Bahrain International Circuit, 2004

Six o’clock start for Bahrain night race

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

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.

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

42 comments on “Six o’clock start for Bahrain night race”

  1. Stupid BBC. Why aren’t they showing this race live?
    That’ll be a 4pm UK start like Brazil, and that time of day always gets good viewing figures.
    Now they won’t be showing highlights until late in the evening. At least the race will be in the dark too.

    1. they dont have a choice.

    2. if you think that is bad. just read a tweet saying the 2014 us gp will start at 8.00pm live(uk time)instead of 6.00pm so it looks like the highlights will be 12.30 to 2.30am for bbc.
      while im on about bbc gutted than gary anderson got the boot(because he looked too old and fat appaerently) especialy with the biggest rule changes in years. i can hardly see eddie jordan explaining what ers is or fuel flow is. the bbc better replace him or at least make james allan a pitlane reporter again like in the early itv days.

      1. Big deal!
        Try living in Australia and watching european races that start at 10:30pm
        Or races in the Americas that start at 2am

        1. Try living in Perth where its awesome to watch the majority of the races live in prime time at a great time

  2. Makes sense, the grandstands will be kept in the dark, just like the promoters would like the viewers to be.

    1. . . . the grandstands will be kept in the dark . . .

      so we won’t see that they’re empty.

      1. Haha! Good one (and probably true).

      2. That’s what I was going to write, but you beat me to it.

      3. Except for all the floodlights like in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, which will be necessary seeing as how Formula 1 cars don’t have headlights.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys, and here was me thinking they would be using candles.

    2. Exactly, a win-win deal this way, eh @hohum!

  3. Obligatory comment about being able to see flaming tyres, petrol bombs and other assorted pyrotechnic displays easier.

  4. Looking very much forward to this. I really like the track, and personally i think it has produced some good races. Should be great to watch.

    1. Agreed.. A lot of people go Bahrain-Bashing, basing their views on the track and previous races on the countries political troubles.. The track has produced many good races in the past, in fact it was (on this site at least) the highest rated race last year. When compared to 2012, when I believe Rate the Race was cancelled for that event (?), to me just shows that people are quick to jump on the anti-bahrain band wagon, without actually having solid views and soon falling back off!

  5. Yay….Not

  6. Very happy about this. It will make things interesting, especially if the temperatures affect the Pirelli explosions.

  7. So this will be the first race ever held at night in which the cameramen will be obliged to show the race rather than 3 hours of scenery like in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, unless of course, Bahrain builds something absolutely ridiculous next to the track in 3 months time or the riots are visible from the track itself…

    1. I understood that the FOM guys are already highly skilled at avoiding any footage of armed helicopters in the air, armed vehicles guarding the track and smoke billowing up in the background.

      Although a blazing fire might be harder not to show …

      But I appreciate it that you highlight the possible positives here @fer-no65, lets just hope the drivers and teams will make it worthwhile watching now!

  8. As a North American, I approve.

  9. Anything like the “secret” testing in December and tyres will be exploding on the main straight…

  10. In all seriousness, how will this affect the temperature of the race? I’m wondering if it might make the tyres and cars perform a bit differently.

    1. It’ll be cooler for sure. I’m in the UAE and the temperature at Abu Dhabi at night is quite a lot different from what it is during the day, it is a lot cooler and a lot less humid. I imagine it will be the same in Bahrain.

  11. I didn’t like the race during the day, so I’m looking forward to having a night race there…

  12. I always enjoyed playing Bahrain on my F1 games very much, with a peak in F1 2010. Will it feel the same under the Moon? It will look akward to start with, just like Singapore in the daylight, but only because I’m not used to it, though I don’t think it was either necessary nor an improvement.

    1. Likewise, I remember F1 2010 fondly with the tricky twisty endurance section! It’s one of my most-used tracks on other games also, up there with Imola, Silverstone, the Nurburgring and Interlagos.

      I know for a fact I’ll be using Spielberg a lot when F1 2014 comes out! I just hope the old Hockenheim would be part of the classic content in a future game.

    2. The funny thing is, tracks that are generally more exciting to watch on TV are the ones I don’t really like driving in the F1 games (Spa, Monza, Canada) even though they are the cool, high-speed tracks. The ones I really enjoyed driving in the Codemasters’ games: Catalunya, Valencia, Bahrain, Hungaroring, Malaysia…

      Some tracks I just find hopeless in real life and in the game, like Yeongam and Yas Marina. After starting the F1 2013 game and doing that Young Drivers’ Test, I realize just how much I dislike the Yas Marina circuit… although there are sections of the track I really like, that last sector is just no fun to me.

  13. Well it’s different. Doesn’t mean it’ll be better. Mind you the last couple of Bahrain GPs have been pretty good!

    Hashtag if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last Bahrain race to be honest, and that this is a effort by the Bahraini government to keep hold of it – if Bernie goes (which seems increasingly likely), I can’t really see a replacement deciding to stomach further political backlash by continuing to have a race which is taking place alongside rioting a few miles away.

  15. So Austria start time is at 2pm
    So Russia start time is at 3pm
    Aragon MotoGP has to be changed as F1 and MotoGP can’t be at the same time
    US GP starts at 2pm instead of 1pm local from 2013

    1. No, Austria start time should be 5pm local time. @william
      Russia start time depends on where you are in Russia.

      1. these are the times for the start of the races not when practice kicks off @mike-dee.

        1. I think I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about the Bahrain race start time in various time zones. @william

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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….

      1. 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

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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?

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

Comments are closed.