Bahrain Grand Prix organizers have announced that their track will use a new layout for the opening round of this year's World Championship.
The Sakhir circuit hosts the first race of the season on March 14 and, with an expanded grid of up to 26 cars set to take part, race bosses have opted to use an existing extra loop for this year's event. The new track will turn left shortly after Turn 4, the right-hander at the top of the hill following the first sequence of turns.
There will then be a sequence of five turns before the cars head back to the original circuit. There will then be a left-right kink before a tight hairpin returns the cars onto the main track. The new layout increases the circuit length from 3.363 miles circuit to 3.914 miles.
Zayed R. Alzayani, chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, said, "The loop was completed in 2006 as part of the built-in evolution of the venue for competitors and fans. We gave it its debut with the inaugural 24 Hour Race of Bahrain that same year where it proved extremely successful, and with the changes to the regulations, the teams and the driver lineups in Formula 1 this year it is the perfect time to evolve the circuit with this new challenge and new overtaking opportunities."