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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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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Hamilton sets FP1 pace as F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend kicks off at BIC

  • Valterri Bottas follows as world champs Mercedes make strong start
  • Nikita Mazepin leads Jehan Daruvala in F2 practice
  • Richard Wagner tops Porsche Sprint Challenge ME FP1 times

Irregular rainfall and gloomy skies failed to dampen the mood at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) today, as action got underway in the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020.



Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was the fastest man in the first 90-minute F1 Practice of the weekend, sending a warning to his rivals that he still means business despite having already secured this season’s drivers’ title and the constructors’ crown for Mercedes.

The session experienced some light rain, but not enough to have a significant impact on the action.

Hamilton had a best lap of one minute 29.033 seconds around BIC’s 5.412-kilometre track, putting in 40 laps of work. He was 0.449 seconds quicker than teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished with 41 laps in the other Mercedes car.



Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was third in the classification, 0.967s off the leader’s pace with 31 laps.

Rounding out the top eight in the first F1 practice were McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, the Red Bull Racing pair of Max Verstappen and Alexavder Albon, and Renault’s Esteban Ocon.

The remaining drivers were classified in the following order: Lance Stroll of Racing Point, Daniel Ricciardo of Renault, Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, Alfa Romeo’s Robert Kubica who was in the car for Kimi Raikkonen this session, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat, McLaren’s Lando Norris, and the Williams tandem of Nicholas Latifi and Roy Nissany, who filled in for George Russell in the practice.



Hamilton took his place atop the timesheet with around 30 minutes to go. Albon had earlier led momentarily at the half-hour mark.

Formula 1’s second 90-minute practice session of the weekend followed later in the evening under lights at 6pm.



The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix marks the 15th of 17 rounds in the 2020 FIA F1 World Championship. It is the first time in the history of the event that it is being held so late in the season. It kicks off the first-ever F1 double-header to be hosted by the Kingdom.

The Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix will be followed by the F1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix from December 4 to 6, capping the Kingdom’s F1 double-header. The Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix will be an additional spectacle for both competitors and fans, as it will be taking place along BIC’s 3.543km Outer Track, where lap times are forecast to be under a minute. The layout will be used for a competitive event for the very first time, and the race will feature 87 laps, which is the highest lap count of the season.



Mazepin tops times in F2 free practice

Nikita Mazepin powered to the top of the timesheet in today’s free practice session of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, being held in support of this weekend’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020.

Mazepin got the meeting’s F2 action underway by setting the session’s fastest lap of 1:42.660 in his Hitech Grand Prix challenger.


The Carlin pair of Jehan Daruvala and Yuki Tsunoda followed. Daruvala was 0.122 seconds behind and Tsunoda 0.258s back.

Dams’ Dan Ticktum, ART Grand Prix’s Christian Lungaard, Hitech’s Luca Ghiotto, Prema Racing’s Robert Shwartzman and Uni-Virtuosi’s Guanyu Zhou rounded out the top eight from F2’s 22-driver field.

F2 now heads for qualifying, which will determine the grid for Saturday’s Feature Race, set to be held over 32 laps. The weekend’s second event, the 23-lap Sprint Race, will be held on Sunday, with the top eight of race one starting in reverse order.



Wagner sets pace in FP1 of Porsche Sprint Challenge ME

Richard Wagner from Germany kicked off the action today in the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix weekend by going first in the first practice of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Middle East.

The championship is part of the weekend’s support programme in Sakhir, and it is holding the first round of its 2020/2021 season.

Wagner made his presence felt as he topped the times with a best lap of 2:05.094 late in the 45-minute session, held in cool temperatures with slight rain early on.



Jesse Van Kuijk from the Netherlands followed with a best lap that was just 0.053s slower, while Julian Hanses of Germany was third quickest with a lap 0.321s off the pace.

Each of the top three are competing this weekend in the series’ Pro category of the GT3 class.

Lucas Groeneveld, also from the Netherlands, was fastest in the Pro-Am category while Eddy Waldhier of Germany set the pace amongst the Am runners.



Bahrain’s Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa were eighth and 10th, respectively. Shaikh Ali had a fastest lap of 2:08.838 competing in the Pro-Am category, while Shaikh Jaber registered a top lap of 2:09.693 in the Am.

The Porsche Sprint Challenge returns for the weekend’s second practice session, also to be run over 45 minutes.