The Race Track Gulf

Aiste A Daubaras shares her eclectic musings in a light, yet warm-hearted fashion.

It is a well-known fact that every self-respecting Monaco citizen rents out their apartment during the week of the Grand Prix for a king’s ransom, escaping the noise and the herds of motorsport enthusiasts for some peace and quiet.

Well, on this tiny island, we do exactly the opposite, as it’s the only time in the social calendar, when our Kingdom comes alive. Bahrain is buzzing with various events, private parties and corporate entertainment. We invite our friends from near and far; immersing ourselves in a whirlwind of adrenaline and exhaust fumes that Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix brings in its wake.

The bars and clubs are heaving, the businesses are booming… or so we would hope. Comparing our major annual event with Monaco’s F1 allows us to wonder, “Why doesn’t it attract more motorsport lovers from all over the world?”

To get a full picture, I decided to ask a friend, who, as a race-car manager, he got to know every race-track in the world, better than the back of his own hand. Sadly, it turns out that the impression we have made is in fact not all that dazzling. This has nothing to do with our excellent facilities. Our circuit is quite interesting and challenging from a technical viewpoint.

The dust from the desert and the overheating of the tyres, resulted in its conversion into a ‘night race’, therefore posing an interesting challenge for both support teams and their drivers. There was also some mention of the importance of ‘smelling’ the grip level, but he lost me right there, so I shall not dwell further
on that.

Despite all these exciting features, we are still perceived with a rather lukewarm enthusiasm. As it turns out, our audience is a bit of a let down due to their evident lack of motorsport comprehension. European viewers, on the other hand, tend to have an extensive F1 knowledge, recognising differences in drivers’ styles and techniques, and the teams know it, which affects the atmosphere on the track as well.

Let’s be honest, most of us indeed go to the races just to see and be seen, to eat and drink, and meet our friends. Interestingly enough, simultaneously I am writing an article for one of the London magazines about the horse racing attendance etiquette, and among other things, shall be offering the same advice – please do your homework.  The race is not just a background for a social chitchat. People are putting an enormous amount of work for it to happen, so the least we, viewers, can do is learn to appreciate it.

Even a little background knowledge, makes the spectators’ role all the more exciting. Besides, you can also proudly tell any overseas guest, that we do not need to be compared to Monaco Grand Prix; we have enough unique features to make Bahrain F1 stand out in its own way.

Just that the audience needs to pull up their socks… well, just a little bit.



Aisté is a Socialite, Writer, Language Tutor and Advisor for International School of Etiquette, living in Bahrain and London. To share your feedback,
email: aiste.anusaite@