AUGUST 17, 2010
Bahrain reverts to former track layout
The Bahrain Grand Prix organizers have announced that they will go back to the original circuit layout for the 2011 race.
This year, a new twisty segment replaced the original T5/6 sweepers and increased lap length by just under 0.9km. The new section did not prove popular with the drivers, especially those whose cars were badly afflicted by bumps. It did not lend any overtaking opportunities to a track where overtaking is difficult anyway and fostered a largely processional opening to the season.
The new layout also reflected big 60th anniversary F1 celebrations in Bahrain, which witnessed a gathering of all but two of the living world champions.
"One of the major tasks we undertook to mark this milestone was implementing changes to our FIA approved track layout, giving the participating teams a completely new challenge," said Bahrain International Circuit's Shaikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa.
"It was an enormous task given the time frame we had to implement it, but one that demonstrated Bahrain's characteristics as a race promoter prepared to continually make changes designed to heighten the awareness and increase the levels of presentation associated with the sport of F1."
Bahrain was believed to have an exclusive Middle East hosting deal for F1, which was compromised by the inclusion of Abu Dhabi on the calendar and rumour has it that by way of compensation the Bahrainis were given the season-opener, a privilege generally enjoyed by Melbourne. The Australians, it was said, were in turn compensated by attractive renewal terms from Formula One Management.