#12strangefacts about Bahrain

#12strangefacts about Bahrain

April 13, 2017

From the Far East to the Middle East, from the SIC to the BIC* from Shanghai to El Sakhir, the Formula 1 circus moves on, unstoppable, like a steamroller. The British Aintree circuit once staged a Grand Prix for Steamrollers but the atmosphere in the crowd was a bit flat: that last sentence may or may not be true, but, in the year of the STR12, here are 12 Strange but true facts about Bahrain.

1) The Bahrain Grand Prix holds a special place in our history, as it was at this race in 2006 that Scuderia Toro Rosso made its Formula 1 debut. No, we hadn't missed a couple of races, because that year, the Middle East venue hosted the opening round of the season.

2) Others making their debut at the 2006 race were the Midland F1 team, (formerly Jordan GP,) our only American driver to date, Scott Speed and with the brand new Super Aguri team, Yuji Ide. Reigning World Champion Nico Rosberg also made his maiden F1 appearance here.

3) Can you name Scott Speed's team-mate in our first season? That's right, it was Vitantonio Liuzzi.

4) The King Fahd Causeway is a four lane road, 25 kilometres in length, that links Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. The idea of joining the two countries dates back to the Fifties and one of the obstacles to its construction was removed in 1967, when Bahrain switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right.

5) On the day we took part in our first F1 practice session at the Sakhir circuit, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter landed on the Red Planet.

6) Our Bahraini driver: when Sebastian Buemi joined Toro Rosso in 2009, he was officially a Bahraini resident.

7) The Sakhir track hasn't changed much, but in 2010, when the Bahrain GP was again the opening round of the season, the race was held on the longer "Endurance" layout. The general opinion was that it had been something of an "Endurance" to watch and it was never used again.

8) In 2014, the Bahrain Grand Prix celebrated a decade in Formula 1, although the race was not held in 2011. That year's race at Sakhir was also the 900th Formula 1 Grand Prix and the first race after Singapore to be staged entirely under floodlights as a night event.

9) Eleventh time lucky: It took Scuderia Toro Rosso eleven attempts to score points in this race when, in 2016, Max Verstappen finished sixth.

10) Waard you think of that? No champagne here, instead the drivers on the podium get to spray a rosewater drink called Waard.

11) The name "Bahrain" comes from the Arabic for "Two Seas."

12) Oil was first discovered in Bahrain in 1932.