Formula 1 to use outer Bahrain 'oval' layout for second grand prix

Formula 1 has confirmed it will use the outer 'oval' layout of the Bahrain International Circuit for the second race held at the track in December

Formula 1 to use outer Bahrain 'oval' layout for second grand prix

F1 announced earlier this week that Bahrain would be hosting two races in the closing stages of the 2020 season after finalising the 17-race calendar for this year.

F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn said back in June that the series could take advantage of the alternative layouts that could be used in Bahrain, including the "almost oval track".

It has now been confirmed by F1 that the second Bahrain race on 6 December - known as the Sakhir Grand Prix - will be staged on the outer loop layout.

The configuration follows the current grand prix layout up to Turn 4, after which it turns left before a series of fast corners (see video below).

The cars will then rejoin the existing circuit at the top of the hill leading onto the back straight before completing the lap as normal with the double-apex right-hander.

At just 2.277 miles, the outer loop is more than a mile shorter than the current grand prix circuit, but holds an FIA Grade 1 licence required to stage an F1 event.

F1 anticipates cars will complete a lap in less than 55 seconds in qualifying and at around 60 seconds in the race, making it one of the shortest laps in the series' history.

Bahrain International Circuit chief executive Sheikh Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa told Autosport in June that he was initially surprised by Brawn's suggestion, but was open to the idea.

"It's a low downforce track," Sheikh Salman said.

"There's no way I'm going to compare it to Monza, but it's a track where you're going to run the cars on minimum downforce, so there will be slipstreaming.

"Hopefully we can have three DRS zones."

The outer loop has only previously been used for club racing and corporate events. F1 previously used the longer 'endurance' layout in Bahrain for the 2010 grand prix, but did not use the configuration again.

"We are excited to announce the outer circuit as the format for the Sakhir Grand Prix and want to thank our partners at the Bahrain International Circuit for their continued support," said Brawn.

"We assessed a number of options for the alternative circuit layout and concluded the outer circuit will provide the best alternative and will provide a new challenge for all the teams and entertain all our fans with high speeds and fast lap times."

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of Bahrain International Circuit, added: "We thank Formula 1 for all their work in analysing options for our second race and it's a great testament to our venue that we will be able to hold what is likely to be very contrasting races on consecutive weekends.

"Our outer track has never been used for international competitive racing, so will be a new and exciting challenge for all participants."

F1 also confirmed that the Sakhir Grand Prix will be held at a later time than the first Bahrain twilight event, making it a full night race under floodlights.

shares
comments
F1 Belgian GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening practice at Spa

Previous article

F1 Belgian GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening practice at Spa

Next article

Why the Bahrain 'oval' hints at an exciting future for F1

Why the Bahrain 'oval' hints at an exciting future for F1
Load comments
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021