700 tonnes of F1 cargo for Bahrain

Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 will take place from next Thursday to Sunday

  
Formula One F1 - Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - March 31, 2019 Haas' Kevin Magnussen during the race.

Formula One F1 - Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - March 31, 2019 Haas' Kevin Magnussen during the race.

Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed

Shipments of essential equipment and support vehicles weighing more than 700 tonnes will reach Bahrain by this weekend as the Sakhir circuit gets on track to host the first of a Formula One double-header.

The much-anticipated Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 will take place from next Thursday to Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), Sakhir.

This will be followed by the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020 from December 4 to 6.

Both the races will take place predominantly without spectators this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

However, there will be a limited number of grandstand seats allocated for the races for families of frontline health workers and first responders in Bahrain.

Bahrain Airport Services (BAS) yesterday announced its readiness, as it started receiving the cargo of 300 unit load devices of equipment weighing more than 700 tonnes through eight cargo aircraft, for this year’s races.

BAS Cargo Department senior manager Khalid Al Mahmood said BAS has started receiving Formula 1 gear shipments, while increasing the efficiency of its air cargo operations.

“BAS has already begun to take all measures to increase the efficiency of the cargo operations, where we are expecting this year 300 unit load devices of equipment weighing more than 700 tonnes through eight cargo aircraft, and it will continue to flow until the last day before the start race,” said Mr Al Mahmood.

“The shipments contain many key elements of the Formula 1 event, such as the Federation International de automobile’s (FIA) safety car and the medical vehicles.

“In addition to F1 shipments, there is also equipment for the F2 World Championship, which will be holding its season-opening round in Bahrain as a support series to the Formula 1 action.”

Since the F1 was hosted in Bahrain in 2004, cargo-handling teams have honed their skills to significantly reduce aircraft handling time to 60 minutes from arrival, as reported by the GDN in 2018.

Mr Al Mahmood

“BAS provides a full range of cargo services to cargo operators and scheduled and private airlines, using state-of-the-art equipment and technology,” added Mr Al Mahmood.

“This is carried out by a skilled and experienced staff capable of handling all types of aircraft, cargo and special events.”

The F1 extravaganza will put the country under a global spotlight and attracting some of the world’s leading motorsport stars and large crowds of fans from around the world.

The GDN reported last month that the Formula One teams which will start arriving in Bahrain will operate in Covid-19-free bubbles, with minimal interactions. The drivers and the entire support teams will operate within their own dedicated areas as part of safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the FIA regulations, an approved test provider appointed by the FIA will be responsible for testing, or an alternative provider, accredited by health authorities.

The season-opener in Australia in March was cancelled after a McLaren employee tested positive, with the championship then stalled until July.

As well as an injection of global sporting excellence, the races in Bahrain will provide a much-needed boost to the economy, particularly to the hard-hit hospitality sector as the teams seek shelter.

Even if fans are ruled out from attending, the F1 roadshow itself will witness the arrival of scores of support crew members, alongside the drivers and Formula One and FIA officials.

The second BIC race is set to be the penultimate round before the season concludes in Abu Dhabi on December 13.

raji@gdn.com.bh

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