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The Bahrain Grand Prix is one of the more recent additions to the Formula One World Championship. The Bahrain Grand Prix is the first grand prix ever raced in the Middle East, and is raced annually as one of the earlier races in the Formula One season. In its short history the race has earned a reputation as one of the best organised in the World Championship.
Lap Distance: 5.412km
Race Distance: 308.238km
Bahrain International Circuit
The unique climate and topography of the Middle East has lent the Bahrain International Circuit an exceptional character. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the racetrack is renowned for its vast run-off areas, which were designed to keep sand off the track. These areas provide a safeguard against collisions for drivers, and encourage driving at top velocities.
Bahrain Grand Prix History
The history of the Bahrain Grand Prix is connected to the development of the Bahrain International Circuit. Prior to 2002 Kuwait had served as the hub of motor racing in the Middle East, however, the development of the Bahrain International Circuit during 2002, resulted in Bahrain replacing Kuwait as the centre of Middle Eastern racing.
During the next two years Bahrain became the first Middle Eastern country to capitalise on the expansion of Formula One racing into the Middle Eastern and Asian markets. The country outbid countries like Egypt and the United Arab Emirates for the right to host the region’s first grand prix, and the Bahrain Grand Prix made its debut in 2004.
The first Bahrain Grand Prix was won by Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari. After his victory, Schumacher doused the drivers on the podium with carbonated rosewater rather than champagne, a tradition also unique to the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Future of the Bahrain Grand Prix
As a recent addition to the Formula One World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix is unlikely to introduce significant changes to race format or organisation during the next decade. The race has been lauded as one of the most professional and exciting on the circuit, and has been used to set a benchmark for improvement for several older and more established European grand prix, which have become somewhat frayed around the edges in recent years.
The Bahrain Grand Prix has also had a significant impact on the overall development of the sport, by proving that regions outside Europe are more than capable of hosting successful grand prix events.