So this past spring break, our first in Saudi, we had a chance to check out the season opener for Formula 1 in Bahrain.
Admittedly, Ana is a bigger fan of Formula 1 than I am, though she’s certainly managed to change my opinion. This also wasn’t our first Formula 1 event. We went once back when we were living in Shanghai. For some reason, however this one felt real while the Shanghai one did not. I think perhaps it’s because we went to all three days this time from the pit lane walk to practice and qualifying to the actual race.
It was also our first time in Bahrain! Let’s start with Bahrain before we delve into the race as the race was our main reason for being there.
Bahrain was a lovely little escape for us. We chose to stay at the Le Meridien Hotel and found it to be fantastic (as a side note, the Aston Martin Mercedes Team was also there), which was attached to a nice mall and another hotel, the Westin.
We didn’t explore the city too much, but found a few places we did like. First, the Westin Hotel had a lovely hotel bar where we get to meet a lovely waitress by the name of Mary. The drinks were pretty reasonably priced (Bahrain overall was far more expensive than we had expected), all things considered, and quite delicious!
We also ended up on a Friday night in a much more lively area with plenty of restaurants and places to hang out. We had some lovely Thai food and found ourselves beat and called it an early night. The area was hopping and we definitely plan on going back.
We also treated ourselves to a nice Friday morning brunch at the Ritz-Carlton. It happened to be Mother’s Day, which we did not realize, so Ana was gifted a lovely rose and cookie from the hotel. It was a wonderful experience and we look forward to going back to Brunch soon and trying somewhere new.
We’re planning another short trip to Bahrain soon and want to take some time to get see a few sites around the city, like the main Mosque and the Fortress.
As mentioned, Formula 1 was our main reason for being in Bahrain and we had an awesome time!
The track was approximately 30 minutes from the city center and an easy drive for us from the hotel. Parking was easy, getting in and out was easy, and the race…perfect!
We started the first day with the pit lane walk where we got to see some of the drivers and most of the crews prepping the cars for practices on Friday. None of the big name drivers were there like Hamilton, Verstappen, or Leclerc (we kind of got to glimpse Sergio Perez), but overall, we got to see the cars up close and it was a really fun experience.
Friday and Saturday are the practice runs and the qualifier to determine pole position for the actual race. We were sitting in the grandstands near the start/finish line. This gave us a chance to see a few overtakes and see drivers use their DRS (a term I had to look up). We wandered around the track area, bought a few small goodies, and had a few Heinekens, which was essentially the Netherlands group hang spot.
Sunday brought race day and it was an exciting race! It saw both Red Bull cars (Verstappen and Perez) not finish while giving Leclerc and the Ferrari team a chance to get out to an early leadthis season. It was an amazing experience and one we had hope to repeat next year.
Overall, it was short break, but a new country, new city, and a new experience!