Which track should Bahrain use in 2011?

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The new section of track added little to the Bahrain Grand Prix
The new section of track added little to the Bahrain Grand Prix

If the point of the new course at Bahrain was to give us a greater appreciation of the old track it worked. I didn’t hear many people have a positive word to say about the new layout.

But the organisers claimed the new loop was designed to improve overtaking opportunities – at which it failed miserably.

So what should they do next year? Stick with the new course or go back to the old one? I say neither – they should try some of Bahrain’s other configurations instead.

New Grand Prix Track

New Grand Prix track
New Grand Prix track

Lap length: 6.299km
Laps: 49

I’m at a loss to explain why the Bahrain Grand Prix organisers felt adding almost a kilometre of tight, narrow, slow corners to their circuit was going to make overtaking easier.

The drivers called it “very slow” and “nothing special”. The teams complained about the bump in turn six. And only seeing the cars come by once every two minutes can’t have been much fun for the spectators at the track either.

Old Grand Prix Track

Old Grand Prix track
Old Grand Prix track

Lap length: 5.412km
Laps: 57

The original Bahrain Grand Prix circuit had a reputation for being one of the better circuits for overtaking thanks to its long straights leading into big braking zones and turns one and four.

Outer Track

Outer track
Outer track

Lap length: 3.664km
Laps: 84 (estimate)

The outer track follows the more interesting part of the new track including the controversial turn six bump. But instead of turning right into the very slow sequence of bends, it links up with the original track in the final sector.

I think there’s a lot to be said for this layout. The shorter lap length would make it harder for cars to escape traffic and it includes all three of the major overtaking zones.

Paddock Track

Paddock track
Paddock track

The Bahrain Grand Prix website says this track is “for spectator-friendly series such as the Australian V8 Supercars.” Why can’t F1 race on the ‘spectator-friendly’ track?

Lap length: 3.7km
Laps: 83 (estimate)


Which Bahrain track should they use in 2011?

  • No preference (1%)
  • Paddock Track (17%)
  • Outer Track (46%)
  • Old Grand Prix Track (34%)
  • New Grand Prix Track (2%)

Total Voters: 1,893

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You can see the different configurations available on the satellite map of the track:

New Bahrain Grand Prix track

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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154 comments on “Which track should Bahrain use in 2011?”

  1. In terms of uniqueness and opportunity, I would be interested to see a race on the outer circuit. Three potential slipstreaming spots and long straights for slipstreaming would create some opportunities, especially if we’d possibly be going to see a return of KERS in some configuration for next season.

    It’s hard to say if the race at the weekend would have been more interesting had they stuck with the old Grand Prix layout. The narrower front tyres and the cars’ dependence on aerodynamic efficiency could still have made it hard for the drivers to follow each other closely.

    Using the paddock track, in my opinion, would just take away one potential overtaking opportunity, the run to turn 4 in the other layout variations.

    1. (In my second sentence, I meant to say overtaking spots… ;-))

      1. plus obviously oils slicks, blazing tar barrels, oncoming traffic, underpasses, snipers and random drive-through penalties..

        1. Zandvoort, Brands Hatch, San Marino. Anywhere else.

      2. next year cars will be prepared

      1. classic totally agree

      2. Hahahaha! that got a giggle out of me ^^

      3. I cant agree more with you, Tommy!

      4. Its the changes to the cars and regulations that made the bahrain gp a bore, not the changes to the track; although they didn’t help.

        the combination of long wheel bases,heavy cars, tyre wear conservation, the rear diffusers that gave button the championship
        last year and yes the changes to the track, have all contributed to
        the dull race on sundy.

        so why do u want ppl to go “race somewhere else” TommyB, I wonder!

        isn’t that a little dramatic…oh oh yeh, i just got it, you were joking
        right! silly me :|

        1. ***Its the changes to the cars and regulations that made the bahrain gp a bore, not the changes to the track***

          I don’t agree, we have been watching V8 Supercars race around this track for 4 years now and I am yet to see a single interesting race. Yes most times it’s the cars and not the track, but in this case it’s both.

          It’s a dull track with boring racing and no atmospher, leave it alone and find somewhere else to play.

      5. Thats awesome. I agree!

        1. Nah disagree totaly tommy, who do you think cares about good racing more, the organisers of the Bahrain, Chinese, or Turkish grand Prixs. Who consitantly makes the most effort to improve their circuit year on year when their race is already one of the most secure on the calender, who is willing to make mistakes to improve a circuit they’ve received some pretty unjust complaints about. (excluding china where the complaints are justified).

          So if that really is your opinion where think we should go instead? Quatar? Because Bernie wants his middle East Grand Prixs we’re going to end up somewhere. Bahrain gets top marks for effort even when they get it wrong, hopefully next year they get it right, but what does rubbishing the circuit acheive.

          1. Well, I don’t agree, I prefer to rubbish it.

            But this is the first post an alternative viewpoint I’ve read. Good on you for having your own opinion….

          2. Totally agree with you Scribe! I am from Bahrain and know how much effort is put in every single race. Bahrain is a small country so it is easy to reach out to all of the citizens, and the organizing committee have done an astonishing job in marketing F1 to the public, which resulted in a great increase in attendance.
            Also the Bahrain International Circuit has done an amazing job in hosting the first grandprix. Every year is an improvement on last years’. The event lineup was great. Having all the Formula 1 champions and their cars was an honour. The entertainment is better and better every year, the concerts this year caused the crowds to stay at the circuit till late hours of the night. The BIC also remains active trough out the whole year hosting local races as well as international ones. This is very important because motor racing fans have something to look forward to throughout the whole year, this really makes Bahrain the motor sport hub of the Middle East. I am confident that the Bahrain GP will continue to improve, and will take in the criticisms and try to improve them for next year.

            Having said that, I must say I was disappointed with less pit action, for ppl sitting in the Main Grandstand there was less action for them to see. I’m not sure on where I stand about the new section, I feel I want to see more races to see how much of it was the new rules’ fault. Could there have been more overtaking under the older rule?

            @ Keith It’s true I did appreciate the older circuit more just for the fact that the cars went around faster and it allowed more overtaking. But the newer section makes the Bahrain circuit more challenging. I felt it added more difficulty for the drivers and added more character and obstacles to overcome. This didn’t really improve the racing or overtaking, but did make it more difficult for the drivers.

            The outer track is definitely an interesting option a lot faster but I think it’s a big change. I do like some of the inner parts of the circuit like the 90 degree corner and turns 19 and 21.. So I guess the old track would be the best option based on the feedback, unless the rules change.

            I attended the race so to me it was beyond exciting! The first race of the season, the anticipation, the predictions, who is going to win, how well will Schumacher do, are the new teams ready… It was enough to hear F1 cars zooming again! So I’m pretty sad that everyone else thought the race was boring.

            The race for me started off with an interesting start with the smoke from Webber’s car, then the retirements, the first pit stops came in very exciting, then I can see where the boring part came in, as I expected more pit action or something.. The time flew and Vettel was getting slower and it became interesting again as the podium winners zoomed past Vettel and then the checkered flag so it ended with a high.. I did notice that cars lapped at a much slower pace and I did want to see more pit action. But it was still exciting to see it live.. I’m planning on watching it before the Australian GP to truly judge how it felt like.

            I’m hoping bring more challenging tyres to the Australian GP, and can’t wait to see whether the new rules affect the race or not.

      6. one more vote on this one! pls forward this to bernie.
        there are hardly any spectators.the race was so boring cos the guys were racing with the desert as spectator.

      7. Why can’t we just have all 19 races at Interlagos?

        1. I’d miss Spa…..

          Actually, A race on the moon would be good for ratings…. Do you think Bernie has considered it?

          Attendance might be a bit low. stupid locals…
          Actually It would also meant that Bernie could start the race while the moon was over Europe…. just in case us Aussie’s considered watching…

      8. The races are notoriously poor in Bahrain so I would happily see fF1 move to a new “old” track like San Marino or South Africa instead.

  2. The outer track looks the best as it is simple.
    Reminds me of the A1 ring.

    1. i loved the A1 ring, redbull should make it F1 ready for a 2011 return.

    2. Thats what I was thinking. Would be good to get a fast low downforce track back, like the old Hockenheim

  3. WidowFactory
    16th March 2010, 10:22

    The outer track looks a bit dull, it’s almost an oval. Voted paddock track, it’s a nice length, has a number of different corners and looks like it has at least 3 good overtaking areas.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th March 2010, 11:08

      How many passes have you seen down into that left-hander that would be turn five?


      Now, how many have you seen going into turn four?


      You’d be willing to sacrifice one of the best overtaking areas in favour of a corner that isn’t good for passing?

      1. Quite so, PM. The paddock circuit is also totally devoid of fast corners.

        1. What about 4, 5 and 6?

          If 5 isn’t a fast corner then? well, what is?

          But the straight before turn 4 won’t help passing, at all. The fast left doesn’t allow for the cars to get by.

          1. I’d say those were medium speed corners, personally. Copse at Silverstone, 130R at Suzuka – those are fast corners.

  4. I voted Paddock track because it seems a unique layout.

    I actually think Fota or the drivers should choose the layout of each circuit. They know where it would be possible to overtake better than anyone.

  5. They should try the outer track. With no double diffuser next year, cars can follow other cars more closely and we might see more overtaking.

  6. I voted for the outer – I like the speed and flow, overtaking oppertunities.

    The streets around the hotel / building complex north of the track look more interesting though.

  7. I voted outer, theres a lack of high speed tracks, to many neutered with chicanes, or just dropped of the calendar full stop, the outer track there does look pretty quick.

    It sounds like the crown prince was hinting at keeping the new track for next year though, minus the bumps.

  8. I voted the old GP track. I think with this year’s race, F1 fans have come to appreciate that configuration a whole lot more.
    The outer circuit has a lot going for it, but I can’t see a GP happening there. Though it would definitely give the track that bit of zest it needs, it has a 99% chance of never happening. The paddock circuit, I think, is nothing special, and has a ridiculously slow start to the lap. And the information on the official website is out of date, because the V8 Supercars used the old GP circuit this year. :P
    I can’t understand why Bernie allowed the use of the Endurance layout in the first place. Didn’t he call for the maiming of Hockenheim because he had this grand vision of cars passing by spectators every ninety seconds? Time-wise, and I’m assuming length-wise, the layout of Bahrain they used this year was even longer than the old Hockenheim – and certainly, time-wise, longer than Spa!

    Some things in F1 we will never understand.

  9. I voted outer track.
    Short and very fast configuration, nothing similar in the calendar. I think it would be much easy to overtake also: low aerodynamical load cars, lots of straights and great slipstream effects.
    Why not trying it?

  10. to be honest, i think there better tracks out there. Bahrain should be pulled from the season

    1. where was the croud? something tells me there will be even less bums on seats next year in bahrain.

  11. Having seen the Paddock track a few times for the V8 Supercars, trust me, you don’t want it. Its really not very good at all to actually see. It may look interesting on paper, but in practice its a shocker.

    The V8 Supercars went to using the old GP track this year as they shared a meeting with the GP2 Asia, and its much better than the Paddock layout.

    Old GP track for me.

    1. yes, i was glad they switched tracks

  12. The paddock or the old GP track would suit me.

    The outer track looks boring, bland and doesnt look as if it will really challenge the driver, and that’s what the Bahrain GP is all about really. I’m all for fast turns and what not, but there needs to be a couple of slow corners too to test the driver’s braking skills and see who has more courage going into each bend.

    The old GP track was fine before, but even if it was used, I doubt there would have been much more overtaking than what we saw at the weekend.

    The V8 circuit reminds me a lot of Monza for some reason. It could be good, but again, it probably wouldn’t challenge the driver’s braking skills.

    However, the thing I did like about the extended circuit was the bumps on that section of the track. The drivers whinged about it, but it really challenged the drivers – yet again, that is what F1 is about as well, challenging the drivers and making them earn their pennies!

    1. yes! thats what i thought when i saw the bumps on tv for the 1st time – i was excited. The track is the same for everyone, so to a certain extent, get over it and get on driving – it is suppose to be hard and challenging especially for the ‘best drivers in the world’.

  13. Both the outer track and the paddock track are too short for an F1 race. I don’t mind the new layout, it doesn’t increase overtaking opportunities but it is clearly a challenge for the drivers (that’s why they were complaining about it so much!) However I think the best choice would be to go back to the original 2004-09 layout.

    1. What’s “too short”?

      The more laps there are and the shorter each lap, the more times the slow cars will be lapped and the more chances there will be for the leader to be held up behind one – unless of course he is excellent at overtaking, which of course the best driver should be!

      1. Actually, having looked at the relevant FIA regulations, both alternative circuits are over the specified minimum length for an F1 circuit (3.5km), but only just. Nonetheless, Monaco excepted, it’s been a long time since we’ve had circuits of comparable length in the championship (Aida and Adelaide, both last used in 1995, were the last tracks to have 80+ laps).

  14. I voted the outer, looks like an interesting prospect. Looks similar to an oval, i.e. slip streaming opportunities, but with a few corners as well. I hope they’d consider it, but I doubt they would.

    That guy that spoke during the race said they wanted their track to have some character, but it’s hard to hard character when you’ve just plonked a track in the desert, so why not go for something a bit different and go with the outer track :) like untitled258 said, there’s a bit of a lack of high speed tracks.

  15. I’d love to see another properly fast circuit like the outer track: it would also have the big bump leading onto a long straight, as I mentioned in yesterday’s round-up.

    Unfortunately it’ll never happen: I’m guessing they’ll use the long track, with the challenge ironed out following an inspection by Schuey’s Bump Flattening Committee.

  16. I would love to see a race at the outer track. It would certainly introduce a slipstreaming element, and it would be much more unique on the calendar with very low downforce. The old Hockenheim always produced great racing and unusual results, and I’m sure on the outer track the Bahrain GP will be a race to be anticipated rather than a race to be endured.

  17. I voted outer track. Following the track thinking of F1 cars I think this would be very nice actually. Also provides enough laps to do something strategically interesting.

    1. I looked at it again, and maybe all tracks are good but we should be driving in the other direction?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        16th March 2010, 12:38

        Then there would be nowhere to pass.

  18. Outer. Not exactly a great configuration (not one fast corner), but there might be some overtaking.

    Can’t see it happening though ;-)

  19. The organisers should use the old er track in future.

  20. The organisers should use the older track in future.

  21. The outer would be different and interesting – maybe not as a long term solution (I liked the old GP track just fine) but for a one off to see how it goes and how the drivers feel about it. If successful, then the FIA and Tilke may look into creating more faster tracks in the future. Even if it isn’t successful, I think most people would simply appreciate the variety.

    It’ll probably never happen of course, but we can dream!

  22. I think it would be nice to have a try at the outer track. Maybe they can get a go at being the most high speed circuit on the calender!
    The high speeds combined with the heat in Bahrain would make it a real hard track for the engines and tyres. Not to mention the bumps in corner 6.

    The paddock track might be interesting as well, or they could just return to the old layout which was pretty high speed as well.

  23. Barney Gumble
    16th March 2010, 10:57

    Like most people above I’d love to see race on the outer track. OK, so there’s not much to it, and I’m not suggesting that all new tracks should be so simplistic, but for the novelty of seeing F1 cars on such a high speed layout once in a while would be amazing. It’s a bit short, but so what, it wouldn’t bother me! Perhaps we should start some sort of petition to use that circuit next season- not that FOM ever listens to the fans…

    Oh, and I think that the claim that the new loop would add ‘new overtaking opportunities’ was basically a lie.

  24. I voted for the Outer Track but considering the length of that and the Paddock Track I don’t think it will happen, so failing that I hope they go back to the Old Grand Prix Track.

    As the New Grand Prix Track has the fewest votes so far with 3% that will probably mean it will be back next year.

    I think the Grand Prix calendar should have a variety of different types of circuit, so a car has to be a good all rounder rather than just suited to one type of track.

  25. The outer track is better as well for the spectators on track. Those that want to just sit and sleep in the sun can get seated on the secondary grandstand at the backstraight.

    The ones on the main grandstands would see the cars getting by almost 2 times as often.

  26. KEITH, it is imperative that you relay the result of the votes to the BIC management…

  27. The more I read the more I question…is there a single reason why they shouldn’t use outer track???
    1) Too fast…it’s formula 1 gran prix, it must be fast!
    2) Not a fast corner…I know it’s not like Parabolica or Lesmo 1, but the second bend, the forth and the long right hand with the bump in the new sector look quite fast.
    3) Too short course…what does it mean? The shorter the more car passages the audience can see.

    Again, I see no reason, but “conservatorism”, why we shoudn’t try.

  28. Prisoner Monkeys
    16th March 2010, 11:05

    Formula 1 needs a format shake-up. Make Bahrain a unique event: one hundred laps of the outer circuit. It’ll be sixty kilometres longer than the standard race distance, but it will be very quick, the equivalent of a sprint race. Lap times could get very close to a minute flat, so pitstops will be critical because a mistake is going to cost you dearly.

    Why can’t F1 race on the ’spectator-friendly’ track?

    Because it’s not very good. It was used by the V8 Supercars, but it wasn’t received very well. It cuts out the most interesting section of the old circuit, including the very challenging double left (the old turn nine and ten).

    1. That’s a really really good idea. I know some people want ovals but I think this would be a better solution, a sprint race and the pitstop thing would work brilliantly.

      Annoyingly the track won’t change for next year they’ll just smooth that bump out so it’s easier for the drivers.

  29. The problem with the new track layout (think they call it the endurance layout) is it’s inconsistent with the rest of the circuit. The layout of the old grand prix track is pretty open and flowing, some reasonable straights with challenging corners. The new section is just completely at odds with the rest of the circuit and didnt add anything to the spectacle. It would be good for LMS or endurance with a lot of cars on track but not for F1.

  30. I know there are supposed to be quite a bit of FIA regulations regarding F1 tracks but is there a minimum or maximum length for a new track in terms of lap length, number of laps or lap time?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th March 2010, 11:16

      There are regulations relating to track length; the maximum allowable is seven kilometres, but most circuits – particularly the new ones – weigh in at around five and a half.

  31. Outer Track for me. It’s very simple and very fast, but in that sense it’s unique for the calendar. Not quite an Oval so the purists can’t throw anything out of the pram. It would be fun watching the cars on such a track.

  32. Having watched the V8 Supercars in the past on the paddock track, I can say that its nothing special. It would remove the overtaking opportunity at 4, leaving only two possible.

    I think that next year they should try the outer layout or use the old GP track, although I think its more likely that the new GP track will be used again.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th March 2010, 11:25

      I don’t know – if there’s one point in Bahrain’s favour, it’s that the organisers seem to genuinely want to put on a good race, even if they have trouble getting bums on seats. Given the reaction from drivers and fans, the organisers may be amenable to reverting to the old format or trying the outer loop. They’d certainly be easier to persuade than any of the other circuit owners/organisers.

      1. Wait, someone, wants to do things to please the fans? wow….

  33. Have it on the Sao Paulo street track they had the Indycars on this weekend, that looked like a cracking race..

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th March 2010, 11:41

      Yeah, apart from the first of their names being ‘B’, there’s no similarities between Bahrain and Brazil. To have a race on the Sao Paulo treet circuit would mean losing Interlagos … which is basically a crime worthy of crucifixion.

      1. Also F1 would never be allowed the race there because of the bumps

      2. We should have both the SP street and the regular track! Just call the second race the Bahrain GP, what the heck they did that with the ‘Luxemborg’,’European’ and ‘Pacific’ GPs right ?

  34. I think they should use the Nordschleife.

    1. you beat me to it

    2. People would complain about only seeing the cars every 6-7 minutes ;)

  35. I posted this in an earlier thread, but I think they should use something like this, if anything:


    You get the speed of the other circuit, and the turns of the inner circuit, but it makes better use of the extended circuit’s wiggly bits.

    1. This look great! Reminds me the old Interlagos…

    2. That looks nice, maybe we can have a try at persuading the Track management!

      Where did you get this layout from?

      1. I drew a black line over a map of the track I nicked from the preview page of this website, so It’s my own design, but uses existing track in all but one point (the transition from the drag strip to the infield).

    3. That would be my first choice, although I cannot make up my mind about the direction…maybe this lay out and then anti clock wise?

      2nd the outer and 3rd the old track

    4. That looks fantastic and I especially like how it uses roads that are already there. The general layout kinda gives me a Sebring feel. If this were an option i’d choose this THEN the Outer circuit.

      Can we get this to the organisers?

  36. I say, bring back the old Hockenheim layout.

    But, hold on a minute, oh no you can’t because you’ve KILLED IT!!! The reason – too few laps for people to enjoy the spectacle. It was 45 for those that don’t remember. 45 of fast exciting laps. So may I ask why is it ok for Bahrain run 49, boring like hell laps?

    Those are the reminders, sad isn’t it. http://octane.ie/forum/showthread.php?t=29408

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th March 2010, 12:42

      Actually, the reason why it was dropped was because there was no access to the Ostkurve for safety vehicles. Given that Tilke’s re-design treated the old circut as a perimeter – considering that he never extended beyond it – it’s fairly obvious that the owners of Hockenheim do not own the land surrounding it. I suspect it may be some kind of national park or protected land. In the event of a serious accident (think Robert Kubica in Monteal), safety vehicles would have to drive from the pit lane to the scene of the accident, losing critical time all the while.

      1. Don’t tell me you believe that.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          16th March 2010, 14:26

          It makes more sense than some crack-brained rationale that it had to do with spectators not seeing the cars enough. After all, Hockenheim was within the FIA’s guidelines for maximum circuit length and they don’t seem to have that problem at Spa, which is longer than the old Hockenheim.

        2. Why shouldn’t that be the truth. The forest sourounding Hockenheim is hauntingly beautiful, especially to motoracing fans. An Hockenheim wasn’t quite up to scratch anyway, an despite the rose tinted spectacles we look at the old track with all it had going for it was that it had the fastest straights, back in the day. All the contempories of the circuit said it was souless as anything, an crucially difficult to overtake on. The modern circuit may be very bland but at least it produces good raciingn an has at least one good overtaking spot.

    2. @Hockenheim

      Those photos almost made me cry. I hate going back to Hockenheim because it reminds me of what a great circuit has been slaughtered. D:

      Isn’t there anything, any of us fans can do to get our point across!!!! Proper circuits please!!!!!!!

  37. I know it’s only the angle but the illustration of the outer circuit brings to mind Reims and consarn it that’s the kind of track we need! PUT F1 ON THE OUTER!…..uh yeah ;)

  38. The reason which the organizers gave was that adding the extra kilometre helped in spacing out the cars, as there were supposed to be 26 this year.

    I prefer the old track. Races on it in 2006 and 2009 have been pretty exciting. It is one of the few layouts that can produce good action even in the dry.

    1. I don’t know why they thought they should do that, closer cars means better racing, rule 1. Totaly baffles, surley someone could have told the well meaning Bahraines that this would kill the racing.

      Hopefully Sakir learns that what ain’t broke.

  39. The outer track would be very fast, Which of course the spectators would like, but is it safe?

    Well, Bahrain is one of the safest facilities of the world class tracks and it has positively mammoth run off areas, It just might be feasible, That and It wouldn’t be another Tilkedrome, It would actually be different!

    I hope the outer track gets used, It’s good for the spectators, I wonder how the drivers would take it?

  40. UneedAFinn2Win
    16th March 2010, 12:51

    Which track should Bahrain use in 2011?

    Barber Motorsport Park, Birmingham, Alabama.

  41. GooddayBruce
    16th March 2010, 12:54

    The new Layout is awful. The slow and twist section served only to spread out the cars and prevent any overtaking happening at other parts of the lap.

    The outer track is very old skool but I can’t see F1 returning to a layout of that sort at the expense of the technical section that precedes and the fast open corner that follows the back straight.

    The paddock layout is designed for spectators – but there are no spectators at Bahrain so there is no point in this.

    Better to revert to the old layout in my mind.

  42. What I really want to see, and have wanted to see for some time, is a track with optional configurations. So there are parts of the track that split into two then recombine with one route benefiting reduced downforce settings and requiring more speed and another benefiting higher downforce low speed settings (low and high being comparative rather than absolute), or even just two different routes.

  43. Andrew White
    16th March 2010, 12:56

    The outer track would be interesting, but the laps would probably be under a minute long.

    1. That would be good if the race turns of to be boring like this year – at least the laps would appear to go past quicker!

  44. Outer track or nothing at all.

    Since the majority of people seem to prefer the outer layout we can expect them to ignore us all and carry on with the mickey mouse rubbish we watched on Sunday.

  45. The Outer track, of course.
    – They would really have to deal with the trafic.
    – Turns 5-6-7-8 are the most interesting of the entire track configurations.
    – The inside part of the Bahrain circuit is boring (except the long and fast right after the backstraight).
    – We don’t have “short tracks” in F1, it would be have to have one and therefore add some variety.

  46. “would be nice to have one”, sorry

  47. therealjackson
    16th March 2010, 13:30

    if their hell bent on using part of the endurance layout, how about http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3549303

    1. If they desigen your version with following in mind it could add some quick elevation change and a new overtaking point. I like it.

      You would still have to widen the road, tighten, possibly make a hairpin out of the corner at 4km. Possibly loose the rather good looking fast corner before, depending on how much it space out the cars or if it was followable.

      No idea again what the bend after 4k would do. Basically for your circuit to work, an I think it could you would have to be absoultely sure that by the final corner the cars where pretty close. Fundementally though it could work, great job.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        16th March 2010, 21:25

        Yeah, you can’t just “add a elvation change” so easily. They’d need to dig it all up, build som aritficial hills and then re-build the circuit. Not worth it.

        1. Well obviously not, but why add whats already there?

  48. why doesn’t the renault have any LADA logo on the side of it in the photo?

  49. I think out of all the new circuits Bahrain has been the best maybe not always in terms of circuit but in terms of organisation.

    For instance, we already know that the layouts going to be different next year, why? Because the prince who suggested the change, for reasons motoracing fans would approve of said it made the racing worse. Well fantastic, we all complain about flat, featurless, boring long straights and corners Bahrain. What do they do? They give it some features and they try and add a different flavour to the track, though that change somewhat missed the point, yet they already admit they’ve got it wrong and promised to fix it.

    Frankly I think they should go back to the old layout, or keep trying new things. But I don’t think it’s fair to say the old track had no charcter, sure the surroundings where bland. Which there proving is fixable but the track was designed with one thought in mind, how do you overtake in F1 well, you exit a corner under better mechanical traction to carry better speed on to the straight, you use that extra pace and the slip stream to get along side an either cleanly pass them on the straight or under braking, or if we lucky fight for position on track through the next complex of corners. Which may well have been what they where aiming at through the new section. Unfortunatley the new section was too narrow and two high downforce the twin banes of modern F1, it’s why Singapore and the Hungaroring are such nightmares. Despite part of the principle being a good idea the new section killed what the rest of the track was designed to produce, by a man much cleverer than we. (See Sakir, Sepang and Istanbul Park).

    Lessons for Sakir an all tracks keep the track philosophy in mind when designing and changing your track. If what your adding on is very different from the rest of the rest of the track the rest of the track will change. Bahrain could be improved but you have to remember what works in a circuit to improve the character that it already has, it’s nigh on impossible to change the character of a circuit already built unless you Hokeinheim it.

    Bahrain is a place I, like a few others have warmed up to because the orgainisers actually have the veiwers wishes at heart. Quite simply we lucked out, the guy whose funding this is a petrol head and a fan of F1. It’s why i’m a fan of the Sakir circuit in generall, providing they keep it up.

    1. yes scribe well said, at least they are listening and trying to improve things, good on them

  50. I think that the problem with modern tracks is that they lack character because they have all kinds of turns on one track. The Outer Track would have some in my opinion!

  51. I think the outer track would be interesting. I also think they should try running the race a little later in the day. It’s so bright that even I have to squint just looking at the tv!

  52. I think the first one. This new track have very slow corners… bored…

  53. Maybe they should add jumps and a couple water hazards. I don’t think much short of that could liven up the racing at this track.

    I’ll be the 84th person to recommend the outer track; it’s like the old Silverstone, a speed drome. You might even see cars save pit time by stopping only for left side tires, as in NASCAR.

    1. I too voted the outer circuit, but I don’t know where people are getting the idea that it’s a fast circuit from. It’s more reminsiscent of the reviled A1 Ring rather than Silverstone of old – no fast corners.

      Unless fast means simply long straights these days of course.

  54. How about a second race in Interlagos or Spa, and we’ll just call it the Bahrain GP. Cover up the Sakir circuit with sand and forget about it.

  55. The best would be the outter track with few added corners.

  56. “Which track should Bahrain use in 2011?”


  57. Marc Connell
    16th March 2010, 15:08

    outer ring or paddock track. Looks like the cars will be fast there, Less corners = closer racing and maybe more over taking.

  58. I think the old track configuration is the best option, but not the tracks are main issue of th lack of overtaking. The main issue is aerodynamics and engine power. When in f1 was V10 engines there were more overtaking. But when V10 were replaced by V8 the speeds in the corners increased, and then began a new era of aerodynamics, because engine development was frozen, then teams began to spend more money on aerodynamics. So FIA should let development of engines, because it haven’t reduce the costs sa expected. What do you think, Keith?

    1. Like I said the other day, it’s mostly an aerodynamics thing: Bringing back refuelling will not solve F1’s overtaking problem

      But I do think some mistakes are being made with the choice of tracks and the long Bahrain layout was a case in point. Ditto Abu Dhabi – why build chicanes into a new design? Barmy.

      1. But when engines were more powerful, there was harder to control an F1 car, so overtaking was easier.

      2. Abu Dhabi is a scandalous, particularly repulsive case of lots of money but no imagination or taste. Even the V8 Supercar race there was pathetic.

        But not all new tracks are bad.
        – Portimao is looks good and but is not used.
        – I thought Dubai Autodrome was quite interesting but there seems to be no more racing at all there anymore. Why?
        – Paul Ricard has returned to hosting races. The new layouts are not the bad, the long Mistral straight is still there, combined with the challenging technical section at the end of the lap.
        – Sepang is also a class track in my opinion: a nice mix of fast, flowing complexes and big braking areas for slow corners.
        – And Istambul has a few interesting corners.

        1. …if we really have to keep Bahrain, I’d go for the outer circuit.

          If the big bosses want to give the place more character, get rid of all the color and scale down the modern shiny buildings to a minimum. Make it look like a real race in the desert; it’s the only character this place can ever have.

          A high speed slipstream contest through the desert might turn into something classic.

  59. The outer track has fascinated me since the moment I saw it on Google Map. I think it has alot more “character” (which the Sheik was saying he wanted) than any of the other layouts, and atleast has a unique look compared to any other track on the calendar.

    It reminds me of a cross between a scaled down Le Mans and the A1 ring, both of which I thoroughly enjoy.

  60. I think they should reshape the new section like this


    not sure if that link will work….

    But it would add 2 passing zones IMHO.


  61. F1 should never be racing in Bahrain.

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth.
      There should never be another F1 race at that place.(Country or track)

  62. The outer track would be as good for overtaking as the new Hockenheim, plus it would be different from the normal garbage we’ve been used to getting from Tilke.

  63. Here’s a thought I can’t beleive nobody has mentioned before … …

    … … why not simply REVERSE the old layout and go the OTHER way round the track instead ??

  64. richard hughes
    16th March 2010, 19:34

    i think we should not even bother going to Bahrain, The only reason we go there is to satisfy the pockets of the high flyers in the f1 industry, if they want character and us to enjoy watching F1 they need to either make a whole new track in Saudi Arabia or move the whole race to a new location, Russia would be an interesting area to host a race, maybe every year we should have one race on a different track to liven up the following seasons.

  65. I agree with Keith : outer track and no refueling return.
    Also, please no KERS nightmare return. Several people ended in the madhouse because of KERS.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th March 2010, 21:29

      Actually, they’re looking at introducing a mandatory, standardised KERS unit for 2011. Which is the way it should have been introduced.

      1. If they reintroduce KERS teams should be allowed more freedom. More time, more power. KERS is a massively costly thing to design and develop, and to go to all that cost for a measly 80bhp for a lousy 6 seconds just isn’t worth it.

        Standardised KERS is also a daft idea. We already have too much standardisation in F1, so if you have a good KERS system you should be able to reap the benefits, it you don’t, tough. Make up the difference somewhere else.

        1. How about a KERS from the engine manufacturers i.e. the 3 Mercedes teams use a Mercedes KERS and likewise for Cosworth teams etc.

  66. Keith,

    No track in 2011. Cancel bahrain.. bring back Estoril or Austria, or another one in Italy. Drop the other dogs in the calendar.

  67. I like the Quebec track. Though Melb should be the 1st race of the year

    1. I will take that offer any day of the week!

  68. The old track was better, I hope they are back with it in 2011.

  69. The current layout is acceptable.They should be able to get v job done in turn 1.

    1. Is this the first comment in support of the new track?

  70. Though I like the downhill double-left, I think the Outer layout should be used. It would be pretty unque, make the GP distinctive, endear it to many of us who miss the old Hockenheim, and make it more of an overtaking-friendly track.

    As for Abu Dhabi, that would be best served by removing the chicane before the hairpin and making the entrance tighter instead, and making a sharp hairpin at the end of the second long straight, leading straight into the triple-right instead of the left-right chicane into a left-hander we have now. Although I do worry about F1 visiting countries with sketchy human rights records (of course, many of our own have blights on them too, but you can bet detractors won’t think too much about that).

  71. yeah outer layout is good also .Maybe they could could tighten turn 1 a little more so they have 2 slow even more 4 turn 1. err thers v tilke in me.It,s good including different nations and cultures.

  72. It’s a combo of the new tracks and current cars which made F1 so boring, but manly the cars. FIA needs to get the car designers together so that every team has the same aero package (ie a car that punches a massive hole in the air, with loads of downforce) Then it would be left up to the engine-transmission package, stratgy and driver skill. This equals less testing, less wind tunnels, happy fans which equals more money for Uncle Bernie!!!!

  73. That Outer track is getting suspiciously close to an Oval Keith… be careful what you wish for!

    1. An oval, you say! Now you’re talking…

      Why F1 should race on ovals

      1. I’m still not convinced that ovals are right for F1 Kieth, but I am all for low downforce and high top speeds. The chances of actually using the outer track, as fun as it looks, are slim to none.

      2. Ovals for F1? Sorry Keith, but I hope not, I still see the Indi 500 cars from the late 60’s, that weighted a tone, talking Cadillac heavy here, and the front wheels only locked one way, left, not really something you could take to anything but another oval. I would love to see it once though, maybe at the Indi 500 ‘oval’ without the silly wiggly infield bit F1 plopped in to appease the European fans!

  74. Robert McKay
    17th March 2010, 10:52

    The simple fact is the outer and paddock tracks do not have enough corners.

    For some reason F1 has got it into its head that all the tracks have to be ridiculously overdesigned and overly long, and generally have a ridiculous number of slow, silly, footery corners.

    The relatively simple layouts of an A1 Ring, or a Montreal, are becoming an anachronism in the modern form of the sport.

    We don’t need tracks with 21 corners if 15 of them are rubbish and add nothing. We only need tracks with 7 or 8 good corners. If we have to have more laps to ge tthe race distance, then so what. Lets not just have corners for corners sake.

    An F1 race on the outer circuit at Bahrain would be interesting to see – but just looking at the sheer simplicity of the track map can you imagine it getting on the F1 calendar? I can’t.

  75. The “New Grand Prix Track” is a joke, and making use of it for the opening race of the most widely anticipated Formula One season in recent memory was a huge mistake. The slow fiddly section offered nothing new and helped contribute to a massive field spread in Shakir.

    I ahd my doubts about Bahrain hosting the opening race of the season long before the decision to use the “New” section of track was taken, because Bahrain has tended to host quite dull processional races anyway. A massive fail by F1 Management and the FIA.

    That doesn’t mean that i won’t be watching the second race however! ;)

  76. Don’t use the endurance track again. The original is the best.

    But maybe a fifth alternative could be that, the drivers take a left turn just before the final corner, and leave this track for good.

    I don’t really mean that, I do like Bahrain in general.

  77. John Edwards
    17th March 2010, 18:57

    Bahrain never sat me with very well as it was clear from the onset that it was only going there for the money.

    The crown prince impresses me though as he does come across as a fan and is trying to improve his race.

    I don’t think the circuit is all that bad really in general but I think it could really be tweaked to make it more of a drivers track.

    That new section really needs bombing after the first 90 degree right.

    I never saw the point in the last corner either, all it does is spread the cars out.

    Anyhow, I was bored so I redesigned it, probably wouldn’t cost too many camels either…


  78. I think its more due to the sophistication of the car’s nowadays that has lended itself to F1 not being as overtaking friendly as it has in the past..

    my advice would be during scrutinineering to have them randomly take a piece of the car off deemed as not critical to the running of the car :) or by hacking into those over-complicated “double-diffusers” i also think f1 is the only motorsport that would benefit from success ballast.. making those at the front earn their place another way!

  79. I think it’s unfair to blame the new layout of the track for a boring race. Except Karun Chandok, I don’t think any driver has reason to complain about the new layout. The refuelling ban is not going the way FIA wanted it to and I think that is the reason Bahrain GP was a procession rather than a race. It’s too early to blame the new layout.

  80. ‘No crowd’ seems like the fans are finally voting with there buts, do you think the powers that be can hear the message? Not likely, the sound of money blocks out any other noise.

  81. I figure we should try them all and hopefully one will give the media something positive to write about, and the fans something to enjoy…

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