The lowdown on the island’s biggest sporting and social event
Time Out Bahrain staff
F1 returns to Bahrain for the ninth time this year promising excitement both on the track and off.
We’re fourth in the calendar so it’s wide open with everything to race for. We’ve got four drivers moving teams (Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Perez and Pic), four new or returning faces (Bottas, van der Garde, Bianchi and Clifton), a few big names off the grid, including Schumacher and Timo Glock, and one team fewer than last year with HRT out of the running after failing to find a buyer following last year’s performance when they set a record at the Chinese Grand Prix for having the most starts, 39, without scoring a point!
Off the track the BIC has gone all out on the entertainment this year with a truly international line-up of great acts.
And of course, the Gulf Air Formula One Grand Prix always brings out the best in the island’s entertainment industry so get ready for some of the best parties you’ll see all year and make sure you’ve got your copy of Time Out Bahrain on hand for details on all the hottest happenings.
The Big Race
The big one kicks off at 3pm on Sunday, April 21, but if you’ve got a weekend ticket there are practices on Friday and practice and qualifying on Saturday too. Keep your eyes peeled and see if you can pick the winner.
For the true petrol head there’s plenty of other on-track action throughout the weekend with the ever-popular, single seater, GP2 series once again returning to the BIC for the second round of the 2013 season. With graduates such as Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean, it’s worth a watch even if just to be able to say “I saw him way back when…” of a future champion.
Other support races had not been confirmed as we went to press but the Bahrain Grand Prix usually attracts some of the most exciting cars on the track with previous supports such as Porsche and some of the region’s favourite muscle cars, so there’s bound to be lots to see.
Head to the F1 Village for a truly dazzling array of international talent with traditional dance from Calpulli Mexican Dance Group, Bhangra Empire, a 12-strong group performing ritual dance in traditional Punjabi costume, Talija, showcasing Balkan music and dance, the Chinese Lion Dance troupe, Menoufia Folk Art, performing Tannoura dances as well as other traditional Egyptian dances and the beautiful, colourful fighting dance from the Miranda Highlands of Portugal staged by Pauliteiros de Palaçoulo. And if show-style dance is more your thing, make sure to catch tap troupe Angelo and the Crazy Feet strutting their stuff to tunes from ABBA to Tchaikovsky.
World music lovers are catered to with a variety of performances including the Mugenko Taiko Drummers, showcasing the loud, hard and fast form of ancient Japanese percussion coupled with martial arts movements. There’s traditional Mexican folk music from Mariachi Jalisco, Scottish pipes with Bagpipe Roy, Pedro with his hang drum – apparently it’s pronounced ‘hung’ and is a ‘melodious percussive steel instrument’ from Brazil – and the four-piece Marimba Band performing famous African songs accompanied by the marimba.
There’s also women’s circus theatre company Circo Rum BaBa, classic carnival stilt walkers and a kids’ jungle tent with the Black Angels, Kenyan music, dance and circus acrobatics troupe, a jungle theatre show and children’s variety show featuring lots of favourite cartoon characters.
While you’re wandering around look out for the Camel Explorers, who appear to riding by on a live camel…we’re reliably informed that’s not the case.
And if you’ve got any energy left after that lot you could try the reverse bungee or ‘sling shot/bungee rocket’ as it’s sometimes known. Riders are catapulted into the air at crazy speeds spinning and bouncing as they go – make sure you save the snack stand for afterwards!
Got the Munchies?
Forget the packed lunch, unless of course you’re really craving soggy sarnies or cold pizza, you’ll find food of just about every description at the F1 Village behind the Main Grandstand. Queues can be a bit off-putting so don’t wait till you’re starving and make sure you bring plenty of change.
And the headliner is…
Give it up for Ne-Yo! The Grammy Award winning R&B singer of Miss Independent will be bringing down the house on the final night of the Grand Prix weekend.
Ne-Yo will take to the stage after the big race for a one off concert that’s sure to serve as an explosive finale.
You’ll need either a three-day ticket or a Sunday ticket to catch the show.
If you’re new to F1 in Bahrain, there are a few things you just can’t do without: Sunscreen – you don’t want to be burned to a crisp by the end of the weekend Wetwipes – it can get very sticky out in the desert Camera – this is one occasion when your phone probably won’t cut it This magazine – to read up on the drivers, the entertainment, the after parties and just because you should never be without us!