Traditionally lacking in Sakhir is that most intangible of features, something a $150M facility and the best organization in the world can’t provide – atmosphere. Whether this is something that will improve as F1 gains traction in the region time will tell, but for now grandstands remain half empty.
This needn’t be a bad thing though; going through the circuit’s airport style security takes no time at all, you’ll never have to queue for refreshments and if you want a fresh view of the action, all those empty seats are waiting just for you.
Best Grandstands at the Bahrain Grand Prix
The Bahrain circuit is like most of its modern counterparts; a thrilling place to watch F1, designed with the spectator in mind. Most grandstands provide a view of multiple sections of the circuit and the wide track and long straights leading into slow corners provide encouragement for overtaking particularly in turns 1 and 4.
As you would expect from a modern Tilkedrome, grandstands are comfortable, each one fitted with molded plastic chairs and cover from the sun.
The Main Grandstand at the Sakhir circuit is a standard pit straight affair with no surprises to get excited about. For views of the race build-up, the start, the pit stops and the podium ceremony there’s no better place to be. The rest of the time though you’ll be left to twiddle your thumbs and watch all the real racing play out on giant screens.
HIGH BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS
Turn 1 Grandstand
Positioned overlooking turn 1 and with views up the main straight
and the pitlane exit, though not extending as far as the grid. Turn 1 is one of the most common areas for overtaking and fans here are certain to see some action.
This is however a long grandstand and for spectators in blocks nearer the grid the apex to turn one can be a little too distant.
MID BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS OVERTAKING SPOT
These are three small grandstands positioned at the first sequence of three corners, though its more like two corners and a subtle kink that feeds cars onto the straight towards turn 4.
University Grandstand 1 has the superior views out of these stands and is one of the best vantage points at the track with clear views of turn one, where most of the overtaking occurs.
Overall a very good choice of grandstands, the only real negative here is the distance you’ll have to walk to reach the area where most of the food and drinks stalls are. This is about a 10 – 15 minute walk in the desert heat to an area beyond the main grandstand. Careful planning should negate any concerns, and limited refreshments are available nearby.
LOW BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS BEST IN PRICE RANGE OVERTAKING SPOT
Oasis / Batelco Grandstand
The Oasis or Batelco Grandstand is located just behind the pit building and has a sweeping vista of much of the infield section of the circuit. This is hands down the most panoramic view at Bahrain taking in the action from about turn 6 to turn 12 and even a distant view of the straights between turns 3 and 4 on your left and turns 13 and 14 on your right.
Though the track immediately in front of the grandstand is a straight, turn 8 is close and you won’t have to strain your eyes to see turns 10 and 11 either. Overall you get a fantastic sense that you’re seeing most of the track all at once, something you won’t feel from any other grandstand in Bahrain and from only a handful of grandstands at other circuits.
MID BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS BEST IN PRICE RANGE F1S CHOICE
These two grandstands are at the end of the back straight at turn 14 just before drivers put their foot down and enter the main start / finish straight.
Though the grandstands are close to each other the views they offer are quite different. Victory Grandstand 2 is located at the apex to turn 14 where overtaking is possible. This is the better grandstand for views of the corner and photos of the cars at lower speed.
Further away, Victory Grandstand 1 has poorer views of turn 14 but spectators here benefit from views of turn 11 in the infield section of the course.
LOW BUDGET TV SCREEN COVERED RESERVED SEATS