Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, is in its final stages of preparations to host the 2020 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend (Friday, November 27 to Sunday, November 29), to kick off the first-ever F1 double-header in the Kingdom.
Groups of race officials and F1 team members have already begun arriving on the island for the motor racing spectacle. The Kingdom’s guests are being received at the airport by BIC’s Meet and Greet Team, who are assisting them in their arrival formalities.
The officials went straight to work at the BIC premises in Sakhir ahead of the highly anticipated event, setting up their stations, garages and home bases for the 15th of 17 rounds in the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
F1 racing action begins on Friday with two 90-minute Practice sessions scheduled to take place at 2pm and 6pm, respectively. A third 60-minute Practice will be held Saturday at 2pm, to be followed by Qualifying at 5pm. That will determine the start grid for Sunday’s 57-lap night race, set for a 5.10pm start under the circuit’s bright floodlights.
Racing will be held along BIC’s 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix Track this Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
Two support series are also set to hit the tarmac in the meeting, including the Formula 2 Championship and the Bahrain-based Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East.
F2 is a junior single-seater series that is widely accepted as the chief feeder championship to F1. It will be holding the penultimate round of its 2020 season at BIC, with up to 22 talented young drivers—many of whom will be the sport’s future stars—competing.
F2 will have two races over the weekend, including a Feature event of 32 laps on Saturday and a Sprint race of 23 laps on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East is the region’s leading one-make championship. Aspiring racers from all over the world, particularly those based in the Gulf, compete in identical versions of the Porsche GT3 Cup Car 911 (911.2).
The series will be holding the first round of its 2020/2021 season supporting the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Challenge will have two races of 12 laps apiece in the meeting.
Following the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, BIC will host the first-ever Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix to cap the F1 double-header.
It will be held the very next weekend from December 4 to 6, and an all-new spectacle will be enjoyed by motorsport fans around the world as racing will take place along BIC’s 3.543km Outer Track, which is being used for a competitive event for the very first time as a completely different layout from the Grand Prix circuit.
Bahrain’s F1 double-header will be taking place with all precautionary guidelines in place issued by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs and the Ministry of Health.
Although both events will be closed to the general public, frontline health workers and first responders, along with members of their immediate families, have been invited to join.