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Bahrain Grand Prix

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Bahrain Grand Prix

Designed by Hermann Tilke - the architect responsible for the Sepang, Shanghai, Istanbul Park and Valencia GP venues - the new Grand Prix Circuit (configured using the inner and outer circuits, and with the addition of the endurance loop for 2010) presents drivers with an exceptional challenge.

The bare statistics: 3.91 miles (6.299km); 23 turns (13 right, 10 left); four straights, the longest of which is 1090m; a change in elevation of 18m; a variation in width from 14m to 22m.

Now the human story behind them: a (maximum) workforce of 3000 expended 8265 million man hours between November 2002 and March 2004 to excavate 968,459m3 of rock, to lay 120,000 tonnes of asphalt in three layers over the track's 272,648m2 surface (that doesn't include its 140,000m2 of run-off), to erect 8500 tonnes of steel and pour 70,000m3 of concrete.

And that's not all. They also had to construct 12,000m of guard rail, protect 4100m of it with 82,000 tyres and attach 5000m of FIA safety fencing. As a final touch they laid 5000m2 of grass carpet.

In 2010 a new loop with eight new corners over dramatic elevation changes was added. It began just after the old Turn 4 with a fast flowing corner leading into a sequence of five bends followed by a fast kink and then a challenging hairpin. The new track extention will bring exciting overtaking opportunities as well as a fresh challenge to the drivers.

Bahraini V8 Lumina Champion Fahad Al Musalam has probably raced on the Grand Prix track more than anyone. "The Grand Prix track has lots of overtaking opportunities because of its width and layout," he says. "Its surface is very grippy. People worry there might be problems because of the sand, but 30 minutes into a session you would be unable to tell that this circuit is in the middle of the desert.

"Driving this track is always a thrill, but my favourite part is the Esses. A driver can't ask for more: BIC is one helluva nice facility to have, to test on, to race on. I have raced every configuration. They each have their own feel. Sometimes you feel you as though you could be at a totally different venue, so different can the configurations look and feel.

"BIC is demanding and technical, but if you get it right, keep it between the white lines, you can really race hard. Fantastic."

Maximum uphill slope: 3.60%
Maximum downhill slope: 5.6%
A relief that ranges from 0 to 18m
Three real possibilities for overtaking
Qualifying lap record (Old Grand Prix Circuit): 1m30.139s


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2012 Race Drivers

Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso
Felipe Massa
Michael Schumacher
Nico Rosberg
Kimi Räikkönen
Romain Grosjean
Paul di Resta
Nico Hulkenberg
Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Perez
Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Eric Vergne
Pastor Maldonado
Bruno Senna
Heikki Kovalainen
Vitaly Petrov
Pedro de la Rosa
Narain Karthikeyan
Timo Glock
Charles Pic

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