Screaming engines and burned rubber, if you like motor-sports, you most likely love formula 1. While you get the most information out of a race by watching it on television, it’s real when you visit a race. And that’s why we have bought tickets for the Formula 1 GP of Bahrain.
Many of you reading this article know, but a Formula 1 Grand Prix is not just a race. It’s a long weekend of racing around the circuit in different racing classes. Besides the formula 1 race, this year, there’s a formula 2 race and Porsche GT3 Middle East tournament. And it’s not only the races. There are practice sessions, qualifications and a lot of side-events that make the Grand Prix a fantastic experience.
Grand Prix entertainment
As there is so much going on on the track and a lot of promoter activities, there’s enough to see. When entering the circuit, there’s an area where you can relax and lay down in the sun. Meanwhile, you will be entertained by the various acts walking around. Getting hungry? Try out one of the many food-stalls that offer nice meals for a reasonable price (considering it’s a world-class sports event).
Depending on the type of ticket you purchase, you have the option to do a ‘Pit Lane walk’ allowing you a backstage preview of the team pit boxes. You will have a chance to watch the cars from up close and walk around on the track.
And even when the day has come to an end, and no more racing will be done at the track, you can stay a little longer and enjoy the concert being held.
The Formula 1 GP of Bahrain race
There is one main event though. That one event most of us came to the circuit for in the first place. It’s the actual Formula 1 GP of Bahrain race. While the free-practice races on Friday and Saturday perhaps only offer little excitement and a first glimpse and smell of the power of formula 1 racing cars, it really starts with the qualification on Saturday.
It’s this session, divided over 3 segments, in which the starting grid for the main race on Sunday is decided. In this session, the cars are tuned up to the max to set the fastest time possible. It’s where the first drama starts unfolding
Having seats at the Main Grandstand, you have a close-up view of the pit lane and start/finish line. With screens set-up on the other side of the track, it’s a good place to keep an eye on all the action. And on race day, it’s where you can keep an eye on all of the excitement. Ranging from the Driver’s track parade to a Gulf Air aircraft flying past close over your head, it’s a spectacle to always remember.
And the race hasn’t started yet! With the cars on the starting grid, the red lights go off one by one until the green lights turn on. An extreme scream of formula 1 car engines will greet you and the race is underway. It’s the start of a nearly 2-hour long spectacle.
Where to stay?
When in Bahrain, where should you stay? We recommend staying in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. While it’s about an hour to drive to the circuit, it offers the opportunity to explore the city and you’ll have a plethora of options when it comes to hotels, restaurants and bars.
Another, very good reason to stay in Manama is that you will be close to the airport. Depending on the hours of your flights, this might make it easy to get from and to the airport.
Tips for the Formula 1 GP of Bahrain
When you visit a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time, you might not be aware of the ‘little things’. We have been there to find out what those are;
- Bring earplugs
The Formula 1 car engines produce a really, really loud scream. Especially at the Grand Stand stage when it’s not filled with people, this noise can nearly get painful. It’s cheap to buy earplugs at the circuit too, which even might be a nice souvenir. Don’t be like most (local) visitors. If you bring your children, protect their ears!
- Bring a headset
If you love formula 1 and follow it closely, bring a headset so you can listen to the radio. Without it, you will most likely miss the radio communication between the drivers and only find out about some of the drama after the race.
- Apply sun-protection
You are in the Middle East and the sun is pretty much always shining. While it might not be hot during the time of the year, you will be out in the sun a lot. Better safe than sorry.
- Use public transport (cab)
If you decide to go to the circuit, but you did not include parking in your ticket purchase, you will have a problem. It’s nearly impossible to park close to the circuit. If you don’t have a parking ticket, going by cab is a very easy and inexpensive alternative.