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Bahrain’s F1 Triumph

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Bahrain celebrated “20 Years of a Modern Classic” in style

Red Bull racing driver Max Verstappen claimed a magnificent victory in a historic and record-breaking Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024—Bahrain’s 20th anniversary F1 race held at a brilliantly lit Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
The three-time defending drivers’ world champion started from pole and dominated the 57-lap event, celebrating “20 Years of a Modern Classic” as the first-ever F1 Saturday night race in Bahrain.

As a spectacular fireworks display dotted the night sky, Verstappen crossed the finish line with a 22-second gap, leading Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to a sensational one-two. They were joined on the podium by Carlos Sainz of Ferrari.

Verstappen earned his 55th career victory in F1 and second in a row at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East.” He also clocked the race’s fastest lap.

Presenting Verstappen’s winner’s trophy during the podium ceremony was His Majesty the King’s Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs Representative His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem also presented the FIA President’s Medal to the Red Bull superstar.
Gulf Air Chairman Zayed R Alzayani handed over the trophy to the winning constructors.
Youth Affairs Minister Rawan bint Najeeb Tawfeeqi presented Perez with his trophy for second place, while FIA Vice-President for Sport for MENA and Bahrain Motor Federation President Shaikh Abdulla bin Isa Al Khalifa awarded Sainz his third-place trophy.

This year’s F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix was the first of a record 24 rounds in the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship.

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At lights-out, Verstappen held his position, heading into the first corner with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by his side. Then, with clean air ahead of him, there was no looking back from there for the Dutchman.

Verstappen enjoyed his biggest advantage midway through, right before his second pit stop. When he rejoined the action on track, he still had a significant lead over Perez and gradually added to the gap while racing solo in front, disappearing into the distance.

With 10 laps to go, he was 18 seconds clear in front, and in the final two laps, he had increased the final margin at the checkered flag.

Verstappen’s total winning time was one hour, 31 minutes, 44.742 seconds. Perez, who started from fifth on the grid, was able to pass the others ahead of him in the race’s early stages. He was classified 22.457s behind Verstappen to form a similar top two from last season in Bahrain. Sainz took the last podium step, 25.110s from first, while Leclerc came in fourth, 39.669 seconds back.

George Russell, who started from third, finished fifth, 46.788 seconds behind Verstappen, while Lando Norris of McLaren was sixth, 48.458 seconds adrift.

Completing the top 10 and putting five constructors with both cars in the points were Lewis Hamilton (+50.324s) of Mercedes, Oscar Piastri (+56.082s) of McLaren, and the Aston Martin duo of Fernando Alonso (+1:14.887) and Lance Stroll (+1:33.216).

Rounding off the classification from 11th to 20th, respectively, one lap behind, were Zhou Guanyu of Kick Sauber, Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda of RB, Alexander Albon of Williams, Nico Hulkenberg of Haas, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly of Alpine, Valtteri Bottas of Kick Sauber, and Logan Sargeant of Williams, who was classified two laps back.

A total of 37,000 spectators witnessed the spectacular night race in Sakhir, the highest single day attendance in the race’s history, with a total of 100,000 attending over the weekend. 
“I congratulate Max Verstappen on his victory in Bahrain at our 20th anniversary race,” said BIC chairman Arif Rahimi.“The race weekend has offered a fitting tribute to our 20 years in Formula 1. Our record attendance yet again shows the popularity of the sport in Bahrain, the region, and beyond and offers us great confidence that we can continue to develop the event well into the future.”
He offered thanks to Formula 1 and the FIA for their partnership and support in delivering an incredible weekend of racing. He also acknowledged the teams, the Bahrain Motor Federation, marshals, and all those who enable us to put on such an incredible show for fans around the world. 

“Twenty years ago, we began our journey in motorsport, hosting the first ever Formula 1 race in the Middle East,” said BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.“We are deeply proud to celebrate our milestone with an incredible weekend of racing and entertainment. Our anniversary celebrations have given us a chance to reflect on our 20 years of racing history and the contribution we have made to the sport, while also looking forward to the future with great confidence. We now have a generation of fans in Bahrain who have grown up with the sport, and that same passion for F1 will follow for generations to come. Combined with the interest in our race from international fans, we are confident that we can continue to grow our event for years to come and deliver an event spectacle like no other.”

Fans at Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 were treated to an array of of F1-themed experiences and fun activities.

The Fanzone was alive with activations such as F1 sim racing, a pit-stop challenge, an F1 show car, driver selfies in augmented reality, a virtual pit tour, and much more, taking fans closer to the sport. On the family entertainment side were the electrifying performances by Grammy nominee Diplo and the German sensation, Zed.

The German Ferris wheel, offering a distinctive vantage point for spectators and pulse-pounding amusement ride High Impress were amazing attractions.

At the heart of attraction was a dynamic stage show featuring beloved Nickelodeon characters such as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol, and Shimmer and Shine, letting children immerse themselves in the vibrant world of these iconic characters and enjoying live performances that bring their adventures to life in a lively and engaging manner.

Young and dynamic music group, the Puglia Street Band catered an explosion of energy, while a world of vibrant enchantment with Carnival de Colores was a dazzling spectacle of colours, feathers, and sequins that transform every step into a dance and every moment into a radiant celebration.

AJ Batucada’s energetic performances, drumming up a storm and the enlightening world of illuminated TikTak Marionettes were magical, while Stevie Wheels and Juggling Dom were captivating.

Catering to lovers of traditional circus experience with a contemporary twist was the Circus Extreme.

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