Time Out Bahrain's essential point-by-point guide to surviving the international grand prix
How to get there The easiest way to get to BIC is from a hotel via shuttle bus. From April 23-26, buses run every half hour on the hour to the circuit from 6am-noon, with the journey back from 3pm-11pm. Buses pick up from Gulf Hotel, Diplomat Radisson, Regency, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, Crowne Plaza, Ramada, Best Westin Juffair and Al Khobar Plaza. The circuit is about 30km from Manama, and most roads feature signposting if travelling by car. There’s limited parking, and it’s about BD15 from Manama by taxi.
Support races The big F1 race is on Sunday, but there are still plenty of support races to watch. There’s the final round of the GP2 Asia Series, regional action with the Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. See www.bahraingp.com for details of the line-up.
Entertainment F1 is the perfect excuse to make a big song and dance, and the organisers clearly agree – in the F1 Village, the Limpopo-Zambezi African Acrobats will entertain with a high-energy show of skill and balance, while funky UK jazz musicians Bijoumiyo will also take to the stage. Look out for violinist Addagio, guitarist Benedict (playing in the spectator tunnel) and hip hop dancers ICONic. Also check out the Vander Bros with their triple-wheel stunt show and the bungee jump.
After parties Bahrain is party central when it comes to the F1 weekend. As ever, one of the biggest and most popular is the Fashion TV Party, and many of the clubs and hotels organise their own celebrations.
For the kids F1 is certainly not adult-only. There is a children’s play area (in the F1 Village), with activities and rides, and keep an eye out for face painting, acrobats, stilt-walking musicians and balloon twisting. Children may also bump into Speedy the Desert Racer, the event’s new mascot.
TV schedule Not got a ticket? Watch the main event on Al Jazeera. The support races, meanwhile, you can catch on Showsports.
Fashion advice The race is as much a place to be seen as it is to watch fast cars. As the highlight of the island’s social calendar, many will be dressing to look their best – but donning team T-shirts and merchandise is also acceptable. Time Out recommends anything loose and cotton – denim is the root of all evil in plus-30 degrees.
Refreshments Head to the F1 Village and you’ll find a wealth of food stalls, situated alongside the merchandise stands and entertainment. Most types of cuisine and food groups will be catered for – not a time to worry about the calorie count.
Tickets Tickets are available at www.bahraingp.com or by contacting the BIC Call Centre on 17 450 000. Also visit the dedicated stand at Seef Mall Outlet Stand. Race day tickets from BD45, with a 50 per cent discount available for children aged three to 15.
What to bring*
• Suntan lotion, as well as…
• Ear plugs – F1 cars are loud (about 110dB when passing), so best to protect your lugholes
• Money – for purchasing food, drinks, souvenirs, Ferrari caps etc
• Camera – ‘Yep, that’s Lewis Hamilton’s head… right there… if you squint a bit’
• This magazine (to read up on the drivers, work out which after party you’re going to, and anything you may need later on) *Get yourself a BIC Track Pack at the event, which contains a few of the above – available from designated stands