Which track should Bahrain use in 2011?

The new section of track added little to the Bahrain Grand Prix

The new section of track added little to the Bahrain Grand Prix

If the point of the new course at Bahrain was to give us a greater appreciation of the old track it worked. I didn’t hear many people have a positive word to say about the new layout.

But the organisers claimed the new loop was designed to improve overtaking opportunities – at which it failed miserably.

So what should they do next year? Stick with the new course or go back to the old one? I say neither – they should try some of Bahrain’s other configurations instead.

New Grand Prix Track

New Grand Prix track

New Grand Prix track

Lap length: 6.299km
Laps: 49

I’m at a loss to explain why the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers felt adding almost a kilometre of tight, narrow, slow corners to their circuit was going to make overtaking easier.

The drivers called it “very slow” and “nothing special”. The teams complained about the bump in turn six. And only seeing the cars come by once every two minutes can’t have been much fun for the spectators at the track either.

Old Grand Prix Track

Old Grand Prix track

Old Grand Prix track

Lap length: 5.412km
Laps: 57

The original Bahrain Grand Prix circuit had a reputation for being one of the better circuits for overtaking thanks to its long straights leading into big braking zones and turns one and four.

Outer Track

Outer track

Outer track

Lap length: 3.664km
Laps: 84 (estimate)

The outer track follows the more interesting part of the new track including the controversial turn six bump. But instead of turning right into the very slow sequence of bends, it links up with the original track in the final sector.

I think there’s a lot to be said for this layout. The shorter lap length would make it harder for cars to escape traffic and it includes all three of the major overtaking zones.

Paddock Track

Paddock track

Paddock track

The Bahrain Grand Prix website says this track is “for spectator-friendly series such as the Australian V8 Supercars.” Why can’t F1 race on the ‘spectator-friendly’ track?

Lap length: 3.7km
Laps: 83 (estimate)


Which Bahrain track should they use in 2011?

  • New Grand Prix Track (2%)
  • Old Grand Prix Track (34%)
  • Outer Track (46%)
  • Paddock Track (17%)
  • No preference (1%)

Total Voters: 1,893

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You can see the different configurations available on the satellite map of the track:

New Bahrain Grand Prix track

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154 comments on Which track should Bahrain use in 2011?

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  1. Robert McKay said on 17th March 2010, 10:52

    The simple fact is the outer and paddock tracks do not have enough corners.

    For some reason F1 has got it into its head that all the tracks have to be ridiculously overdesigned and overly long, and generally have a ridiculous number of slow, silly, footery corners.

    The relatively simple layouts of an A1 Ring, or a Montreal, are becoming an anachronism in the modern form of the sport.

    We don’t need tracks with 21 corners if 15 of them are rubbish and add nothing. We only need tracks with 7 or 8 good corners. If we have to have more laps to ge tthe race distance, then so what. Lets not just have corners for corners sake.

    An F1 race on the outer circuit at Bahrain would be interesting to see – but just looking at the sheer simplicity of the track map can you imagine it getting on the F1 calendar? I can’t.

  2. GeeMac said on 17th March 2010, 14:36

    The “New Grand Prix Track” is a joke, and making use of it for the opening race of the most widely anticipated Formula One season in recent memory was a huge mistake. The slow fiddly section offered nothing new and helped contribute to a massive field spread in Shakir.

    I ahd my doubts about Bahrain hosting the opening race of the season long before the decision to use the “New” section of track was taken, because Bahrain has tended to host quite dull processional races anyway. A massive fail by F1 Management and the FIA.

    That doesn’t mean that i won’t be watching the second race however! ;)

  3. Don’t use the endurance track again. The original is the best.

    But maybe a fifth alternative could be that, the drivers take a left turn just before the final corner, and leave this track for good.

    I don’t really mean that, I do like Bahrain in general.

  4. John Edwards said on 17th March 2010, 18:57

    Bahrain never sat me with very well as it was clear from the onset that it was only going there for the money.

    The crown prince impresses me though as he does come across as a fan and is trying to improve his race.

    I don’t think the circuit is all that bad really in general but I think it could really be tweaked to make it more of a drivers track.

    That new section really needs bombing after the first 90 degree right.

    I never saw the point in the last corner either, all it does is spread the cars out.

    Anyhow, I was bored so I redesigned it, probably wouldn’t cost too many camels either…


  5. I think its more due to the sophistication of the car’s nowadays that has lended itself to F1 not being as overtaking friendly as it has in the past..

    my advice would be during scrutinineering to have them randomly take a piece of the car off deemed as not critical to the running of the car :) or by hacking into those over-complicated “double-diffusers” i also think f1 is the only motorsport that would benefit from success ballast.. making those at the front earn their place another way!

  6. puneet said on 20th March 2010, 6:56

    I think it’s unfair to blame the new layout of the track for a boring race. Except Karun Chandok, I don’t think any driver has reason to complain about the new layout. The refuelling ban is not going the way FIA wanted it to and I think that is the reason Bahrain GP was a procession rather than a race. It’s too early to blame the new layout.

  7. aja said on 22nd March 2010, 8:19

    ‘No crowd’ seems like the fans are finally voting with there buts, do you think the powers that be can hear the message? Not likely, the sound of money blocks out any other noise.

  8. Chaz said on 22nd March 2010, 17:31

    I figure we should try them all and hopefully one will give the media something positive to write about, and the fans something to enjoy…

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