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Motor racing-Bahrain to revert to old track layout next year

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix will be contested over the old track layout.

August 17, 2010 3:07 by

The 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix will be contested over the old track layout, not the experimental circuit widely labelled “boring” for the Formula One season-opener in March.

A lengthened Sakhir circuit and new challenges and turns greeted the drivers for the first race of 2010 won by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, leading to criticism of the event which marked the sport’s 60th anniversary season.

“It was important for us to celebrate this momentous occasion by doing something very unique and different,” the circuit’s acting chief executive Sheikh Salman Bin Isa Al Khalifa said in a statement on Monday.

“Since its inception in 2004 Bahrain International Circuit has continually set new standards in the world of international motorsport.”

That view was shared by seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

“From a driver’s point of view Bahrain is quite a challenge. Very tricky corner combinations,” said Schumacher in the same statement.

McLaren team mates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were similarly praiseworthy of the old layout.

“I’m a big fan of Bahrain as a country and I also really enjoy the circuit as there are some great fast-flowing sections where you can really push the car,” said world champion Button.

Fellow Briton Hamilton said: “I love the Bahrain circuit, it is one of the ones I really look forward to, like Monaco and Spa.

“It is just such a great trip. It is one of the few places you go to without stress or hassle and you just feel so relaxed there,” the 25-year-old said.

(Reporting by Tom Pilcher, editing by Tony Jimenez).

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