2011 Bahrain GP Will Switch to Old Layout

The 2011 edition of the Bahrain Grand Prix will be run on the old Sakhir layout, as confirmed by the circuit officials in a statement earlier today. This means the number of laps for next year's race will increase, as the overall length of the circuit will drop from 6.299km to 5.412km.

From its debut in the series back in 2004 up until this year, the Bahrain Grand Prix was run on the 5.412km track. In 2010 however, due to the fact that Formula One was celebrating its 60th anniversary, the organizers decided to use the “endurance” layout – set up in 2006 – which increased the overall length of the circuit by 887m. Additionally, it made the track more technical, causing the drivers to complain about its twisty nature.

Nothing but tight corners. Accelerate, brake, accelerate, brake...” admitted Mark Webber at the end of this year's season opening grand prix, which he finished in 8th place.

He will be happy to find out that 2011 will bring the old layout back.

As the inaugural round of the Formula 1 World Championship’s 60th anniversary season, it was important for us to celebrate this momentous occasion by doing something very unique and different. One of the major tasks we undertook to mark this milestone was implementing changes to our FIA approved track layout, giving the participating teams of the 2010 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix a completely new challenge,” said Shaikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Bahrain International Circuit.

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 Formula 1,” added the Bahrain official.
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