Bahrain: International layout is first pick

Michelle Foster


Bahrain’s outer oval layout will make its F1 debut this season but, when the country is back to hosting just one race, it’s the international layout that will be used.

This season in light of the pandemic some countries are hosting two races, Bahrain being one of those.

But unlike Austria and England, the two Bahrain races will take place on different layouts.

The drivers will run on the traditional international layout for the opening round before moving onto the outer loop for the second of the two races.

However, Bahrain International Circuit CEO Sheikh Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa has made it clear that in future years, there is no talk of replacing the normal layout with the outer one.

“It’s an interesting year, I think decisions were made, especially with us, because of the situation that we’re in,” Sheikh Salman told

“It is a lot shorter of a track, and so for us, I think the international layout is something that we know more fans can see, because of the inner part and the technical aspect.

“It’s a decision that they made considering the situation that they’re in, and they would have to do more events.

“If we had one race per year, or if we were chosen for one race only, it would be on the international layout, which is like the first race [in Bahrain this year].”

Some drivers and team bosses have already warned of chaos on the outer loop with a lap in qualifying taking about 55 seconds to complete.

Sheikh Salman says F1 chose it run on the second layout “understanding everything” that it entailed.

“Formula 1 technically now have taken a more detailed approach to all layouts, where they put the cameras, where they put all of that,” he said.

“I think with Pat Symonds, they have a technical team now. In our promoters’ meeting, they have their own presentation saying what we can use, how we can use them.

“They’re approaching it more, which gives us confidence, that they chose that layout with understanding everything.

“The track layout and the lighting will be set up for F1 standards, and all of that.”

The first of the two Bahrain races will take place on November 29th, the second on 6 December.

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