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Bahrain renews Formula One contract 29 Jan 2007

The start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 12 March 2006

The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix confirmed on Monday they have agreed a long-term extension to their contract to host the race. The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) staged its first Formula One event in April 2004, winning the FIA promoters' trophy for that season.

"It was a real pleasure to bring Formula One to the Kingdom of Bahrain, and I'm pleased to confirm that this relationship will continue into the future,” commented Formula One Management CEO, Bernie Ecclestone. “Just three years ago Formula One - and motor sport in general - did not have any presence in the region.

"Bahrain has not only built a venue that is among the very best in the world and deservedly won acclaim for its Grand Prix, but has also built foundations for the current growth of interest and investment in Formula One across the Middle East. I look forward to continuing our relationship with His Highness the Crown Prince, the Bahraini government, the team at the Bahrain International Circuit as well as enjoying the warm and friendly welcome for which the Kingdom is renowned in the seasons ahead."

Since its inaugural race, the Bahrain race has drawn widespread acclaim for its facilities and its impressive programme of pre-race events. In 2006, it was honoured with hosting the season opener when Melbourne, the traditional first-race venue, was busy with the Commonwealth Games and this year the BIC will host two official Formula One test sessions in February.

“The success of the Grand Prix has however reached even further than we dared hope when we embarked on this great adventure, and we are delighted to see both interest and involvement in the sport from fans, sponsors and other ventures around the region has blossomed from our achievements,” added Talal Al Zain, Chairman of the BIC. “Our new agreement with Mr. Ecclestone ensures that Formula One will retain its home in the Middle East long into the next decade, and that the Kingdom will continue to host the world's biggest sporting series."

The Bahrain Grand Prix, the third round of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place on April 13-15.