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Speeding Into History

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Commemorating ’20 Years of a Modern Classic’ Bahrain Grand Prix

Get ready to rev your engines as the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 gears up for a historic celebration at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). This year, the BIC will be commemorating ’20 Years of a Modern Classic’ as the race marks Bahrain’s remarkable 20th anniversary in the top tier of motorsport. Scheduled from February 29 to March 2, the event promises to be a thrilling spectacle, with the race set to take place on a Saturday night for the first time in its history, serving as the opening event for the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship.

Ahead of the main race, Bahrain will host the F1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 from 21st to 23rd February, offering fans an exclusive sneak peek of the action to come. The anticipation is running high, with corporate lounges already sold out and grandstand tickets and hospitality options in high demand.

Details of the grand prix weekend were announced at the official public launch event, organised by BIC at The Avenues Bahrain.

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This year’s F1 spectacle is set to be headlined by three days of world-class racing, complemented by a colourful mix of incredible off-track attractions for the whole family.

Speaking at the launch were Tourism Minister, Fatima bint Jaffer Al Sairafi, BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa and Gulf Air Chief Executive Captain Waleed Al-Alwai.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and McLaren F1 Team superstar Lando Norris also delivered video messages at the event, which was hosted by F1 commentator David Croft along with local media personality Imran Al Aradi.

Bahrain F1 is set to open the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship and will be the mingdom’s first-ever Saturday night race, making for an additional spectacle to the weekend’s festivities at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” in Sakhir. Prior to the race weekend, BIC is also set to host three days of F1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 from February 21 to 23.

“Since 2004, our presence on the global sports tourism map has been solidified, backing initiative to make Bahrain a preferred destination for sports tourism in the Middle East and beyond,” said Ms Al Saieafi.

“The hosting of the Formula 1 event aligns with the objectives of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. The impact of Formula 1 on our tourism sector is nothing short of extraordinary. In 2022, we saw a remarkable attendance of 98,000 on all race days and 35,000 on the day of the race alone. In 2023, these numbers soared even higher, reaching 99,500 on total race days and 36,000 on the race day itself.”

She also noted that beyond the adrenaline-pumping excitement, these events are a golden opportunity to showcase the seamless integration and continuous development of Bahrain’s tourism sector.

“The array of tourist attractions, coupled with world-class facilities, reflects the nation’s commitment to providing an unforgettable experience for visitors,” she said adding that the ministry has meticulously planned and coordinated with all stakeholders to accommodate the growing popularity of motorsports locally, regionally, and globally.

The official slogan of the anniversary race was unveiled at the launch: “20 Years of a Modern Classic”.

“The idea of a modern classic is to reflect the fact that we are a modern circuit but have had the chance to create 20 years of history in the Middle East, which we are really proud of,”said Shaikh Salman.

“I think there are many fans who might find it difficult to believe that we are 20 years old, as we are often seen as one of the ‘new’ Grands Prix. However, we are honoured to be amongst the first in a generation of modern tracks, the first in the Middle East, and have had the opportunity to contribute to 20 years of racing heritage in F1.”

Shaikh Salman also spoke about what to expect at the 2024 race.

“We’ve got some incredible entertainment lined up for 2024 and I think there will be something on offer for all the family, and I’m sure a few surprises to come to keep the fans thoroughly entertained on and off the track.

“The hype for this year’s race is already significant, with fans across the world wanting to come to Bahrain for the first race of 2024 and celebrate our 20th anniversary. With our race sold out in record time last year, we expect the demand to continue this year so would urge fans to book their tickets as soon as possible.”

Shaikh Salman and Capt Al Alawi also unveiled 2004 and 2024 F1 show cars at the launch.

The show cars will also be displayed at various locations across Bahrain in the lead-up to the grand prix weekend, as part of BIC’s nation-wide fan-engagement activities to get the kingdom buzzing with excitement.

“We’re thrilled once again to be the title sponsor of this international motorsport event, now in its 20th-year in Bahrain, marking a standout moment in Bahrain’s social and sporting calendar for both locals and global visitors,” said Capt Al Alawi.

“The seamless connection between aviation and motorsports is evident, sharing a commitment to implementing new technologies in high-performance domains.

As the kingdom’s national carrier, this synergy extends to our partnership with Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority and Bahrain International Circuit, working together to attract international tourists, investments, and businesses to boost the national economy and globally showcase our country through diverse activities and events. We’re honored to support the Bahrain Grand Prix and hope all residents and visitors of Bahrain will enjoy our efforts to entertain them during this year’s historic race.”

BIC is also set to host Formula 1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 from 21 to 23 February.

The three days of on-track running will be the F1 teams’ and drivers’ only chance to sample their 2024 contenders ahead of the start of this year’s FIA F1 World Championship, taking place just one week later.

BIC will be announcing details in due course on how fans will be able to watch the testing and get a glimpse of the new cars and F1’s star protagonists in action.

Bahrain has become the ideal venue for F1 to hold its pre-season tests, with teams able to get maximum time out on BIC’s 5.412-kilometre track. This year’s sessions will mark the fourth straight year that testing is being held at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”.

Shaikh Salman also announced that the circuit’s Corporate Lounges have already completely sold out for this year’s F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. He hailed the tremendous response to BIC’s Early Bird promotions in grandstand ticket sales.

Last year’s grand prix welcomed over 10,000 international supporters who travelled to the Kingdom from all corners of the globe—the most ever in the history of Bahrain’s F1 extravaganza.

The F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 will be the sixth time the kingdom will have the honour of hosting the opening round of the new F1 season.

Both the FIA Formula 2 Championship and FIA Formula 3 Championship will also be launching their calendars at BIC, with the future stars of F1 lining up on the grid to showcase their prowess to the world.

Also set to support F1 will be the BIC-born and bred Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East. The region’s leading one-make series will be holding its fifth and penultimate round in Sakhir, with competitors from all over the world driving identical Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars.

As every year, BIC has lined plenty more in its off-track entertainment programme for the whole family to enjoy at the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

These include roaming performers, stage shows, carnival rides and so much more available on all three days in the circuit’s vending area.

Amongst the entertainers who will be engaging with fans and setting the festival-like atmosphere are Puglia Street Band, AJ Batucada, TikTak Marionette, Stevie Wheels, Juggling Dom, Stunt and Circus Extreme, and Carnival de Colores.

There will also be a stage shows entitled “Nickelodeon Rocks”, which will be bringing to the younger race-goers the most famous characters from popular TV channel Nickelodeon, such as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol and Shimmer and Shine.

Furthermore, fans can get an adrenaline rush in the thrilling carnival rides, which include the giant Ferris Wheel, which has become a favourite amongst fans at the grand prix, as well as the High Impress.

Adding to the excitement, Nezar Janahi has been announced as the winner of the first-ever Bahrain GP Superfan title, underscoring the passionate fanbase eagerly awaiting this momentous occasion.

Tickets to the grand prix are selling out fast and fans are urged to buy theirs as soon as possible. Various hospitality options are also available. For more information or to purchase seats, visit bahraingp.com or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17450000.

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