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On April 6 2014, the elite of Formula One will descend upon the Kingdom of Bahrain for the third race of the season’s calendar. This modest island just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has flourished as a host since making its debut back in 2004, establishing itself as a firm favourite among drivers and spectators alike. Understandable, given the typically Middle Eastern soaring climates and natural beauty, not to mention the excitement and unpredictability of a Grand Prix held at the beginning of the campaign.
This year’s event promises to be up there with the finest to date; to mark its ten-year anniversary, it shall be held at night, under the floodlights, for the first time. Anyone making the long journey to Sakhir would do well to make the most of their trip by exploring their surroundings further when the dust has settled, and the roar of the engines has faded.
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: all you need to know
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: setting
Bahrain International Circuit, at first glance, doesn’t appear to be in the most agreeable setting, secreted as it is in the middle of Sakhir’s desert terrain. Fear not, though; in truth, the track’s distinctive setting makes for one of the sport’s most unique viewing experiences. And with the race being held after sunset, the temperatures will be far more comfortable for those eagerly watching to see if the ever-dominant Sebastian Vettel can claim his third consecutive victory on this turf.
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2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: ticketing
As you would probably expect, tickets for such an illustrious occasion don’t exactly come cheap; the cheapest seats in the Victory Grandstand or University Grandstand weigh in at just under £100. If your budget stretches a little further, you can also snap up the best seats in the house for around £240, incorporating all three days of action in the Main Grandstand. Children under 12 are granted a 50% discount, whilst students and senior citizens can reap the benefits of a 25% reduction.
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2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: schedule
As ever, the action will be stretched out over three action-packed days, from Friday 4 till Sunday 6 of April. The drivers will savour their first taste of the course during Friday’s practice sessions, familiarising themselves with every twist and turn before jostling for pole position in the following day’s qualifiers. The big day is of course Sunday, with a scheduled 6pm for the Grand Prix, as dusk descends over the circuit.
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2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: nightlife
When all’s said and done, you’ll hopefully find yourself with time to stay in this marvellous country for at least a few more days. Should this be the case, head to capital city Manama to sample a multitude of bars and clubs. The large volume of British expats means that you can make yourself right at home in the likes of Warblers, Harvesters or Sherlock Holmes, or if you prefer, mingle with the Australian community in Digger’s. Alcohol is tolerated far more readily in Bahrain compared to other Gulf nations, but it’s nonetheless wise to remain respectful to the largely Muslim population.
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2014 Bahrain Grand Prix: Manama activities
If you do choose to indulge in Manama’s many nightspots, you’ll most likely desire something to take your mind off the next day’s desert hangover. The capital’s coastal location makes it a popular haunt for dolphin watchers, with boat trips operating to the spots frequented by the playful creatures as well as manatees. Alternatively, you could take a trip to the Hawar Islands to gaze at the local flamingo population, or throw on your wetsuit to engage in a spot of scuba diving.
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