Formula 1: Night race in Bahrain: Dear Formula 1, does that have to be?

Dear Formula 1, does that have to be?

The Bahrain GP is the first night race of the year. But why actually? The ecological concept of Formula 1 is thus taken ad absurdum.

S.already knew A soccer World Cup is a matter of CO2-Balance sheet as damaging as ten Formula 1 seasons! Means: The premier class is cleaner than its reputation. Nevertheless, Formula 1 wants to give itself an even greener coat of paint: By 2025 at the latest, the cars will run on 100% biofuel, at the latest by 2030 Formula 1 wants to be climate-neutral, as the saying goes.

But if a night race in Bahrain is the premier class’ answer to the question of more sustainability, then good night. 495 floodlight systems with more than 5000 individual lights on masts ten to 45 meters high, for which 50 kilometers of cable had to be laid – that’s a lot, but not eco. How much electricity is needed for this is not published. It is only known that 120 units are in use.


Formula 1 drives in Bahrain at night

© LAT / Mercedes

Night races in motorsport are not uncommon. In the ovals of the IndyCar and NASCAR there is always driving at night. But the difference to Bahrain is like day and night: oval tracks are like football facilities and therefore their size is manageable. So much fewer lamps and thus much less energy are required. In addition, the relevant races often take place on Saturday evenings because the TV ratings are higher then. So that has at least one economic factor.

The Formula 1 night race in Singapore is still fairly understandable. It was the first in history, so it had a unique selling point and the scenery in the mega-metropolis has its own flair. In addition, there is the time difference that allows the night race in Europe to take place at the best time of day. But Bahrain is in the middle of the desert. So there is no skyline on display here. A night race there simply makes no sense.
Incidentally, Formula E is now also jumping on the night train. The two races in Saudi Arabia in February will be held at night for the first time. That is even more pointless, considering that Formula E always sells itself as an eco racing series.
The best pictures from Friday’s training session in Bahrain can be found here.


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