*** ----> Fantastic support series of Bahrain Grand Prix | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Fantastic support series of Bahrain Grand Prix

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 is a celebration of the best in all of motorsport. While F1 and its 20-strong field of superstar drivers are headlining, there is also plenty of action in the three support series: the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the FIA Formula 3 Championship, and the Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East (PCCME). F2 and F3 are both holding their season-opening rounds in the Kingdom, while the PCCME is staging the fifth and penultimate meeting of its 2023/2024 campaign.


The FIA Formula 2 Championship is the penultimate rung of the open-wheel motorsport ladder. Launched in 2017, it is the ultimate training ground for Formula 1.

The series has so far brought seven brilliant and unique seasons and has produced ready-made talent for F1, with Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris, Alexander Albon, Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda, Oscar Piastri, Zhou Guanyu, and Logan Sargeant all making the step up.

The 2024 season marks the eighth year of the F2 championship, pairing the best upand-coming drivers in single-seater with the competitive and challenging all-new F2 machinery.

Racing on F1 weekends, the series provides the drivers with the inimitable opportunity to showcase their talents in front of F1 teams, competing on some of the most challenging and renowned circuits in the world. The championship benefits from the experience of the FIA, who oversee the running of all on-track events, while F1’s unparalleled proficiency in broadcasting and marketing ensures that the F2 championship has a truly global reach and appeal.



The FIA Formula 3 Championship is a one-make category that is the official third rung of the “Road to Formula 1” ladder, sanctioned by the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA).

It was launched in 2019 in coordination with the former GP3 Series Organisation, combining GP3 and European F3 to create a defined entry point for young and ambitious drivers to join the F1 circus. F3 also gives them the chance to take the path to join their heroes in the main paddock. Consisting of 30 identical cars.

The F3 car that is currently used features a naturally aspirated 3.4 litre bespoke Mecachrome 6-cylinder engine, which delivers 380HP at 8,000rpm.

With some of the world’s best racing teams on board, and the hottest junior motor racing talent from across the globe filling their race seats, F3 is one of the most exciting championships in global motorsport.



The Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East is well established as the proven path for regional drivers to accelerate their careers onto the biggest stages of racing through intense competition with global motorsport professionals.

Launched in 2009, the championship returned for a 15th season this winter, featuring the region’s leading drivers, all competing in the powerful and dynamic Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East is based on the highly successful Porsche formula for one-make series racing. The championship was created to give the region’s home-grown driving talent an opportunity to realise their racing potential while enhancing personal track experience.

It has become popular for drivers and fans alike, featuring real racing and genuine rivalries on the track.

Having produced a number of local racing heroes and stunning driver performances over 14 seasons, this 15th edition of the championship has been as competitive as ever.

Participants have been racing against each other and in teams since the first round in November of 2023. The season’s fifth and penultimate meeting is taking place this weekend in support of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024.



* Just one driver on the current F1 grid competed in the inaugural edition of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004: Fernando Alonso.

Racing for Renault, the Spaniard qualified in 16th place and raced to P6, scoring three points. Twenty years on, and now racing for Aston Martin, Alonso is set to make his 378th grand prix start.

* Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver at this race, with five wins to his name. All of the Briton’s victories have been scored with Mercedes in 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

* Ferrari are the most successful constructor in Bahrain. The Italian outfit have seven victories in the Kingdom, courtesy of Michael Schumacher (2004), Felipe Massa (2007, 2008), Fernando Alonso (2010), Sebastian Vettel (2017, 2018) and most recently with Charles Leclerc in 2022.

* The record for pole positions at this race is shared by Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, with each starting from the front of the grid three times.

* Five current drivers made their grand prix debut in Bahrain. McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Williams’ Logan Sargeant raced for the first time in F1 here last year. Zhou Guanyu made his debut with Alfa Romeo in 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda joined the grid with AlphaTauri in 2021, while all the way back in 2010, Nico Hulkenberg made his F1 race debut with Williams.

* Two current drivers took their pole positions in Bahrain. Valtteri Bottas did it with Mercedes in 2017. The Finn has so far had 20 poles, all with Mercedes. Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, started from pole here in 2019, with Ferrari. Leclerc has been on pole 23 times in all.

* The first corner of Bahrain International Circuit's 5.412-kilometre Grand Prix track has been named “The Michael Schumacher Turn” in honour of the seven-time world champion.It is located at the end of the circuit's Main Straight. It was named after Schumacher in 2014 as part of the circuit's 10th anniversary, which was also the venue’s first Formula 1 night race.



2004: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2005: Fernando Alonso, Renault

2006: Fernando Alonso, Renault

2007: Felipe Massa, Ferrari

2008: Felipe Massa, Ferrari

2009: Jenson Button, Brawn GP

2010: Fernando Alonso, Ferrari

2012: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

2013: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

2014: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2015: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2016: Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 

2017: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

2018: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

2019: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2020: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2021: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 

2022: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

2023: Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2024: Max Verstappen, Red Bull