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    Sakhir, a jewel in the dunes

    Sakhir 14 febbraio 2019

    The Ferrari Challenge will be paying its first visit to the Bahrain International Circuit, which has also hosted a Formula 1 World Championship race since 2004. Designed by architect Hermann Tilke, the 5.412 km track is on the outskirts of the capital Manama. A special resin is periodically used to treat the areas around the circuit, built among the desert dunes, to prevent sand from blowing onto the asphalt surface and compromising its grip. Abrasive asphalt. The track’s layout makes it interesting to drive, both due to the variety of turns and to the height differences that work the chassis and tyres. The latter are also put to the test by the somewhat abrasive asphalt that, combined with the ambient temperature, only partly mitigated by the evening start, makes tyre management challenging. 495 light poles. The first part of the track sees long straights and lots of overtaking points, which test the brakes. In the second part, the most challenging, a sequence of differently sized turns gives a chance for the most technically gifted drivers to make a difference. The third and final part, offers a mix of the previous ones, with straights and technical turns that can provide or create opportunities for overtaking. Since its inauguration, the Bahrain International Circuit has stood out for its high quality modern facilities. The lighting system, for example, uses 4500 lamps on 495 light poles connected to over 500 kilometres of wiring. Anonymous turns. Unusually, this track’s curves don’t have official names, except for Turn 1, the hairpin at the end of the main straight, dedicated to Michael Schumacher since 2014.