Rain, Bahrain International Circuit

Rare chance of rain during Bahrain Grand Prix weekend

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix weather

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The first of two race weekends in Bahrain looks set to be mild and mostly warm, but there is also a threat of showers over the coming three days.

Rain at the desert circuit is unusual but not unheard of. It rained during last year’s test at the track, and as no teams had brought wet weather rubber, several hours passed with no cars on track. That shouldn’t happen this weekend, as teams have a standard allocation of intermediate and wet weather tyres for every race.

This race has never previously been held so late in the year. Darkness will arrive relatively early in November compared to its early April slot, with sunset at 4:30pm local time. That would normally be a relief from the aggressive heat of daytime sessions but at this time of year the temperature in Bahrain is a little cooler, and peak temperatures are likely to fall short of 30C.

Friday should be a fairly useful day of running for the teams. Although first practice will take place several hours earlier in the day than the race, the weather is expected to be cloudy which should lower track temperatures to be more similar to dusk.

Saturday will be more unpredictable, with a decent chance of rain in the morning and the possibility of further showers as the qualifying hour approaches. Bahrain is an arid country, with less than two days of rain per month at this time of year normally, but that doesn’t preclude one of them being during qualifying.

Race day looks set to be dry, though there is a chance of a thunderstorm in the morning. Temperatures will be roughly the same as on Friday and Saturday, with dusk falling during the race as usual at Sakhir. However, there will be a relatively strong (25kph) gusty wind, which so far this season has proven to destabilise cars quite severely. It will also spread sand and dust across the track, making grip levels more variable.

For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on RaceFans Live and the RaceFans Twitter account.

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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15 comments on “Rare chance of rain during Bahrain Grand Prix weekend”

  1. Let’s hope it rains. We all know Hamilton is the one and only rain master ❤️

    1. like he demonstrated in Brazil and crashed into Albon?

      1. invincibleisaac
        26th November 2020, 11:38

        That was a dry race

      2. Keep trying, limey pants!

      3. That was a “Schieb ihn raus” moment.

  2. Rain at Bahrain..? Yep, that sounds like F1 in 2020.

    1. @aussierod

      Or with the high winds, maybe a mini-sandstorm forming dunes on the outside of turns.

      Does Pirelli have a spooned sand tire?

    2. @aussierod Sounds more like my fair lady.

  3. Don’t worry everyone – all sessions of both weekends, as well as the Abu Dhabi GP weekend, are most likely going to be dry throughout. It’s the general 99% certainty or probability of dry running for these places, so not much point in counting on rain in the climate zone of these two. Warm nevertheless, with figures in the mid-20s forecasted as the highest of each day for the weekend.
    The sunset time for each day is 16:45 (16:46 for the latter weekend), BTW, which is the earliest of the year for more or less the entirety of Bahrain (for reference, the latest is 18:34). The earliest Bahrain GP to date is the 2006 race on March 12 and 2009, the latest on April 26. The ones since the introduction of floodlighting infrastructure have taken place on April 6, 19, 3, 16, 8, and March 31. the sunset time within the days from March 29 to April 19 range from roughly 17:53 to 18:03, so yes, the earliest of the year is quite a lot earlier than the ones during last season’s Bahrain GP weekend, but not really any impact on the temps post-sunset. The second weekend should be similarly warm.

    1. You’d think that but when we went to Riyadh the first time, having had one or zero days of rain in December for the past however many years, it was apocalyptic for 48h. There’s always the risk…

  4. It could happen during this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, but warm conditions mean it should dry out quickly

    This was the quote on the main page.

    I wouldn’t be so confident of the track drying out quickly. Having stayed in the Middle East, I can tell you that most of the road infrastructure is not built with fast / quick drainage in mind (barely any rain, you see). Next to my house, they used to wash a couple of school buses every Friday and the road would be flooded in knee deep water for the next 2-3 hours.

    Not sure how the circuit is built and what considerations are given for drainage. But I suspect it won’t be like Sepang/ Interlagos tracks where the track drains quickly!

    1. It tends to get ice like slippery too, because of the lack of rain generally the surface is oiky and dirty. That stuff starts ro float and normal roads are undrivable.

  5. Nothing wraps up this weird 2020 season better than a wet race in Bahrain or Abu Dhabi!

    Year 2020 keeps on giving!

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