After providing Formula 1’s first steps into the Middle East in 2004, the Bahrain International Circuit has gone on to become one of F1’s annual night races, and regularly hosts endurance events.
The Bahrain International Circuit opened in 2004, after being built at a cost of $150 million USD. Located 30km south-west of capital Manama, F1 broke new ground when it first arrived in Bahrain, as the Bahrain Grand Prix was the first F1 race to be held in the Middle East. The event has attracted political controversy over the years, and the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled due to local protests.
The promoters have not been afraid to experiment with the event. A move to an ‘endurance circuit’ was a miss in 2010, while in 2014 the race was run under floodlights for the first time; partly to improve the spectacle and partly to reduce temperatures for both drivers and fans at the track. Lewis Hamilton has the most Grand Prix wins here with five, while Kimi Raikkonen took eight podium finishes without ever winning the race.
With six layouts within one large outer-circuit, including a flat oval and a drag strip, track action is plentiful at the circuit. Aside from F1, major series to race here include the World Endurance Championship. The 8 Hours of Bahrain returned in 2019 after a year’s absence and continues to be a popular round on the WEC calendar. F1’s premier support series Formula 2 and Formula 3 also host the opening weekend of their seasons at the track as part of the F1 support bill.
The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix was postponed from its original date in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and took place behind closed doors in November. The race will forever be remembered for the fiery crash that Romain Grosjean suffered on Lap 1 and miraculously survived. One week later, Bahrain hosted a second race, the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, on the shorter ‘outer loop’ layout, which was sensationally won by Sergio Perez.
Since 2021, Bahrain has hosted the opening race of the Formula 1 season and will continue to do so in 2024. For the first time, the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix will take place on a Saturday night.
Learn more: Bahrain International Circuit in Numbers
Upcoming events happening at Bahrain International Circuit:
- November 4, 2023: 8 Hours of Bahrain 2023 (WEC)
- February 21-23, 2024: Formula 1 pre-season testing
- February 29 – March 2, 2024: Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2024
- November 2, 2024: 8 Hours of Bahrain 2024 (WEC)
- Check all upcoming events on the circuit website
How to get there
Bahrain International Circuit is located in the district of Sakhir, approximately 40km south of Bahrain’s capital, Manama.
The closest airport is Bahrain International Airport, just east of the capital Manama.
Bahrain International Circuit is not directly served by any public transport. The best ways to get to the circuit on race weekends is via private car or taxi/Uber. A taxi or Uber from Manama to the circuit should cost in the region of 15 BHD (35 EUR).
Renting a car is a good option when visiting Bahrain, as petrol is cheap and the road network is well developed.
On Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, you can get a free shuttle bus from both the airport and the most popular hotels in Manama to the circuit and back. Ask your hotel for more information or look for more information on arrival at the airport.
More information about getting to Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Getting There & Around – Bahrain Grand Prix
Where to stay
Bahrain International circuit is located in the suburb of Sakhir, which is approximately 30 minutes’ drive south of Bahrain’s capital city, Manama. As there are few hotels near the circuit and not much happening, we recommend staying in Manama.
If you are travelling to the Bahrain Grand Prix, you can also take advantage of free transfers from selected hotels to and from the circuit each day. Ask your preferred hotel for more information.
Here’s a quick guide to the best areas to stay in Manama:
- Amwaj Islands: Expensive resorts with private beaches, close to the airport
- Diplomatic Area: The main business district of Manama, popular with the race teams
- Al Juffair: Recommended for with nightlife, shopping, bars and cafes
- Al Seef: Home to the best 5-star hotels, as well as largest shopping malls
More information about where to stay for the Bahrain Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Accommodation – Bahrain Grand Prix
Take a guided tour of Bahrain International Circuit.
- About: VIP tours of Bahrain International Circuit are available on select dates throughout the year. The tour includes visits to the Media Centre, Race Control Tower, BIC Welcome Centre and Sakhir Tower, with great views of the circuit. You’ll also complete a leisurely lap of the circuit in a minibus.
- Cost: 7 BHD (approx. $18.50 USD)
- More info: Click here. Pre-booking is required.
- How to Register: firstname.lastname@example.org / +973 1745 0000
From driving your own car to professional driving or passenger experiences and go-karts, there’s plenty of opportunities to get behind the wheel at Bahrain International Circuit.
- Drive your own car at the circuit during one the regular “Open Track” days at the circuit. Prices start from 21 BHD ($55 USD) for a 3-hour session. More information is here.
- A wide selection of driving and passenger experiences are also offered at Bahrain International Circuit, including the Clio Cup Experience, Jaguar Experience Bahrain, Ducati motorbike riding experiences, and open-wheel racing experiences (Radical SR1 and SR3.) You can also take a passenger ride in a Top Fuel Dragster!
- The circuit also offers go-kart racing. Click here for more information.