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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Perez avoids the chaos to take victory at Marina Bay

Perez avoids the chaos to take victory at Marina Bay: Analysis of the Singapore Grand Prix, brought to you by Bahrain International Circuit

There was a welcome return for Singapore this weekend and those familiar with this street circuit will know that unpredictable weather, combined with the tight nature of the street circuit, often causes havoc over the race weekend. On that front, the Marina Bay circuit certainly did not disappoint.

Qualifying on Saturday was tricky as although the rain had relented the track remained damp and none of the teams were able to quite work out whether intermediate or soft tyres were the better option. It also turned out that Red Bull couldn’t quite work out how much fuel to put into Verstappen’s car as he was made to abort his final lap, which would have delivered him an easy pole. Indeed, the whole session was unusual, with drivers going for much longer qualifying stints in the damp, gradually trying to find pace. Leclerc secured the top spot, a whisker ahead of Perez in second. Hamilton had looked strong all weekend and was third, with Sainz, Alonso and Norris completing the top six. With Verstappen in eighth, it felt like a fairly open race, not least because overtaking is fairly tricky on this tight circuit.

The race itself started over an hour late after a deluge of rain and by the time the race got underway, intermediate tyres were the only viable option. Perez had the better start when the lights went out, taking the lead ahead against Leclerc. Verstappen had an awful start sending him back to 12th as the drivers’ tip-toed around the greasy surface for the first few laps. Indeed, there was very little drama for the first third of the race. But then the safety cars began. Whether appearing virtually or actually, you lost count quite quickly of the number of appearances. It’s a difficult enough circuit in the dry but in conditions which were borderline suitable for dry tyres, the mistakes kept coming and the barriers kept taking a battering.

With every safety car came the temptation to switch to dry tyres. Russell had nothing to lose having started from the back and he had a go on slicks on lap 22, but he was clearly struggling. On lap 34, however, Russell’s pace showed significant improvement and with Hamilton hitting the wall and needing a trip to the pits for a new front wing, it was the catalyst for the big switch over to dry tyres for the main field.

From there, it was a question of staying out of trouble at the front and taking advantage of others’ errors. Perez held his nerve in the lead, despite some considerable pressure from Leclerc with Sainz just behind that. Taking the chequered flag at the two-hour cut off point, team boss Christian Horner described it as Perez’ best ever drive, eclipsing his win at Sakhir in 2020. With Leclerc and Sainz completing the podium, the championship stays alive for another round. Further back, Verstappen had a few troubles, including a lock up which ruined his tyres so could only finish seventh. Both McLaren drivers ended up in the top five having benefited from a well-timed tyre change two laps later than the rest of the field, in a safety car period. With both Alpine’s failing to finish, McLaren are now ahead of them in the constructors’ championship, which will give the team some confidence for the rest of the season.

The action off-track this weekend was almost as spicy as the racing itself, with the latest storm centered around potential cost cap infringements. F1 teams are expected later this week to receive sign off (or not) on their compliance with the agreed cost cap for last season. There have been rumors that two teams, Aston Martin and Red Bull, were potentially in breach, with some claiming Red Bull deemed to be in material breach. Whilst this is a hugely complex area – and it should be stressed that the FIA has not announced anything yet – it has not stopped some senior folk from several teams giving their views and counter opinions. As ever, we should wait for the FIA’s announcement, but all eyes will be on the potential for sanctions if indeed breaches have occurred.

In more positive news, it was superb to have Singapore back on the calendar, with the circuit and cars looking spectacular under the lights (perhaps we are a little biased on that). F1 first landed at Marina Bay in 2008 and swiftly established itself on the calendar as offering something quite different and so it was a hugely welcome return after a two-year absence. Next up for F1 is Japan, another great circuit which returns after a pandemic-induced two-year break.