F1 CEO ‘personally’ thanks prince as Bahrain GP extended until 2036

Bahrain has been on the Formula 1 calendar since 2004, and has hosted 18 races under various layouts.

In one of the largest contract extensions ever seen for a Formula 1 circuit, the Bahrain Grand Prix will have a place on the calendar until at least 2036.

Bahrain has hosted a race in F1 every year since 2004, bar 2011 when the grand prix had to be called off due to civil unrest.

This was still a theme when the sport returned in 2012, but the race went ahead as planned despite members of the paddock heading home due to intense violent protests.

The race at the Hermann Tilke-designed track was then turned into a night race for 2014, joining Singapore and Abu Dhabi as races that were held under floodlights at that time.

Sir Lewis Hamilton holds the most wins at the Sakhir International Circuit with five, one ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.

F1 is pushing to extend deals with its current and loyal circuits as the sport grows in popularity following the introduction of Drive to Survive and last year’s mammoth title battle between Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is pleased to continue to have Bahrain on board.

“We delighted we will be racing at the Bahrain International Circuit until 2036 where more incredible racing and excitement will be on show to thrill our fans,” he stated.

“Since 2004 we have had some fantastic races in Sakhir and we cannot wait to be back there for the start of the 2022 championship as we begin a new era for the sport.

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“Bahrain was the first country in the Middle East to welcome Formula 1 and it has a very special place in our sport, and I personally want to thank HRH Prince Salman and his team for their dedication and hard work throughout our partnership and look forward to the many years of racing ahead of us.”

Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, CEO of the Sakhir International Circuit, has noticed F1’s growth in popularity in Asia and the Middle East, and is thrilled to have been a part of the sport since 2004.

“After 18 years of F1 racing, we are proud to have played a part in F1’s rich history and we now looking forward to continuing to build on that heritage well into the future,” he added,

“The growth and interest in motorsport in Bahrain and the Middle East has significant momentum, with a new generation of fans embracing our great sport and we look forward to continuing that progress.”

Bahrain will host the opening round of the 2022 season on 20 March.