Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is gearing up for the historic Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024, marking the 20th anniversary of the Kingdom’s entry into the sport.
Celebrating two decades of motorsports excellence in the Kingdom, lights will illuminate the sky as Bahrain introduces its first-ever Saturday night race, setting the stage for a thrilling start to the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship season. The nation’s pride and joy, the event promises three days of world-class racing and exciting attractions, from February 29 to March 2.
20 Years of a Modern Classic
The official slogan for the anniversary race, 20 Years of a Modern Classic, emphasises the Bahrain Grand Prix’s status as a pioneering, fan-favourite event on the F1 calendar. Expressing pride in the circuit’s history, BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, said: “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.”
Addressing the impact of F1 on Bahrain, Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Fatima bint Jaffer Al Sairafi, said that since 2004, the Kingdom’s presence on the global sports tourism map has been solidified, backing initiatives to promote Bahrain as a preferred destination in the Middle East.
F1’s influence on tourism is remarkable, with 2023 attendance reaching 99,500 over the F1 weekend and 36,000 on the race day itself, surpassing the impressive 2022 figures.
F1 Show Cars
To showcase the evolution of the sport over the last two decades, F1 show cars from 2004 and 2024 will be displayed across the Kingdom in the lead-up to the race weekend, as part of BIC’s nation-wide fan-engagement activities.
Speaking on the spectacle, Gulf Air CEO Captain Waleed Al Alawi said: “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.”
The excitement starts even before the race weekend, with the F1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing taking place from February 21 to 23. A tradition on the F1 calendar, these sessions offer fans a chance to get a sneak peek at the new season’s cars and drivers in action. Bahrain has become the ideal venue for F1 to hold its pre-season tests, with teams able to get maximum time on BIC’s 5.412-km track. This year’s sessions will mark the fourth straight year of testing.
In addition to F1, the FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 Championships will kick off their 2024 campaigns at BIC, showcasing future F1 stars. The Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East, born and bred at BIC, will also support F1, holding its fifth and penultimate round in Sakhir, with competitors driving identical Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars.
BIC’s off-track entertainment programme promises a colourful array of activities. Diplo, the 13-time GRAMMY nominee and renowned DJ, will headline the popular postrace concert. Born in Mississippi and raised in Florida, Diplo has collaborated with major stars, including Beyoncé and Madonna. As a member of Major Lazer and Silk City with Mark Ronson, he’s achieved massive success, including the Grammy-winning track, Electricity, with Dua Lipa.
Roaming performers, stage shows, carnival rides and engaging entertainers, such as Puglia Street Band, AJ Batucada, TikTak Marionette and more will create a festive atmosphere throughout the weekend. Additionally, for younger racegoers, the Nickelodeon Rocks stage show will feature beloved characters from the popular TV channel, Nickelodeon, including Dora the Explorer, Paw Patrol and more.
Bahrain GP Superfan
BIC and Gulf Air announced Nezar Janahi as the first-ever Bahrain GP Superfan, winner of a nation-wide search. His standout video entry earned him the celebrated title and an exclusive grand prize. Finalists also received valuable rewards, including Gulf Air flights, Bahrain GP number plates signed by an F1 driver and other gifts.
With anticipation building for this year’s F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, Corporate Lounges are already sold out, and with grandstand tickets selling fast, fans are urged to secure their seats at the earliest. This anniversary celebration is a must-attend for racing enthusiasts, so book your tickets now for a weekend filled with speed and spectacle at ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East.’ ✤