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FORMULA 1

Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix deal signed until 2036

Bahrain has staged Formula One races since 2004, and a new long-term deal was announced on Friday that will keep a Grand Prix there until 2036.

Update:
Formula 1: Bahrain Grand Prix deal signed until 2036
Formula 1 via Getty Images

Formula One has committed to a long-term future in Bahrain after motorsport chiefs struck a deal to race there every year until at least 2036.

The race, first staged in 2004, has been won a record five times by Lewis Hamilton.

It had already been announced that the 2022 edition on March 20 would be the first race of the new campaign, and that the Bahrain International Circuit would also host pre-season testing.

The circuit's long-term status as a Formula One venue is now secure, with the extended deal announced on F1's official website.

Domenicali delighted with Bahrain deal

Formula 1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali said: "I am delighted we will be racing at the Bahrain International Circuit until 2036 where more incredible racing and excitement will be on show to thrill our fans.

"Since 2004 we have had some fantastic races in Sakhir and we cannot wait to be back there for the start of the 2022 championship as we begin a new era for the sport.

"Bahrain was the first country in the Middle East to welcome Formula 1 and it has a very special place in our sport, and I personally want to thank HRH Prince Salman and his team for their dedication and hard work throughout our partnership and look forward to the many years of racing ahead of us."

Bahrain's human rights record has come under the microscope during motorsport's close association with the country.

Hamilton said before last year's race: "There are issues all around the world, but I do not think we should be going to these countries and just ignoring what is happening in those places, arriving, having a great time and then leaving."

Lynn Maalouf of pressure group Amnesty International said in 2021 that, for citizens of Bahrain, "human rights - including the right to freedom of expression - are routinely trampled on".

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