Formula 1 raced on one of the shortest circuits to hold a round of the world championship when it visited Bahrain for the penultimate race of the season.
Having already raced on the familiar grand prix layout the previous weekend, F1 took advantage of the opportunity to race on the shorter Outer circuit for its second race, the Sakhir Grand Prix.
It produced one of the more exciting races of the year, though that was arguably not entirely due to the change in layout. Nonetheless should F1 use the curiously short circuit, with just four braking points on a flying lap, for future races?
It’s no coincidence that one of the livelier races of 2020 happened on the novel, short layout. The low and close lap times ensured the field did not spread out. It also meant teams had little time to react strategically and had to make decisions under greater pressure – resulting in the error which compromised Mercedes’ race.
The regular grand prix layout is nothing special, but the Outer track brings something special and welcome variety to the calendar.
The intrigue around the Sakhir race had more to do with George Russell’s appearances as a substitute for Lewis Hamilton, and the surprise of him first being in contention to victory and then losing it to a first-time winner, Sergio Perez.
The basic circuit offers too little challenge for Formula 1 drivers and teams. It was fine for a one-off, but the race needs to be held on a longer layout.
Some drivers were noticeably sniffy in their attitude towards Bahrain’s ‘Indy’ layout. I understand why – they got into this game to drive the world’s best cars on the world’s most challenging tracks, and one which only requires them to brake four times – even less than Monza – is not really that.
However F1 isn’t just a driving and engineering challenge, it’s also one of racecraft and strategy. Bahrain’s Outer circuit tests those in different ways, and it would be fascinating to see drivers and teams take it on again.
Whichever Bahrain layout the drivers use, this track is no Spa or Suzuka. So they might as well opt for the Outer circuit, which at least offers an intriguing departure from the norm.
Should F1 race on Bahrain’s Outer circuit again? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.
Do you agree F1 should use Bahrain's Outer circuit for future races?
- No opinion (0%)
- Strongly disagree (8%)
- Slightly disagree (12%)
- Neither agree nor disagree (7%)
- Slightly agree (31%)
- Strongly agree (41%)
Total Voters: 274
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