Bahrain ready for a ‘Unif1ed’ race

Majali and Sheikh Salman shake hands at the launch of the ‘Unif1ed’ Bahrain Grand Prix

BAHRAIN International Circuit (BIC), The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East, alongside national carriers Gulf Air, has announced an exciting programme of events for the upcoming 2012 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, along with the launch of  ticket sales tickets.

The long awaited race weekend, which will be held at the Sakhir track in April is loved by hundreds of thousands of racing fans from across the region, will be the eighth running of the event. It is scheduled to take place between April 20 and 22 as the fourth round of a record-breaking 20-race calendar that makes up this year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, chief executive at BIC, said the race will be held under the slogan: ‘Unif1ed – One Nation In Celebration’. This mantra reflects the unifying spirit of true Formula One fans, who share a passion for the sport and who long to see the very best of motor racing take place in the kingdom, he said.

Sheikh Salman said: “Sport brings people together, especially the truest and most dedicated of fans. Be it in football, tennis, golf or motor racing, there is something special about sport that makes it a great unifier.

“We in Bahrain should feel extremely privileged to be part of an exclusive club of only a handful of countries who can say that they are a host of a Grand Prix and are a part of the FIA Formula One World  Championship.”

On the doubts expressed in some quarters on the holding of the race this year, Shaikh Salman said the race was on the calendar when it was announced and “we were always confident that the race will be held. The F1 management has supported BIC throughout,” he adds. He assured that the BIC team was working hard to ensure a safe event for the thousands of fans.

Gulf Air will once again be the title sponsor of the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. Samer Majali, chief executive of Gulf Air, said: “As Bahrain’s national carrier, we are looking forward to welcoming the return of the Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

“We have already seen an increase in bookings for these three days as excitement builds. Gulf Air has been the title sponsor of the Bahrain Grand Prix since it made history in April 2004 as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.”

He said the airline will increase flights in certain sectors if the need arises.

In preparation for the Bahrain Grand Prix, BIC has lined up a series of nation-wide public events to help raise awareness for the race weekend and to get people buzzing with Formula One fever. Among them are special competitions in which people of all ages and nationalities can take part in. One is the ‘I Love Bahrain’ Picture and Video Contest, which will require participants to send in their favourite photographs or videos taken during past editions of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The best will then be selected and their entries will be put on display all over Bahrain in malls or even at the circuit itself during the race weekend. Among other community events lined up are a ‘Build an F1 Car’ activity for schools and universities, the creation of different F1 related sculptures all across Bahrain, an art exhibition, and many others.

Off the race track, there will be plenty of recreational activities for people of all ages throughout the three-day Grand Prix weekend, located mainly at the Formula One Village behind the Main Grandstand, and all of them will contribute to the lively and engaging family friendly atmosphere here at BIC.

Meanwhile, for the first time at the Bahrain Grand Prix, there will be three special fully air-conditioned tents solely catered to children’s entertainment. These will undoubtedly be among the top attractions especially for the event’s younger  audience.

Tickets can be purchased at the Bahrain International Circuit stand located at Bahrain City Centre or bought online at or by calling the circuit’s hotline on +973-17-450000.