By Gavin Gibbon
Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn has suggested kingdom track could be used in different configurations
Bahrain Grand Prix officials have revealed they would be open to hosting two races this season, using an alternative layout to the current track.
Formula 1 chief Ross Brawn told the official F1 website that the idea of the circuit hosting two races this season was a distinct possibility.
He said: “One of the nice attractions of Bahrain is it has many configurations, so we could go to Bahrain and race on two different tracks there.
“There’s a nice sort of almost oval track that would be quite exciting, and all the layouts have a Grade 1 licence with the FIA, so that is an option in the pocket.
“Using two configurations involves quite a lot of work for the riggers – for example the timing needs setting up for two tracks so you need plenty of notice. That’s something we have to take into account.”
The 2020 racing calendar has been decimated as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with events in Australia, Monaco, France, Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan all cancelled, with races in Bahrain, China, Vietnam, Netherlands, Spain and Canada have been postponed.
The season is due to begin on July 5 at the Red Bull Ring, the first of two races on consecutive weekends at the track in Spielberg, Austria, before a Hungarian Grand Prix on July 19 and two races at Silverstone on August 2 and 9.
Further races will follow in Spain, Belgium and Italy – with eight races the minimum needed to determine a world champion.
However, doubts remain over the viability of races in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, where the coronavirus outbreaks are among the worst in the world.
According to reports on the Autosport.com website, the idea of Bahrain, which has been rescheduled for December, stepping in to host a second race has been welcomed by track chief Sheikh Salman bin Isa al-Khalifa.
He said: “This idea of a different configuration was new, especially with the details that Ross went in to. But it’s interesting, and it is doable,” he added.
“We’ve never used it for a race. It was mainly designed so that you can run the inner track and the outer track at the same time. That loop, which Ross calls the oval, is a separate track from the inner track which we use for club racing.
“What we’ve done in the past is use it for corporate events, especially Rolls Royce events where they didn’t want hard braking and corners.
“It’s a low downforce track. There’s no way I’m going to compare it to Monza, but it’s a track where you’re going to run the cars on minimum downforce, so there will be slipstreaming. Hopefully, we can have three DRS zones.”