Night race to remedy Bahrain’s woes?
The Bahrain Grand Prix has come under fire in recent years for failing to produce a great Formula One spectacle, but it appears that the race could be given a new lease of life by becoming a night race for next season.
Paddock insider Martin Brundle revealed during qualifying that organisers were considering the move in order to make the race more appealing to fans around the world, many of whom may have been put off by the race due to the track which has been dubbed “a car park” in the past by Mark Webber.
The race today saw Sebastian Vettel run away at the front to win his 28th grand prix, and claim the victory for the second consecutive year in Bahrain. As per 2012, he was followed home by Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
Earlier in the week, circuit chairman Zayed Al-Zayani revealed that he had spoken to Bernie Ecclestone about making the Bahrain Grand Prix the opening race of the season, which would certainly appeal to European audiences, with the Australian GP starting at 6am GMT in 2013. A night race would not only achieve this, but it would also fit in with the rapidly growing market for Formula One in North America, accentuated by the returning United States Grand Prix and the uptake in coverage from NBC Sports.
Bahrain would become the second fully-fledged night race alongside Singapore, with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix being a “day-night” race, starting at dusk.
Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, Driven Magazine and the Bahrain Mirror, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".