Ross Brawn has indicated that Formula 1 could race on different layouts of the Sakhir Circuit if two events are held in Bahrain later in the year.
Bahrain’s Grand Prix was set to be held in March but has been postponed due to the coronavirus and is due to be paired with Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.
It is expected that should Formula 1 struggle to reschedule its flyaway races – and several are set to be imminently cancelled – then Bahrain is a prime candidate to host two events.
Formula 1 has visited Bahrain since 2004 and for the majority of its visits it has raced on the 5.412km grand prix circuit, which has been run at night since 2014.
But in 2010, to celebrate Formula 1’s 60th anniversary, the championship used its 24-turn 6.299km ‘Endurance Circuit’.
That layout turned left at the current Turn 4, taking in a further sequence of corners, before re-joining the grand prix track on the approach to the esses, resulting in a lap time of almost two minutes.
That layout still has the Grade 1 license as required by the FIA, as do three other layouts, with the ‘Outer’ Circuit the most realistic option (see below).
The ‘Outer’ Circuit, of length 3.543km, would be one of the shortest circuits in Formula 1 history, at just a couple of hundred metres longer than Monaco’s street track.
That layout effectively bypasses the long middle sector of the grand prix lap, linking Turn 8 of the Endurance circuit with Turn 13 of the grand prix track.
It would feature only 11 corners and four braking points of note.
“One of the nice attractions of Bahrain is it has many configurations, so we could go to Bahrain and race on two different tracks there,” Brawn told the official F1 website.
“There’s a nice sort of almost oval track that would be quite exciting, and all the layouts have a Grade 1 licence with the FIA, so that is an option in the pocket.
“Using two configurations involves quite a lot of work for the riggers – for example the timing needs setting up for two tracks so you need plenty of notice.
“That’s something we have to take into account.”