The second race of Formula 1’s double-header in Bahrain will be run on the circuit’s shorter ‘Outer Circuit’ configuration.
The move to use the 3.543-kilometre perimeter configuration of the Bahrain International Circuit is in a bid to add more variety to the event, which has typically used the 5.4-kilometre Grand Prix layout configuration since its maiden Grand Prix in 2004.
A notable exception was the 2010 Grand Prix, which ran on the longer 6.3-kilometre ‘Endurance Circuit’ layout as a one-off to commemorate the sport’s 60th anniversary.
The ‘Outer Circuit’ layout has never been used in Formula 1 and early simulations suggest that the eleven-turn configuration could produce a sub-60-second qualifying lap time.
Throughout Formula 1’s history, the sport has only ever witnessed one pole position time of less than a minute, posted by Ferrari’s Niki Lauda at the 1974 French Grand Prix at Dijon.
“We are excited to announce the outer circuit as the format for the Sakhir Grand Prix and want to thank our partners at the Bahrain International Circuit for their continued support,” said Formula 1’s Managing Director of Motorsport, Ross Brawn, who first touted the use of the ‘Outer Circuit’.
“We assessed a number of options for the alternative circuit layout and concluded the outer circuit will provide the best alternative and will provide a new challenge for all the teams and entertain all our fans with high speeds and fast lap times.”
Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team