Bahrain International Circuit


Bahrain International Circuit


  • 57 Laps
  • 2004 First Grand Prix
  • Bahrain Grand Prix Grand Prix
  • 5.412km Circuit Length
  • 308.238 km Race Distance
  • 1:31.447 Pedro de la Rosa (2005) Lap Record

The Bahrain International Circuit has held the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix since opening its gates in 2004.

It is considered the first-ever Grand Prix held in the Middle East. Despite facing strong competition from neighbouring countries, such as Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain emerged victorious in securing the coveted opportunity to host the first race in the region. It would not be long before the UAE followed suit, hosting its first Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in 2009.

Bahrain Circuit

First Grand Prix2004 Bahrain Grand Prix
Number of Laps57
Circuit Length5.412km
Race Distance308.238 km
Lap Record1:31.447 Pedro de la Rosa (2005)


When was the Bahrain Circuit built?

Construction for the Bahrain International Circuit started in December 2002, marking the start of an ambitious project by the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Like the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, the developers were presented with a vast, sandy expanse, offering them a unique opportunity to create something remarkable from nothing.

With a blank canvas, renowned circuit architect Hermann Tilke created a technically demanding 5.4-kilometre track, featuring a blend of high-speed straights and challenging turns. The circuit has not only become a fan favourite on the calendar it boasts state-of-the-art facilities alongside the challenging track.

When was the first Bahrain Grand Prix?

On April 4th, 2004, Bahrain hosted its first Grand Prix, a historic moment for the Middle East as it became the first Formula One race to be held in the region. The competition to host the event was fierce, with Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE vying for the honour. However, Bahrain successfully clinched the opportunity to host the event, earning itself a prestigious position in the world of Formula One. The UAE would later follow suit by hosting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in 2009.

The 2004 race was dominated by the two Ferrari drivers, a common sight that year, with Michael Schumacher winning ahead of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. Fans also witnessed an intense battle between Mark Webber in his Jaguar and Fernando Alonso driving for Renault.

The Bahrain Grand Prix, traditionally the third race on the Formula One calendar, took on a different role in 2006 as it swapped places with the Australian Grand Prix to avoid scheduling conflicts with the Commonwealth Games. It moved to the fourth race in the 2009 season and became the season opener and pre-season testing track from 2010.

In 2011, the race was postponed and ultimately cancelled due to protests in the country. In 2012, F1 returned to the track for the Bahrain Grand Prix and 2014 marked a milestone as the track hosted its first-ever night race to celebrate a decade of Formula 1 at the circuit. Since then the race has been held under the lights of Bahrain.

The circuit was forced to make further changes in 2020 as it hosted two Grand Prix, the Bahrain and Sakhir Grand Prix, after the calendar was revised due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second race used an alternative layout.

Bahrain Circuit lap record

The official lap record for the current F1 Grand Prix circuit layout is 1:31.447, set by Spain’s Pedro de la Rosa during the 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix driving for McLaren.