F1 2013

Bahrain – F1’s next night race?

Amid ongoing discussions between F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Bahrain Grand Prix bosses, it is not only a five-year deal that seems ready to be struck.

Rumours abound that the first race of that new contract, namely next year’s 2014 Grand Prix, could be a night race.

Organisers are also pushing for Bahrain to regain the honour of hosting the first race of the season – a position it held in both 2006 and 2010 and was due to reprise in 2011 before civil disturbances gripped the island nation.

Bahrain played host to a Ferrari one-two back in 2004 when it was the first Middle East race to join the calendar.

Bahrain played host to a Ferrari one-two back in 2004 when it was the first Middle East race to join the calendar.

Bahrain GP Chairman Zayed Al Zayani has spoken openly about the possibility for the Sakhir circuit to be floodlit in time for the 2014 race.

“We are looking at many options. A night race could be one of them, but it is not the only one. It is our tenth race, and our tenth anniversary, so we want to do something different. But different doesn’t necessarily mean we will race at night. There are pros and cons to doing it, and all options are open.”

Mr Zayani also stressed the Middle Eastern circuit, the first in the region to join the F1 calendar in 2004, was open for testing sessions ahead of the 2014 season as well as the race itself.

“We are ready,” he said. “We have had a first race before, we have had a third race before, and fourth race before.”

A decision is expected between July and October as to the positioning of the Bahrain GP on next year’s calendar and whether or not the race will be held after dark.

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