Bahrain F1 GP to be night show

Published: 30 November, 2013 04:41 IST | AFP |

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) here is gearing up for its first Formula 1 night race and will test a new floodlight system this weekend.

The 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, which will be held on April 6 at the Sakhir circuit near Manama, will be staged at night, organisers announced on Friday.

Floodlighting has been installed and will be tested out at this weekend's final round of the World Endurance Championship. The move to a night race in the Gulf state will mark the 10th anniversary of the first Bahrain Grand Prix, won by Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari in 2004, and will also be welcomed by drivers, given the high daytime temperatures in spring.

Bahrain will be Formula One's second night race - Singapore has been held after dark since its inception in 2008. Abu Dhabi is a twilight race, starting in late afternoon and ending after nightfall.

Bahrain chief executive Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalid said the lighting, which will be completed by February, "marks a major step in our ambitious plan for the circuit. It is the most important development since it was built.

"There can be no better way for us to mark our 10th anniversary in F1," he added.

The Sakhir circuit will replace Barcelona for the final two rounds of pre-season testing, in February 2014, with the first session still taking place at Jerez, Spain in January. The last two Bahrain Grands Prix have been marred by anti-government protests, while the 2011 race was cancelled because of political trouble.

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