Recently Formula 1 sporting chief Ross Brawn suggested that Bahrain could stage two Grand Prix races at the end of the season, but the twist was that one of the races would be on the Sakhir oval configuration, an option that would in fact please the promoter.
After releasing a new European calendar for the 2020 Formula 1 season, Chase Carey and his organization are working on the races outside the “Old Continent” but the prospects look bleak – the most recent news was the cancellations of the Azerbaijan, Singapore, and Japanese Grand Prix weekends.
Thus FOM is actively seeking solutions and, as we have reported, is considering new circuits to hold more races, with Mugello, Algarve, and Hockenheim at the front of the queue to get a date.
In the Americas, the landscape isn’t much healthier and we could end up without any Grand Prix on the other side of the pond if things do not improve in coming weeks.
With the goal of 15 races this season in mind, FOM is considering doing doubleheaders in more circuits than the already confirmed, and Bahrain – with race dates penciled in for November or early December, is one of the options on the table.
However, there are fears in the paddock that back-to-back races at the same circuit will lead to a lack of interest among the fans.
Right now Silverstone has only one Grade 1 licensed layout while Red Bull Ring only has one layout suitable for F1. But Bahrain International Circuit has the bonus of five different layouts with Grade 1 license
Thus the Bahrain Outer Circuit configuration consisting of eleven turns, the majority subtle or sweeps, measures in at 3.543 kilometers – only Monte Carlo is shorter – and would require 87 laps to fulfill the F1 race distance. However lap-times should be well below a minute which could be a worthwhile exercise in an era in which tracks have been ‘chicaned’ to death.
Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, isn’t against the idea, offering his full support to FOM and told grandprix247.com, “As F1 has stated, the final calendar will depend on how the global situation develops, so as part of that process we have sought to offer maximum flexibility as to how we fit around the calendar structure.”
FOM has already announced their intention to release the full 2020 F1 calendar before next weekend’s opening Austrian Grand Prix.