Guide to Formula 1 in Bahrain | TRAVEL GUIDE
Who is ready for Formula 1? Here, in the Kingdom of Bahrain, F1 is the real deal. It is not only the biggest event of the year, with big names visiting for the event, but also brings a huge number of tourists into the country. Many locals have had years of practice, but for those new to the racing world (like I was) or just new to Bahrain, here are a few tips to make this event even more enjoyable!
Where to Sit
There are many Grandstands to choose from at the track, but it really depends on what you want to see the most. The most popular are the Main Grandstands because you have an uninterrupted view of the start/finish line and are able to watch all the activity in the team garages. It is also very close to the F1 Village so you won’t need to take a bus to get to your seat and miss the action. The most expensive ticket is the Batelco Grandstand, which allows a panoramic view of the track’s toughest loops and turns. We usually go for the Victory Grandstands where you can see the drivers speed their way around the dangerous last corner and down towards the finish line. These are usually cheaper, but you have to take a short bus ride from the hubbub of the F1 Village, which can be a nuisance if you are in a rush (but the bus are very efficient and have AC!).
What to Wear and Pack
Fashion in the F1 World is a big deal. You will see women in elegant abayas, models dressed to the nines and hundreds of supporter t-shirts. From my experience at F1 Bahrain, anything goes, but I have a few tips:
- Make sure you dress comfortably. This is the number one rule of my life, but very important for F1. You will be standing a lot waiting in queues, wandering around the exciting F1 Village to see all the entertainment, and walking up stairs to get to your seats– so I would advise against stilettos or shoes that you know will give you blisters.
- Prepare for the weather. Bahrain is starting to get hot again, but thankfully still cool at night (perfect for a nice race!). Saying that, for most people travelling to Bahrain, our “cold” is most likely your typical “hot”. Just in case, make sure you bring a jacket or a scarf to wrap around you. Also beware of strong winds, so don’t spend too long on a fancy hair-do!
- Dress appropriately. The first two race days are usually more casual, so jeans or sundresses are perfect. On qualifying day, people like to dress up a bit more formally. No matter what you choose to wear, remember that even though Bahrain is a very tolerant country, it is an Islamic nation, so be respectful and aim to cover your shoulders and upper legs!
Security at F1 is pretty efficient, but make sure you read the rules and regulations beforehand so you don’t get held up at check through (i.e Don’t try to take in a big flag like we did). I’m afraid to say that you won’t be able to take in food or drinks, so bring plenty of money because it can be expensive! Also, don’t forget earplugs to dampen the roaring of the cars, as well as plenty of empty SD cards so you can get all those amazing shots!
When You Get There
So you have arrived in Bahrain, seen a few of the sights (check out our vlogs to see what it’s like and where to go) and had a large lunch – its time to get to the track. Go early. You not only beat a lot of the traffic and get a longer time on the simulation rides, but there are usually a few extra things to see. One year, we got to see all the old race cars drive around the track!
If you are an avid F1 fan, you will most likely spend most of your time in the stands, but many others will be in the F1 Village. There is always an amazing line-up of international performances and entertainers. We have seen acrobatic groups, traditional heritage villages and even saw one guy get into a ball! You can learn about the history of the sport at the F1 Fan Zone, which holds a variety of interactive lessons. If you get bored, it may be possible to try your hand at some racing at the karting track just next door, but check their website for details of that weekend. There are also plenty of different food stands to choose from, so you wont go hungry, and usually lots of traditional Arabic seating! Also, don’t miss out of the various pre-opening performances and after-parties (apparently Avicii will make an appearance) that you can only go to with an F1 ticket!