BIC to celebrate ’20 Years of a Modern Classic’ at historic Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain GP 2024
F1 spectacle to mark Bahrain’s landmark 20th anniversary in top flight, from 29 February to 2 March
Race to be held for the first time at BIC on a Saturday night, opening the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship
Bahrain to host F1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 from 21 to 23 February, offering fans a sneak preview ahead of new campaign
Corporate Lounges already sold out, with grandstand tickets and hospitality options selling out fast
Nezar Janahi announced as winner of first-ever Bahrain GP Superfan title
BIC, Sakhir – Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) officially launched today the exciting lead-up to the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024—an historic occasion set to celebrate the Kingdom of Bahrain’s landmark 20th anniversary in F1.
Fantastic plans for the highly anticipated motorsport and entertainment spectacle, scheduled to take place 29 February to 2 March, include a campaign commemorating ’20 Years of a Modern Classic’, three days of non-stop racing and loads of family fun and entertainment.
Details of the grand prix weekend were announced today at the official public launch event, organised by BIC at The Avenues Bahrain.
This year's F1 spectacle is set to be headlined by three days of world-class racing, complemented by a colourful mix of incredible off-track attractions for the whole family.
Speaking at the launch were Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Fatima bint Jaffer Al Sairafi, BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa and Gulf Air Chief Executive Captain Waleed Al-Alwai.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and McLaren F1 Team superstar Lando Norris also delivered video messages at the event, which was hosted by legendary F1 commentator David Croft along with local media personality Imran Al Aradi.
The highly anticipated F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix is set to open the 2024 FIA F1 World Championship. It will be the Kingdom’s first-ever Saturday night race, making for an additional spectacle to the weekend’s festivities at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” in Sakhir. Prior to the race weekend, BIC is also set to host three days of F1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 from February 21 to 23.
Tickets to the grand prix are selling out fast and fans are urged to buy theirs as soon as possible. Various hospitality options are also available. For more information or to purchase seats, visit bahraingp.com or call the BIC Hotline on +973-17450000.
Speaking at the F1 launch, Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Fatima bint Jaffer Al Sairafi, said:
“Since 2004, our presence on the global sports tourism map has been solidified, backing initiative to make Bahrain a preferred destination for sports tourism in the Middle East and beyond. The hosting of the Formula 1 event aligns with the objectives of Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030.
The impact of Formula 1 on our tourism sector is nothing short of extraordinary. In 2022, we saw a remarkable attendance of 98,000 on all race days and 35,000 on the day of the race alone. In 2023, these numbers soared even higher, reaching 99,500 on total race days and 36,000 on the race day itself.
Such grand events in Bahrain not only offer a firsthand experience of the Formula 1 race but also create an immersive environment for visitors to witness the spectacular success. Beyond the adrenaline-pumping excitement, these events are a golden opportunity to showcase the seamless integration and continuous development of Bahrain's tourism sector. The array of tourist attractions, coupled with world-class facilities, reflects the nation's commitment to providing an unforgettable experience for visitors.
At the Ministry of Tourism, Formula 1 holds a special place in our priorities as one of the most important international tourism and entertainment events in Bahrain. This year, we've meticulously planned and coordinated with all stakeholders to accommodate the growing popularity of motorsports locally, regionally, and globally.
My gratitude extends to to all our tourism stakeholders, for their dedicated promotional efforts, coordination in organizing relevant marketing activities and campaigns, and collaboration in offering competitive packages.
I extend a heartfelt invitation to each and every one to attend the Formula 1 race, immerse yourselves in the unique atmosphere of the season opener in Bahrain, and partake in the various parallel entertainment events that will unfold during this period.”
’20 Years of a Modern Classic’
The official slogan of the anniversary race was unveiled at today's launch: “20 Years of a Modern Classic”. This aptly highlights the Bahrain Grand Prix’s status today as a pioneering, fan-favourite event on the F1 calendar.
BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa commented:
“The idea of a modern classic is to reflect the fact that we are a modern circuit but have had the chance to create 20 years of history in the Middle East, which we are really proud of. I think there are many fans who might find it difficult to believe that we are 20 years old, as we are often seen as one of the ‘new’ Grands Prix. However, we are honoured to be amongst the first in a generation of modern tracks, the first in the Middle East, and have had the opportunity to contribute to 20 years of racing heritage in F1.”
Shaikh Salman also spoke about what to expect at the 2024 race:
“We’ve got some incredible entertainment lined up for 2024 and I think there will be something on offer for all the family, and I’m sure a few surprises to come to keep the fans thoroughly entertained on and off the track.
“The hype for this year’s race is already significant, with fans across the world wanting to come to Bahrain for the first race of 2024 and celebrate our 20th anniversary. With our race sold out in record time last year, we expect the demand to continue this year so would urge fans to book their tickets as soon as possible.”
F1 show cars from 2004 and 2024 unveiled
Shaikh Salman and Gulf Air CEO Captain Waleed Al Alawi also unveiled 2004 and 2024 F1 show cars at the launch.
The show cars will also be displayed at various locations across the Kingdom in the lead-up to the grand prix weekend, as part of BIC’s nation-wide fan-engagement activities to get the Kingdom buzzing with excitement.
Captain Waleed Al Alawi, Gulf Air CEO said:
"We're thrilled once again to be the title sponsor of this international motorsport event, now in its 20th-year in Bahrain, marking a standout moment in Bahrain's social and sporting calendar for both locals and global visitors. The seamless connection between aviation and motorsports is evident, sharing a commitment to implementing new technologies in high-performance domains.
As the Kingdom’s national carrier, this synergy extends to our partnership with Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority and Bahrain International Circuit, working together to attract international tourists, investments, and businesses to boost the national economy and globally showcase our country through diverse activities and events. We're honored to support the Bahrain Grand Prix and hope all residents and visitors of Bahrain will enjoy our efforts to entertain them during this year’s historic race.”
F1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 set for February 21 to 23 at BIC
BIC is also set to host Formula 1 Aramco Pre-Season Testing 2024 from 21 to 23 February.
The three days of on-track running will be the F1 teams’ and drivers’ only chance to sample their 2024 contenders ahead of the start of this year’s FIA F1 World Championship, taking place just one week later.
BIC will be announcing details in due course on how fans will be able to watch the testing and get a glimpse of the new cars and F1’s star protagonists in action.
Bahrain has become the ideal venue for F1 to hold its pre-season tests, with teams able to get maximum time out on BIC’s 5.412-kilometre track. This year’s sessions will mark the fourth straight year that testing is being held at “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East”.
BIC’s Corporate Lounges fully booked, grandstand tickets selling fast
BIC Chief Executive Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa announced that the circuit’s Corporate Lounges have already completely sold out for this year’s F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Shaikh Salman also hailed the tremendous response to BIC’s Early Bird promotions in grandstand ticket sales. Following the complete sell-out of last year’s race weekend, all signs point towards a similar outcome for the extra-special 2024 event.
Shaikh Salman highlighted the immense interest of F1 fans coming to Bahrain from overseas. Last year’s grand prix welcomed over 10,000 international supporters who travelled to the Kingdom from all corners of the globe—the most ever in the history of Bahrain’s F1 extravaganza.
Non-stop racing with International support series line-up
The F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024 will be the sixth time the Kingdom will have the honour of hosting the opening round of the new F1 season. But it is not the only international race series that will be kicking off its 2024 campaign in Sakhir.
Both the FIA Formula 2 Championship and FIA Formula 3 Championship will also be launching their calendars at BIC, with the future stars of F1 lining up on the grid to showcase their prowess to the world.
Also set to support F1 will be the BIC-born and bred Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East. The region’s leading one-make series will be holding its fifth and penultimate round in Sakhir, with competitors from all over the world driving identical Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars.
Colourful array of off-track entertainment for whole family
As every year, BIC has lined plenty more in its off-track entertainment programme for the whole family to enjoy at the F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
These include roaming performers, stage shows, carnival rides and so much more available on all three days in the circuit’s vending area.
Amongst the entertainers who will be engaging with fans and setting the festival-like atmosphere are Puglia Street Band, AJ Batucada, TikTak Marionette, Stevie Wheels, Juggling Dom, Stunt and Circus Extreme, and Carnival de Colores.
There will also be a stage shows entitled “Nickelodeon Rocks”, which will be bringing to the younger race-goers the most famous characters from popular TV channel Nickelodeon, such as Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol and Shimmer and Shine.
Furthermore, fans can get an adrenaline rush in the thrilling carnival rides, which include the giant Ferris Wheel, which has become a favourite amongst fans at the grand prix, as well as the High Impress.
Nezar Janahi named first-ever Bahrain GP Superfan
BIC and Gulf Air unveiled at today’s launch that Nezar Janahi has been selected as the winner of the nation-wide Bahrain GP Superfan search.
His video submission stood out amongst the scores of entries from people of all ages and who competed for the chance to claim the celebrated tag of the Bahrain GP Superfan, and win a money-can’t-buy grand prize.
Each of the finalists also came away with valuable prizes, such as Gulf Air flights, Bahrain GP number plates signed by an F1 driver, and other gifts.
Fun continues with Bahrain GP Live Weekend
Today’s launch was just the first of a series of exciting fan-engagement activities held as part of Bahrain GP Live Weekend, organised by BIC.
The festivities continue on Friday and Saturday (Editor’s note: 5 and 6 January) from 10am to 11pm at The Avenues Bahrain.
The attractions at Bahrain GP Live Weekend include F1 race simulators, F1 show cars from 2004 and 2024, a soft games area, a balloon twister performer, a henna artist, face painting for kids, and much more. All are welcome to enjoy the experience, completely free of charge.