Formula 1 has agreed a contract extension with the Bahrain International Circuit to secure the Bahrain GP in the calendar up until 2036, the longest deal ever signed in the history of the cathegory.
Since the first race, hosted in 2004, every year F1 has returned to the BIC, bar for 2011 when the GP was cancelled due to anti government protests, and in the forever changing 2020 calendar as, because of Covid related organisational issues, two spectacular races took place on different layouts, the Bahrain GP and the Sakir GP.
Announcing the long term partnership, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has stated:“I am delighted we will be racing at the Bahrain International Circuit until 2036 where more incredible racing and excitement will be on show to thrill our fans."
"Since 2004 we have had some fantastic races in Sakhir and we cannot wait to be back there for the start of the 2022 championship as we begin a new era for the sport," he added, highlighting the important role that will be played by Bahrain in the build up of the upcoming season.
In fact, the Middle East venue will host the second round of testing, from the 10th to the 12th of March and the first one to be broadcasted and open to the public involving the new generation of cars, as well as the opening round of the championship on the 20th of March.
The 2022 Bahrain GP will also be the first event held at the circuit to be fully powered by sustainable energy sources, as a step forward towards the joint objective with F1 to reach carbon neutral by 2030.
"Bahrain was the first country in the Middle East to welcome Formula 1 and it has a very special place in our sport, and I personally want to thank HRH Prince Salman and his team for their dedication and hard work throughout our partnership and look forward to the many years of racing ahead of us," concluded Domenicali.
Chairman of Bahrain International Circuit Arif Rahimi remarked the importance that both the track management and the country give to hosting F1 racing events: “It has been a great honour for Bahrain to host Formula 1 since 2004 and we are delighted that this new commitment cements our place on the calendar well into the future."
"Our commitment to motorsport has always been a long-term initiative and I thank Stefano and his team at F1 for putting their faith in us to continue to deliver the pinnacle of global racing at The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East," he added.