Formula 1 will use 3.543 km ‘outer track’ at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Sakhir Grand Prix held on December 6, it has been announced.
The track will be the shortest of the 2020 season and will consist of 87 laps, and with it being an ‘ultra-quick’ track, it is predicted that qualifying lap times will be sub-one minute. The current quickest ever lap was a 58.79s set by Niki Lauda at the Dijon circuit in France back in 1974 and it is expected that the outer layout in Bahrain will beat that record in Qualifying trim.
It will also be a full night race making it the only one on the 2020 calendar after the cancellation of the Singapore Grand Prix. Qualifying will also take place at night on the Saturday.
“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.
“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.”
Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, the chief executive of the Bahrain circuit, thanked Formula 1 for the opportunity for the Sakhir venue to run a race on the outer circuit for the very first time. It will be the third different layout Formula 1 has used during its time racing in Bahrain.
“We thank Formula 1 for all their work in analysing options for our second race and it’s a great testament to our venue that we will be able to hold what is likely to be very contrasting races on consecutive weekends,” he said.
“Our Outer track has never been used for international competitive racing, so will be a new and exciting challenge for all participants.”