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Until Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024

Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024

Event Overview

BIC is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, as the opening round of the 2024 season and its first-ever Saturday night race at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East on 29 February to 2 March 2024.

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Hospitality

Due to exceptional demand, we have continued to expand our hospitality offerings. This year, we are delighted to offer The Dome Lounge by F1 Experiences, as well as The Champions Club, both tailor-made in response to the massive interest in hospitality options for the grand prix. In addition, the ultimate in world-class hospitality is available in The Paddock Cub Please note that Corporate boxes for 2024 are now sold out.

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Alonso shows his magic as the Verstappen train rolls on

Alonso shows his magic as the Verstappen train rolls on: Analysis of the Brazilian Grand Prix, brought to you by Bahrain International Circuit

If you only watch one piece of F1 content from the weekend’s race in Brazil, take a look at Fernando Alonso’s epic 16 lap battle with Perez for third place in the main race on Sunday. For context, he was coming into the race weekend having failed to finish the previous two races and had not been in the top five in a race since August. He is also 42 years old. Perez on the other hand, is driving the same car in which Verstappen has delivered a record breaking 17 victories this season – including this one. In reality, Alonso had no right to defend against Perez, who also had the help of DRS, but he did so for 14 laps. When Perez finally overtook him on the penultimate lap, most drivers would have just settled for fourth, but Alonso’s fighting spirit and raw talent shows no signs of waning. On the very last lap, in what looked like an all or nothing move, he took the place back and held on by the finest of margins at the chequered flag. The gap was so close at the line that you couldn’t tell who had crossed first with the naked eye. With Lance Stroll just behind in fifth, there is more room for optimism at Aston Martin and a sense that their upgrade programme is finally delivering. Who knows what could be possible next year, especially with Alonso’s talent and experience.

On the subject of upgrade programmes, McLaren’s progress continues and this weekend showed their position as the clear favourites behind Red Bull. Indeed, there were times over the weekend when their pace was well matched to Verstappen. Norris took pole in the spring qualifying and there were occasions in the main race when his times were well matched to the World Champion. He finished eight seconds behind Verstappen in the main race, for yet another second place on the podium. He was also the runner up in the sprint race, also won by Verstappen, in a relatively small gap of four seconds.

At the other end of the scale, it was another weekend to forget for Mercedes. Toto Wolf variously described the car as “miserable” and “inexcusable”, whilst Hamilton remained concerned over the car’s overall lack of consistency. Indeed, he noted that the performance of the car was more or less the same as the start of the season, despite numerous upgrade packages. Their pain will have been further compounded by the fact that this same race last year delivered a first and second for the Silver Arrows and so the downward progress since then will have felt that bit more dramatic.

Brazil was the last sprint race weekend of this season, which gave the opportunity for much debate around the format and its future. Seemingly, the only thing that the teams could agree on was that some form of change or refinement is required. Toto Wolf finds the current system “confusing”, whilst Christian Horner said that “there needs to be more in it” for the drivers and fans. Changes in 2022 made the format more independent from the main race, but ultimately the points derived still contribute to the same championship. Some say there should be a separate Sprint Championship; others think that would make the sprint format irrelevant. Some argue for a reverse grid format, with others claiming that would ruin the integrity of the fight. Some believe that there should be more points available in sprint races to make it more relevant for those outside the top 8, whilst others say you should scrap the whole thing because it ruins any element of surprise in car performance for the race weekend. Max Verstappen, by the way, has always disliked the format and reiterated the fact that he wants it gone.

Whilst that debate will no doubt go on, the benefits from the promoter’s perspective of the overall concept is clear. To spread the competition element of racing across three days rather than two can only add to the fan spectacle. It therefore encourages strong and consistent fan attendance even for the early part of the race weekend. With the exception of a small minority, the overall view is that a sprint weekend is the right thing to do for fans and with a few modifications in the right areas it should be appealing to fans of all types, even the most ardent traditionalists. Perhaps except for Max Verstappen.

F1 now rolls on to Las Vegas in two-weeks time. It’s a much-hyped debut for F1’s latest, and perhaps most high-profile of venues.

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