Bahrain gears up for F1 spectacular
Manama, April 4, 2014
A weekend of Formula One action gets underway at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) today (April 4) as the track celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Thousands of fans are expected to flock to the circuit in Sakhir over three days of entertainment both on and off the track, which will culminate with the BIC's first ever night race on Sunday, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
This year's Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix forms the third round of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship and promises to be one of the most spectacular yet.
BIC chief executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa said he was excited about the switch to racing at night, which he said was made at fans' request.
"We held a poll of Formula One fans and we found out that most of them couldn't attend during the day, so it's much better to switch to nighttime," he said.
"And the state-of-the-art floodlighting will not only be practical, it will also make the track more beautiful. We didn't just focus on the performance of the lights, we wanted to show the people that our track is truly beautiful to look at as well."
Shaikh Salman also wanted to remind fans that Main Grandstand ticket holders have the chance to win electronic prizes such as an iPhone 5S with the BIC's "Ten Every Ten" raffle promotion tomorrow and on Sunday.
Ten winners will be chosen every 10 minutes during the one-hour qualifying session and throughout the main race in celebration of the track's 10th anniversary.
Meanwhile, veteran British driver Jenson Button, who is part of the McLaren team partly owned by Bahrain sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, will mark his own special milestone this weekend.
"It's hard to believe that this weekend's race will be the 10th Bahrain Grand Prix," he said.
"I won this race back in 2009, I've had lots of good perfomances here and I really enjoy the challenge the circuit presents. Sunday's race will be my 250th Grand Prix start. That's crazy - it feels like only yesterday that I was celebrating my 200th, with a win for McLaren in Hungary back in 2011."
Button, along with all of Formula One's other top stars, will be taking part in an autograph signing session tomorrow evening in front of the Paddock Club entrance between 8pm and 9pm.
Fans interested in meeting their racing heroes can gather in front of the BIC Welcome Centre, next to the dhow, at 7.30pm to be taken to the signing session.
Elsewhere around the BIC there will be children's tents, an F1 Village Vending Area and F1 Game Zone offering a range of activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages.
Major concerts by Saudi pop star Rabeh Saqer tonight, as well as Grammy Award-winning producer and DJ Afrojack and German rock band The Scorpions tomorrow, are the highlights of off-track entertainment. – TradeArabia News Service