We’re back in the Middle East for the Bahrain Grand Prix! AlphaTauri got our Esports sim racer Joni Törmälä to jump on F1 2020 for a virtual Bahrain Grand Prix Hotlap with our AT01 around the Sakhir circuit. Enjoy!
Bahrain International Circuit history and info:
Ground was broken for the Bahrain International Circuit in December 2002. Like the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, the developers had a blank, sandy canvas to work with, and with that fashioned the technical, 5.4km track designed by Hermann Tilke.
It was 2004 when the drivers first lined up under an unusually cloudy sky for the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix. The race was dominated (like many in 2004) by the two Ferraris, with Michael Schumacher winning out from Rubens Barrichello, while the crowds were also treated to a fantastic dog-fight between the Jaguar of Mark Webber and the Renault of Fernando Alonso.
Which one – we’ll be using two in 2020. The first, for the Bahrain Grand Prix, is the standard GP circuit that’s been used in every year bar 2010 (when F1 briefly switched to the 6.3km Endurance circuit), a track that usually provides great racing and overtaking, and which is crowned by the tight, downhill, off-camber left at Turn 10 and the fast run through Turn 12.
However, excitingly for the 2020 Sakhir GP, drivers will race under the floodlights on the more open Outer circuit, a 3.5km (that’s just 0.2km longer than Monaco, the shortest track on the calendar) blast around the perimeter of the track, the cars arcing left instead of right at the exit of Turn 4 and then negotiating a fast right-handed swoop and a chicane, before re-joining the old track for a flat-out run down to the final corner.