Formula 1: Bahrain Reverts to ‘Grand Prix Circuit’ for 2011
Bahrain’s grand prix circuit in Sakhir will revert to its original layout for 2011 following the failure of the “Endurance Circuit” used for this season’s opener.
A twisting loop increased the lap distance to 3.91 miles and added more than 20 seconds to lap times but drivers complained it was slow and bumpy, with teams unhappy about the bump in turn six.
Shaikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the circuit’s acting CEO said: “As the inaugural round of the Formula 1 world championship’s 60th anniversary season, it was important for us to celebrate this momentous occasion by doing something very unique and different.
“It was an enormous task given the time frame we had to implement it, but one that demonstrated Bahrain’s characteristics as a race promoter prepared to continually make changes designed to heighten the awareness and increase the levels of presentation associated with the sport of Formula 1.”
One has to wonder what the race organisers have been watching in recent years because a processional race is certainly not “unique or different” in F1 and a slow, unpopular infield section does not “heighten the awareness and increase the levels of presentation” or challenge the drivers.
The 2010 race was won by Fernando Alonso, his first win for Ferrari and their fourth win in Bahrain, as they recorded a one-two ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. However, the top ten were eventually separated by over a minute by the end of the race.
The original “Grand Prix Circuit” has been used since 2004 producing four winners, with Alonso now the most successful driver at the track with three victories ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa with two wins.