximately US$150 million to construct.[4] It has six separate tracks, including a test oval and a drag strip.[4]

The circuit posed a unique problem. Positioned in the middle of a desert, there were worries that sand would blow onto the circuit and disrupt the race. However, organizers were able to keep the sand off the track by spraying an adhesive on the sand around the track.[5]

The surface of the track is made of Graywacke aggregate, shipped to Bahrain from Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire, England. The surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and Formula 1 drivers for the high level of grip it offers. The same aggregate material is used at the Yas Marina Circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.[6]



Track[4] Distance[4]
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 high profile series, 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 circuit has hosted the FIA GT Championship, and a one-off Bahrain Superprix involving Formula Three cars, following on from the collapsed Korea Super Prix. The first ever Formula BMW World Final took place in Bahrain. Also every year there is the traditional 24 Hours of Bahrain.

Bahrain Grand Prix[]

Main article: Bahrain Grand Prix

The first Bahrain Grand Prix took place on April 4, 2004, making history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East. Bahrain fought off fierce competition from elsewhere in the region to stage the race, with Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is usually the third race on the Formula One calendar, apart from the 2006 season, when Bahrain swapped places with the traditional opener, the Australian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games. In 2009, Bahrain was moved to the fourth race. For the 2010 season Bahrain was again the season opener and Formula One cars drove the full 6.299 km (3.914 mi) "Endurance Circuit" to celebrate F1's 'diamond jubilee'. From 2011 however F1 will return to racing on the original layout used between 2004 and 2009.[7]

See also[]

Template:V8 Supercar tracks

Formula One circuits

Current circuits
(2012 season)

BahrainMelbourneSepangShanghaiBarcelona (Catalunya)Monte CarloMontrealValenciaSilverstoneHockenheimHungaroringSpaMonzaMarina BaySuzukaYeongamNew DelhiInterlagosAustinYas Marina

Former Circuits: A1-Ring (Österreichring)AdelaideAidaAin-DiabAintreeAnderstorpAVUSBrands HatchBremgartenBuenos AiresCaesars PalaceClermont-FerrandDallasDetroitDijonDonington ParkEast LondonEstorilFujiImolaIndianapolisJacarepaguáJaramaIstanbulJerezKyalamiLe MansLong BeachMagny-CoursMexico CityMonsantoMontjuïcMont-TremblantMosport ParkNivelles-BaulersNürburgringOportoPaul RicardPedralbesPescaraPhoenixReimsRiversideRouenSebringWatkins GlenZandvoortZeltwegZolder

Template:FIA GT circuits Template:GP2 Asia circuits Template:GP2 Series circuits}}


  1. "24 hour Race of Bahrain 15–16 December 2006". n.d.. Retrieved September 11, 2009. 
  2. "Bahrain 'tried to stop GP'". BBC News. March 25, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2007. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Bahrain named Centre of Excellence by FIA". April 13, 2007. Archived from the original on April 15, 2007. Retrieved April 13, 2007.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "award" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Bahrain International Circuit Info". Bahrain International Circuit. Retrieved December 17, 2006. 
  5. "Schumacher admits sand fear". BBC News. March 29, 2004. Retrieved April 13, 2007. 
  6. "From Shropshire to Abu Dhabi GP". BBC. October 30, 2009. Retrieved October 30, 2009. 

External links[]