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Located at Sakhir, 30km south-west of Manama, the beautifully designed Bahrain International Circuit opened in 2004. Its opening placed the Middle East on the map for hosting future motorsports events. The circuit was purpose built by the renowned consultancy Herman Tilke, and is arguably one of the most advance circuits in the world.
There are five potential track layouts within the complex, consisting of an inner track for testing, club events, and an outer track for all classes of racing, incentive events, and heavy-duty testing. The F1 track itself consists of 15 main turns of different widths to provide varied racing lines. Over-taking was also taken into consideration with at least three hot-spots on the track.
The circuit was designed for the benefit of the spectator and boasts 50,000 grandstand seats with high quality views. Together, with the VIP viewing tower, hospitality suites, a media centre, merchandising areas, helicopter and light aircraft landing facilities, excellent road access and parking, it all adds up to a truly amazing and state-of-the-art Grand Prix experience.
Interestingly, the fastest lap time for the Bahrain circuit is held by Michael Schumacher with 1:30.252 in the 2004 season, however, when the track was re-profiled his time was archived making Pedro de la Rossa's 2005 lap of 1:31.447 the record.