F1 2013

Bahrain joins Singapore as night race

The Sakhir circuit in Bahrain is understood to have reached an agreement with FOM and chief Bernie Ecclestone that allows the Middle East circuit to return to the calendar in 2014 as a night race.

Earlier in the year, Bahrain had made a bid to repeat its 2010 performance as the curtain-raiser for the season, but plans were dropped as it emerged fans and teams alike weren’t keen on the idea after both races failed to impress before.

MotoGP has been racing under lights in Qatar since 2008.

MotoGP has been racing under lights in Qatar since 2008.

However, the new deal keeps Bahrain on the calendar with the added excitement of being Formula One’s first floodlit race on a custom-built racetrack, since Singapore’s event runs on otherwise-public roads.

“We requested from Bernie not to be the first grand prix of the year because we are undergoing a major refurbishment of our track to commemorate the 10th anniversary.” said circuit chairman Zayed Al Zayani.

“There are many things [upgrades], but the highlight will be a night race.”

An official announcement is due on Wednesday, and is expected to include minor track modifications in a bid to make the track more interesting for drivers and spectators. Formula One has taken its cue for the event from the Losail MotoGP circuit in Qatar that has been floodlit every race since it upgraded ahead of the 2008 season.

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