Bahrain Grand Prix Betting

Construction of the US$150 million Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir began in 2002. It was conceived by His Highness the crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to be the “Home of Motorsports in the Middle East” and an integral part of his vision to enhance the awareness and profile of the Kingdom of Bahrain throughout the world.

A key component of this plan was the staging of the very first FIA Formula One World Championship event in the Middle East. That finally occurred after 16 months of preparations, when Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari sped past the chequered flag to win the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix in April of 2004.

Since then, the annual F1 Grand Prix event has become the centrepiece of racing at BIC, which has grown to encompass seven tracks for a wide variety of motorsports from local series, to drag racing and karting. The facilities were designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, whose hand guided the development of Grand Prix courses in China, Malaysia, Turkey and Valencia.

The Bahrain Grand Prix includes 49 laps of the 6,299-metre main circuit, covering a distance of 308.405 kilometres (191.634 miles). The course features 15 turns, including hairpins at turns eight and ten, plus four lengthy straight-aways. Some drivers have complained about the track’s giant run-off areas, which do not punish drivers who stray from the track. On the other hand, the flats prevent sand from getting onto the track and have made BIC one of the safest circuits in the world to race on.

Among drivers, Spaniard Fernando Alonso has had the most success at Sakhir, winning the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2005, 2006 and 2010. He’s followed by Brazilian Felipe Massa, who succeeded here in 2007 and 2008. Apart from Schumacher, the only other victor at BIC has been Britain’s Jensen Button, the winner in 2009.

Among constructors, Ferrari holds a solid lead on the Bahrain International Circuit with four triumphs. Renault have claimed two wins, while Brawn-Mercedes have one. Interestingly enough, the winners pop open no bottles of champagne on the podium following their victories at Sakhir. Instead, a non-alcoholic rosewater drink called “Waard” is used to create the traditional victory spray.

In 2011, the Bahrain Grand Prix was scheduled for mid-March to be the inaugural race for the Formula One season. However, due to civil unrest in February, the local authorities announced a postponement. The race was rescheduled for late October, but when the decision to reinstate the event was met with controversy, the Grand Prix organisers abandoned their plans. No race was held at Sakhir in 2011.

For the next season of F1 Grand Prix racing in 2012, there has already been another change in the originally posted schedule. The organisers of the Indian Grand Prix requested a later date, so the Bahrain International Circuit volunteered to step up to the fourth spot and will host the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on the 22nd of April instead of in late October.

Much of the betting on the Bahrain Grand Prix is ante post, as handicappers try to pick the outright winners from among the competing F1 drivers and constructors. Just as soon as the starting positions are revealed, heavy betting will accrue to the pole position car and driver at much lower odds than posted weeks before the racers start their engines.

Those seeking higher payouts might wish to go for dual forecasts, selecting two drivers in the race to finish first and second, in either order. Other popular markets include Top Three Finishers, Points Finishers (top ten finishers), First to Retire, Fastest Official Lap Speed, and more. There are also pre-race opportunities to wager on who will be the fastest qualifier.

Those interested in form will want to keep a close eye on the first two races of the season in Australia and Malaysia. The UBS Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend preceding the Sakhir event, will also be telling.

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