Six o’clock start for Bahrain night race

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

Bahrain International Circuit, 2004Formula One Management have confirmed plans for this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix to be run as a night race.

The race and qualifying sessions will start at 6pm local time and be run entirely at night under floodlights. The lighting system was installed at the Bahrain International Circuit last year.

Bahrain’s race will be the second event on the calendar to run entirely after nightfall. The Singapore Grand Prix was the first to do so in 2008. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which starts before sunset and ends after it, was held for the first time in 2009.

The Bahrain race has attracted controversy since the 2011 grand prix was cancelled following the violent suppression of a pro-democracy protest by the Bahrain government, who pay for the grand prix.

The race was restored to the calendar in 2012 but two members of the Force India team left the event after a petrol bomb went off near a van carrying them and otherss. The team subsequently missed one practice session so they could return to their hotel during daylight hours.

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42 comments on Six o’clock start for Bahrain night race

  1. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 21st January 2014, 16:43

    Stupid BBC. Why aren’t they showing this race live?
    That’ll be a 4pm UK start like Brazil, and that time of day always gets good viewing figures.
    Now they won’t be showing highlights until late in the evening. At least the race will be in the dark too.

    • vjanik said on 21st January 2014, 17:52

      they dont have a choice.

    • if you think that is bad. just read a tweet saying the 2014 us gp will start at 8.00pm live(uk time)instead of 6.00pm so it looks like the highlights will be 12.30 to 2.30am for bbc.
      while im on about bbc gutted than gary anderson got the boot(because he looked too old and fat appaerently) especialy with the biggest rule changes in years. i can hardly see eddie jordan explaining what ers is or fuel flow is. the bbc better replace him or at least make james allan a pitlane reporter again like in the early itv days.

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 21st January 2014, 16:58

    Makes sense, the grandstands will be kept in the dark, just like the promoters would like the viewers to be.

  3. Obligatory comment about being able to see flaming tyres, petrol bombs and other assorted pyrotechnic displays easier.

  4. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 21st January 2014, 17:16

    Looking very much forward to this. I really like the track, and personally i think it has produced some good races. Should be great to watch.

    • joetoml1n (@joetoml1n) said on 22nd January 2014, 10:19

      Agreed.. A lot of people go Bahrain-Bashing, basing their views on the track and previous races on the countries political troubles.. The track has produced many good races in the past, in fact it was (on this site at least) the highest rated race last year. When compared to 2012, when I believe Rate the Race was cancelled for that event (?), to me just shows that people are quick to jump on the anti-bahrain band wagon, without actually having solid views and soon falling back off!

  5. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 21st January 2014, 17:41


  6. Strontium (@strontium) said on 21st January 2014, 18:34

    Very happy about this. It will make things interesting, especially if the temperatures affect the Pirelli explosions.

  7. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 21st January 2014, 20:16

    So this will be the first race ever held at night in which the cameramen will be obliged to show the race rather than 3 hours of scenery like in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, unless of course, Bahrain builds something absolutely ridiculous next to the track in 3 months time or the riots are visible from the track itself…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd January 2014, 7:28

      I understood that the FOM guys are already highly skilled at avoiding any footage of armed helicopters in the air, armed vehicles guarding the track and smoke billowing up in the background.

      Although a blazing fire might be harder not to show …

      But I appreciate it that you highlight the possible positives here @fer-no65, lets just hope the drivers and teams will make it worthwhile watching now!

  8. As a North American, I approve.

  9. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 21st January 2014, 21:13

    Anything like the “secret” testing in December and tyres will be exploding on the main straight…

  10. In all seriousness, how will this affect the temperature of the race? I’m wondering if it might make the tyres and cars perform a bit differently.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 22nd January 2014, 5:29

      It’ll be cooler for sure. I’m in the UAE and the temperature at Abu Dhabi at night is quite a lot different from what it is during the day, it is a lot cooler and a lot less humid. I imagine it will be the same in Bahrain.

  11. Steven Longo said on 21st January 2014, 21:46

    I didn’t like the race during the day, so I’m looking forward to having a night race there…

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st January 2014, 22:28

    I always enjoyed playing Bahrain on my F1 games very much, with a peak in F1 2010. Will it feel the same under the Moon? It will look akward to start with, just like Singapore in the daylight, but only because I’m not used to it, though I don’t think it was either necessary nor an improvement.

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 21st January 2014, 23:45

      Likewise, I remember F1 2010 fondly with the tricky twisty endurance section! It’s one of my most-used tracks on other games also, up there with Imola, Silverstone, the Nurburgring and Interlagos.

      I know for a fact I’ll be using Spielberg a lot when F1 2014 comes out! I just hope the old Hockenheim would be part of the classic content in a future game.

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 22nd January 2014, 18:49

      The funny thing is, tracks that are generally more exciting to watch on TV are the ones I don’t really like driving in the F1 games (Spa, Monza, Canada) even though they are the cool, high-speed tracks. The ones I really enjoyed driving in the Codemasters’ games: Catalunya, Valencia, Bahrain, Hungaroring, Malaysia…

      Some tracks I just find hopeless in real life and in the game, like Yeongam and Yas Marina. After starting the F1 2013 game and doing that Young Drivers’ Test, I realize just how much I dislike the Yas Marina circuit… although there are sections of the track I really like, that last sector is just no fun to me.

  13. Well it’s different. Doesn’t mean it’ll be better. Mind you the last couple of Bahrain GPs have been pretty good!

    Hashtag if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 21st January 2014, 23:38

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last Bahrain race to be honest, and that this is a effort by the Bahraini government to keep hold of it – if Bernie goes (which seems increasingly likely), I can’t really see a replacement deciding to stomach further political backlash by continuing to have a race which is taking place alongside rioting a few miles away.

  15. William (@william) said on 22nd January 2014, 2:35

    So Austria start time is at 2pm
    So Russia start time is at 3pm
    Aragon MotoGP has to be changed as F1 and MotoGP can’t be at the same time
    US GP starts at 2pm instead of 1pm local from 2013

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