The Bahrain Grand Prix is to switch to a night race next year, with the circuit set to confirm the news in the next few days.
The Sakhir venue’s organizers have considering a Formula 1 night race to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary for some time It appears that those plans have moved forward with circuit chairman Zayed Al Zayani revealing at Monza that an announcement is imminent.
There had been some suggestions that Bahrain could become the 2014 season opener, but Zayani asked Bernie Ecclestone to move the race back in the schedule so it could work on the upgrades needed for the night race. Bahrain hopes to finish the lighting project at the end of February, and a provisional date handed to it originally of March 2 was deemed too close for it to get everything ready.
“We requested from Bernie not to be the first grand prix of the year because we are undergoing a major refurbishment of our track to commemorate the 10th anniversary,” Al Zayani said. “We didn’t want to be squeezed for time.”
When asked what the upgrades were, Al Zayani said: “There are many things, but the highlight will be a night race.”
Zayani added that Bahrain is still considering whether or not to have a full-on night race or a twilight event like Abu Dhabi. The race will therefore start at either 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. local time.