To celebrate its 10th anniversary in Formula One, the Bahrain International Circuit has confirmed, as was revealed in September, that the 2014 iteration of the Formula One race will be held at night.
As part of its preparation to be ready for this ambitious goal, the circuit has installed floodlights all around the track and is trialling them this weekend during the final race of the World Endurance Championship. Speaking to Autosport, Bahrain track boss Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa said: “We are delighted to be able to trial the first phase of our lighting project at the WEC, a major milestone in this hugely ambitious project for the BIC, which is scheduled for completion in February.”
A success this weekend will be a good platform for circuit and event organizers to build on in the lead-up to the Grand Prix early in the 2014 season.
This undertaking will be the greatest the circuit has ever encountered since it joined the F1 calendar in 2004. Since then, the circuit has come under criticism for dull races in which passing has been replaced by procession. Since Pirelli came into the sport the two races held have been much more exciting than in the past, making the 2014 race much more promising considering the new regulations being introduced.
Earlier this year, the Bahrain International circuit was in the running to host the season opener of the 2014 season instead of Australia. That potential scenario came under fire as most people prefer the exciting, party atmosphere of the city of Melbourne as host to the season opener. The circuit will also be hosting two of the three preseason tests in 2014, replacing Barcelona. The hotter, drier conditions expected in Bahrain are far more preferable to the cold and often wet ones experienced in Spain during the winter.