Bahraini Grand Prix
How to get there
There are direct flights from the UK to Bahrain. Last year, the Bahraini's operated an electronic visa scheme, allowing you to apply online for a visa and print out a barcode to enable rapid progress through the airport. Easy and efficient - why doesn't everyone do this??
Where to stay
Manama is the main city and has a number of western style hotels. Although Bahrain is a Muslim country, it is also fairly liberal and there the western hotels are granted bar licenses to sell alcohol.
What else to do
Although the capital city, Manama is not a huge place and it is possible to walk just about everywhere if you have a central hotel. The narrow streets, and the sight, sound and smells of the Souks are worth sometime, including the Gold Souk. The financial centre at the waterfront is being developed, and further round is the Yacht Club, which offers cheap daily membership, with a relaxing poolside bar. Dolphin spotting trips are also available here, and the tour of the waterways is worth a trip in itself.
Transport to the circuit
The circuit is in the desert and a good way out of town, so if not on a tour then you will need to find local transport or take a long taxi ride. On the way back, it's worth calling in at the Prince's Race Course, a well manicured strip of green grass in the otherwise brown desert. Soft drinks are available and whilst bookmaking isn't allowed you are allowed to bet a small amount on your favourite, with the stake money being divided between all the winners.
First corner gives a good view, with easy access to the facilities behind the main straight.
There is less merchandising than many circuits, and no alcohol, but this is more than made up for by the covered sofa seating on the outside of the main straight, many of which are provided with facilities to smoke the local flavoured tobacco. Food choice is not great, but what's there is decent and reasonably priced.