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. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd January 2014, 4:57

    I don’t understand the hate for the Sakhir circuit. For granted, the location isn’t perfect, but the track itself is quite good for racing IMO.

  2. JohnH said on 22nd January 2014, 5:36

    I wonder will this put pressure on the Melbourne GP organisers to do the same in the future? As competition for running a GP is fierce.

    • joetoml1n (@joetoml1n) said on 22nd January 2014, 10:25

      I do hope that not many organisers attempt to host a night race (although as a British Citizen, an Australian night race would be more handy). I think night races aren’t the “be all and end all”, regardless of how good Singapore looks at night (anyone seen a GP2 race their under daylight?!). Although, over having a race (especially at Albert Park) pulled from lack of funding vs a night race, I would take the night race any day….

      • William (@william) said on 23rd January 2014, 1:58

        it will be good for ratings and viewing but the Albert Park weather is way unpredictable. Melbourne should have their GP start at 7.30pm local in Victoria. I think they should do it in 2015

  3. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 22nd January 2014, 9:46

    It will not be completely dark in the beginning of the race. The sun only sets at 17:57 local time, 3 minutes before race start. So for the first 20 minutes or so the race will be under twilight.

  4. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 23rd January 2014, 11:21

    It will be more brighter than this but here is a clip from WEC

  5. mfreire said on 24th January 2014, 2:41

    I like the idea of another night race- it adds to the show without clearly affecting the actual racing. But quite honestly- the Bahrain Grand Prix is simply the result of corrupt European politics and stupid, irresponsible, amoral and excessively wealthy Middle-Eastern royal families and government officials wanting to get more people to come and visit their country. OK- fine. Most countries have F1 races for that reason; I don’t have a problem with.

    But I, and I’m sure I an speak for many, many others, have a problem with this race. In my opinion, the situation is like this: the King of Bahrain and his heads of the Bahraini government have a totally warped mindset and are completely out of their minds, and/or they like to throw lavish parties with a Formula One race included. But on the basis of my first opinion- do these madmen actually think that this race will bring more tourism and build up their country? From 2004-2010, yes. But From 2011 onwards, it became a failed effort, thanks to what happened that year. They are wasting their time and money on a race that is and always has been an utterly embarassing, totally pathetic event that Ecclestone and a number of other people are reaping huge benefits from. Few, if any people will want to a country that not only murders its own people but they do not know what will happen to them if they decide to have a vacation in Bahrain. What also stinks is that Bahrain owns 50% of McLaren- they should sell it. That is the nail in the coffin right there- with the amount of money those ******** own, they simply cannot not have a race when they own one of F1’s most successful and historic teams and when they have lots of money to give away made from mostly oil reserves- how can Ecclestone and the teams not say no? This race will depressingly never go away, because of politics- something most Europeans love more than anything else because it makes their lives more interesting. What a shame.

    I am sure Bahrain is a lovely country with very nice weather and many other qualities, but the violence that has arisen there and the way the government has suppressed it is not only bad for F1’s image, but bad for all kinds of other sports. F1 is not at fault- but they should know better than to irresponsibly go into a country where they put their own employee’s safety at risk. Ecclestone doesn’t care about any of the team’s personal safety- unless outsiders find out about it and report it, or he gets involved politically in some other way. The 2012 and 2013 races proves my point. The people there only protest because the race is simply a way of the Bahraini government saying to the world, “everything is OK, nothing bad is happening here.”

    Everything about the Bahrain race is bad- aside from the last corner, the track is unchallenging, slow, awkward and clumsy in its layout. I challenge anyone to think of an exciting F1 race that was ever held there. If I were Ecclestone- I would buy 50% of McLaren and scratch the race from the calendar. It is wasted space, fat on the meat. The race in Abu Dhabi is a better event, and of course it too is in the Middle East. So instead of having a second Middle Eastern event, why not go to countries like Argentina, South Africa or Finland, where there is a knowledge of motor racing and where world champions and other great drivers have come from in the past? Or how about new places like Morocco, somewhere in the Carribean, Thailand, or even an American Roval (combined road and oval circuit, like the layout used for the Daytona 24h) at the Auto Club Speedway in the Los Angeles metro area?

  6. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 25th January 2014, 11:27

    Can we have some leader lights then?
    To demonstrate, here’s a Fiest…sorry, Aston Martin, that’s running 3rd:

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