Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”, launches today its official 42-day countdown (Editor’s note: from Friday, February 19) to the highly anticipated 2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
The mega event will be the 12th edition of F1’s only desert race and it will mark the second round of the this year’s FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
It will be the third successive year that the action will be taking place at sunset under BIC’s state-of-the-art track lighting system, which will make for a spectacle that is unique to the F1 calendar.
The countdown was officially launched today at a Press conference held at the BIC premises in Sakhir. Speaking at the event were BIC Commercial Director Sherif Al Mahdy and Gulf Air A/Chief Commercial Officer Ahmed Janahi.
BIC Commercial Director Sherif Al Mahdy commented: “The 2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is right around the corner, and it is our time to shine once again.
“All eyes will be on the Kingdom of Bahrain in just a few weeks, and we are extremely excited to be hosting yet another memorable weekend for all the fans who will be joining us here at BIC, as well as for the millions watching on live television around the world.
“Over the past two years, we enjoyed a pair of epic night races that were both thrilling from start to finish. That has inspired our slogan for this year’s Grand Prix, “On the Edge of Action”, and we look forward to even more thrills this year.
“We invite everyone to be a part of our race weekend on the 1st to 3rd of April, 2016.”
Gulf Air A/Chief Commercial Officer Ahmed Janahi added: “Gulf Air has been the Title Sponsor of the FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX ever since it made history as the first Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East in 2004.
“In its twelfth year now, we are delighted to continue working alongside Bahrain International Circuit, as we serve the Kingdom of Bahrain, support its ongoing economic growth and strive to raise awareness of the many attractions Bahrain has to offer.
“As the Kingdom’s national carrier this is a key opportunity for us to facilitate travel to Bahrain and give visitors the chance to experience the trademark Arabian hospitality for which our airline is renowned. We are delighted to be involved in this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix: On the Edge of Action.”
The 57-lap Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to flag off at 6pm on Sunday, April 3. Qualifying on Saturday, April 2, will start at the same time, while an hour-long Third Practice session will be held from 3pm to 4pm. On Friday, April 1, Practice One kicks off the weekend’s action from 2pm to 3.30pm, and then Practice Two will be held under floodlights from 6pm to 7.30pm.
All 11 F1 teams will be vying for a coveted place on the podium, including world champions Mercedes and the talented pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Returning to provide a stiff challenge will be Ferrari rivals Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and McLaren veterans Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, all of whom are former world champions.
Also expected to make a push for the front are the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, Force India’s Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr., and Sauber pairing Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez will also be back, but this time with a different team in F1 debutants Haas; while Renault are making a much-anticipated return to F1 and will see Kevin Magnussen and rookie Jolyon Palmer share the race seats.
Manor Racing are back with F1 debutant Pascal Wehrlein in one cockpit and a to-be-confirmed driver in the other, rounding out the 22-car grid that will be lining up along the BIC main straight.
BIC has lined up plenty to enjoy off the track for the whole family
Off the race track, there will be plenty to look forward to for people of all ages.
Part of the public entertainment available at the F1 Village vending area are theatre shows, trapeze shows, children’s workshops and roaming acts.
Furthermore, a fully interactive F1 Fan Zone will be on hand, giving fans an exciting inside look into the sport.
Tickets to the Bahrain Grand Prix continue to be available. They can be purchased for seating along BIC’s Main Grandstand, Batelco Grandstand, Turn One Grandstand, University Grandstands and Victory Grandstand.
Tickets cost BD150 apiece for the Main Grandstand and BD120 for the Batelco Grandstand. For the Turn One Grandstand, they are BD100 each, while tickets for both the University Grandstands and Victory Grandstand are BD60 apiece.
Children aged three to 12 years old can get tickets for half the price, while entry is free of charge for those below three years old.
All tickets are for three-day access to the Grand Prix weekend.
Tickets are being sold at the BIC stands in Bahrain City Centre and Seef Mall (Seef District), BIC’s official website www.bahraingp.com or by calling the BIC Hotline on +973-17-450000.
For more information on the 2016 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, visit bahraingp.com or call the BIC Hotline.