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Bahrain 2012 - Race information - Everything you need to know about the Bahrain Grand Prix

Published by Christine

After the incredible race we saw in China, the mood in the paddock changes significantly as F1 makes its return to Bahrain. Removed from the calendar in 2011, Bahrain is no less controversial this season, with the F1 fraternity making their wary way towards the Bahrain International Circuit. Opinion is split over whether holding the race is a good idea or not, but as of now, the GP is going ahead.

Event schedule

Nico Rosberg took an incredible debut win in China, with McLaren staying in close contention - close enough to make their way into the lead of both championships. Fernando Alonso, and Ferrari as a whole, are getting frustrated with their lack of pace. The Spaniard does not expect things to change in Bahrain, where the track is likely not to suit the car, and they haven't had time to make any updates.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionGMT +0100Local
20 AprilFridayFree Practice 108:0010:00
Free Practice 212:0014:00
21 AprilSaturdayFree Practice 309:0011:00
22 AprilSundayGrand Prix13:0015:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2, WGA Supercars ME Championship and Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

The weather

As you may have expected, the weather looks hot and sunny for the entire weekend, with temperatures hovering above 25℃ all the way through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The race will likely be hot, dry and dusty with wind speeds of about 11mph.


Bahrain, Friday


  • Low 23℃
  • Humidity 71%

Hot, hot, hot!


Bahrain, Saturday


  • Low 23℃
  • Humidity 59%

Clear skies ahead


Bahrain, Sunday


  • Low 22℃
  • Humidity 34%

Sun is up, humidity down

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection108m before turn 14
DRS activation270m after turn 15

Bahrain will feature DRS for the first time, as the new technology was introduced last year, when the race was not on the calendar. With the activation point a third of the way down the home/finish straight, drivers will be able to use their DRS on the longest straight of the circuit.

It will be interesting to see whether the introduction of DRS to Bahrain can help spice up the action at all, as the BIC is notorious for delivering less than spectacular action.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameBahrain International
TimezoneGMT +0300
First Race2004
Length5.412 km
Distance308.238 km
Start / Finish Offset0.246 km

The circuit returns to its original 5.4 kilometres, after an endurance configuration was trialled in 2010. The extended track length was intended to improve the racing but actually increased field spread and made the event very processional.

Back to form, the track features large run off areas, meaning drivers are rarely punished for making a mistake. In turn, the likelihood of a safety car is very low.

Around half the lap is spent at full throttle, and the statisticians reckon there is an average of 52 gear changes a lap. The higher temperatures will make cooling the car a key priority, and will also affect tyre strategy - as the circuit plays host to Pirelli for the first time as well.

2010 Results
Free Practice 1Adrian SutilForce India1:56.583Live / Results
Free Practice 2Nico RosbergMercedes1:55.409Live / Results
Free Practice 3Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:54.099Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:54.101Live / Results
Grand PrixFernando AlonsoFerrari1:39:20.4Live / Results
Fastest LapFernando AlonsoFerrari1:58.287

Tyre compounds

Soft and medium compounds
Soft and medium compounds

The medium and soft compounds remain in play for the second race in a row, as Pirelli make their F1 debut in Bahrain. Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery is well aware of having to start at the beginning once more:

There are a number of technical challenges that we are anticipating for Bahrain, with the hot conditions in excess of 30 degrees centigrade putting the compounds into a different working range. We've gathered some data from the track as the result of our tests there in the past, but the tyres and cars have changed so much since then that it is almost like starting again with a blank sheet of paper.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
Thursday15:00Timo GlockMarussia
Romain GrosjeanLotus
Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
Heikki KovalainenCaterham
Felipe MassaFerrari
Nico RosbergMercedes
Friday16:00Éric BoullierLotus
Stefano DomenicaliFerrari
Bob FernleyForce India
Norbert HaugMercedes
Christian HornerRed Bull
Martin WhitmarshMcLaren
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
Garry ConnellyExecutive Committee Member of the FIA Institute and Director of Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety
Emanuele PirroFormer F1 driver and five times Le Mans winner
Radovan NovakSecretary General of the ACCR

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