Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Bahrain Grand Prix extends F1 contract to 2036

2022 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

The Bahrain Grand Prix will continue to feature on the Formula 1 calendar until at least the end of the 2036 season after Formula 1 announced a contract extension with the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Sakhir circuit has featured on the calendar almost every season since it became the first Middle East nation to host a grand prix in 2004. It was absent from the calendar in 2011 following political unrest in the country.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the Bahrain Grand Prix will continue to provide “incredible racing and excitement” for fans through the extended deal.

“Since 2004 we have had some fantastic races in Sakhir and we cannot wait to be back there for the start of the 2022 championship as we begin a new era for the sport,” Domenicali said. “Bahrain was the first country in the Middle East to welcome Formula 1 and it has a very special place in our sport, and I personally want to thank HRH Prince Salman and his team for their dedication and hard work throughout our partnership and look forward to the many years of racing ahead of us.”

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of Bahrain International Circuit, said the extension of the Bahrain Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar reflected how the sport was continuing to grow in the Middle East.

“After 18 years of F1 racing, we are proud to have played a part in F1’s rich history and we now looking forward to continuing to build on that heritage well into the future,” he said. “The growth and interest in Motorsport in Bahrain and the Middle East has significant momentum, with a new generation of fans embracing our great sport and we look forward to continuing that progress.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix will again act as the season-opening round of the Formula 1 championship this year. This year’s race, the first to be run with F1’s radical new rules for the 2022 season, will take place on Sunday 20th March, following the second pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit the week prior.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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

12 comments on “Bahrain Grand Prix extends F1 contract to 2036”

  1. Since they turned it into a night race, it has become an excellent fixture in the calendar. The circuit layout is good, promotes good racing. The colours at night give it more focus compared to the dusty emptiness of a desert during the day.

  2. What a long-term commitment, past next decade halfway point rather than more conventionally 2025-2030 range.

  3. That is some serious long-term plan!! 15 years.

    Who thinks that far ahead!

    1. Surely there are escape clauses. As for thinking far ahead, F1 is all about money injection no matter the sport (luckily this is a nice track), while sheikhs don’t really care about tiny details such as financial sustainability. They are throwing money away for amusement and prestige. Now every little sultan has his own GP.

    2. The Hungaroring has an agreement in place until 2037.

      1. @hunocsi I had entirely forgotten about this.
        Reports on the 2037 continuation came out around the last Hungarian GP, so either they didn’t get widely reported (or at least neither here nor another site I use regularly), or I just forgot over time.

  4. I’m always torn on how I feel about Bahrain continuing to be on the schedule as while it is a decent circuit that often produced good racing, It rarely manages to draw a decent crowd & always lacks the sort of atmosphere you get when you have grandstands full of passionate fans. It’s especially frustrating when you consider that we have lost circuits/countries from the schedule that have a history with the sport & would attract fans.

    That lack of atmosphere & passionate excitement from the grandstands is why I hate Bahrain been the season opener as it always results in the opening round feeling flatter than when it takes place in Melbourne.

    1. Practicalities vs contractual obligations, the current way of consumer society vs common sense. I see it almost everywhere.
      Imo people (are being sold)/buy and buy into a lot of things what they would never need. This foresadows a far from bright future to me, even globally. In short, it is easier to make money, than to be fair. Things are sold because people are buying it, so the change will not start at the companies’ side anytime soon, but they will go even more money thirsty. It is like doping at sport, everything is legal until it is deemed to be illegal by the authorities. And then some hand washing and finger pointing comes often, even by the significant forces. All the time I try to look for the root cause of many things, or many complex seeming problems, I most often get to the human nature, to the most common attributes. Greed will not be penalized by authorities ;) But will the average level of intelligence and humbleness grow at a sufficient rate?

      On the other hand, just like many, I perceive that the Bahrain venue hosted some racing-wise good races in the past decade especially. So for example I was disappointed with it being not held amongst the first races in the corona era.

  5. We’re a long way away from the days of Bore-rain! Since moving to a night race the perception of this race has picked up massively in the F1 community. Although a 15 year extension is quite surprising, I wouldn’t have thought FOM would like being tied into that long a deal. Must be a lot of money being thrown at them.

  6. No complaints about it from me. As someone who’s only been an F1 fan since late 2017, I have never experienced a bad race at Bahrain. I know before it was a night race it wasn’t excellent, but this is the best track F1 races at in the Middle East.

  7. Build it and they will come, indeed.

  8. 2036 is not a real year

Comments are closed.