In Bahrain, there will be two races on the same track seven days apart, just as there were in Austria in July and Great Britain in August. That’s a result of the idiosyncratic 2020 Formula 1 season, which will forever be remembered for Covid, but also for the resilience of the sport, which overcame the challenges posed by the virus to put on a show that was truly worthy of the world championship.
But Sakhir, which has hosted the Bahrain Grand Prix since 2004, goes one step further: it’s the first venue to host back-to-back races on the same circuit but not on the same track layout. The race that takes place on Sunday 6 December, the penultimate grand prix of the season, will introduce something entirely different. It won’t be on the regular 5.4-kilometre circuit covered at an average speed of 221kph in qualifying (Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc’s pole time last year, who went on to dominate the race before encountering a technical problem) but instead on a much shorter circuit where lap times will be a minute or lower: making it the shortest lap in the history of the Formula 1 world championship.