*** ----> The exciting formula | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

The exciting formula

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Report by Zainab Zaman

Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) CEO Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa exuded boundless optimism for the future of Formula 1 in Bahrain. Reflecting on the region’s growth in fan base over the past two decades, he also credited Bahrain’s efforts in engaging with spectators.

For two decades, the illustrious 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix Track has played host to a plethora of thrilling events.

From the adrenaline-fuelled Bahrain Drag Racing Competition and the gripping BIC 2,000cc Challenge to prestigious international championships like the FIA World Endurance Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East, the track has witnessed it all.

Moreover, it has been the esteemed venue for the beloved Bahrain Grand Prix, capturing the hearts of fans both locally and worldwide.

Fan base expanding

“We see a tremendous change. Men, women, and children are now actively participating in the Bahrain Grand Prix, fuelling the passion for the sport,” he remarked.

“In the past, it was just paddock and races; now we have pitlane walks, truck tours, and various entertainment programmes, alongside showcasing trophies, providing attendees with more reasons to anticipate the Formula 1 weekend.”

On this note, he pointed out that the tickets for the event sold out much earlier than last year. Additionally, he emphasised the technological advancements in racing, including improvements in telemetry data and dashboards.

Also, the enhanced accessibility and real-time coverage of events have transformed the Formula 1 viewing experience over the years. Reflecting on his journey, he expressed immense pride in being part of the team.

Priority for safety

“Anything for safety is our number one priority,” stressed Shaikh Salman. “I disagreed when they changed from having the V10, V12, and the sound of the old Formula 1 car to the turbo era,” he added, underscoring the importance of safety measures in the sport.

Furthermore, Shaikh Salman emphasised the significance of showcasing the essence of Formula 1.

“The pinnacle of sports relies on showcasing the theme of Formula 1 as well,” he stated.

“This year’s theme embarks on the 20th anniversary of Bahrain,” he concluded, highlighting the milestone occasion.

The Daily Tribune also took a stroll, immersing itself in the celebratory ambience, and engaged in conversations with numerous revellers and officials.

Among them was Abdulla Ali, a pit and grid marshal, who reminisced about his first Formula 1 experience at the tender age of eight.

Started at eight, says Abdulla Ali

Ali recounted how his father took him to his first-ever Formula 1 event, donning a Ferrari hat that sparked his passion for racing.

“Since then, I’ve been a diehard car and Formula 1 fan,” Ali remarked with enthusiasm. He also discussed the significant safety measures introduced in the sport, highlighting the impact of the Halo system installed atop race cars.

“The halo saved Lewis Hamilton’s life two years ago, and while the cars may have looked cooler before, safety is paramount.”

It’s my second time: Layla Al Hussain

Layla Al Hussain, a fitness life coach, expressed her enthusiasm for attending Formula 1 for the second time.

She eagerly anticipates the events leading up to race day, particularly the concerts. “Formula 1 in Bahrain is the most fun time of the year,” she exclaimed.

“I enjoy seeing many locals and tourists from different countries coming together during the three-day special weekend,” Al Hussain added with excitement.

F1 has evolved, says Fahad Al Jabar

Fahad Al Jabar, a die-hard Ferrari fan, highlighted the evolution of entertainment, screen technology, and sound systems since his initial Formula 1 experience.

“The improvement in entertainment, along with advancements in screen and sound systems, has truly enhanced the overall Formula 1 experience,” Al Jabar noted.

“The food is also much better, and the setup always brings back memories of past Formula 1 races.”

V6 is boring!

Discussing the changes in the sport over time, Al Saloom commented on the appearance and disappearance of teams, such as BMW Williams, while noting a shift in car dynamics.

“Overall, the cars are becoming boring, transitioning from V8 to V6 engines,” he observed.

Acknowledging the critical role of safety measures, Al Saloom expressed a newfound appreciation for the Halo system.

“The Halo is incredibly important for protecting the drivers, and my respect for it grew after witnessing its life-saving capabilities,” he stressed.


Mohamed Al Saloom and Sofia


Yesterday’ events at the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024


Fahad Al Jabar


Layla Al Hussain


Abdulla Ali