Formula One: why is Bahrain hosting back-to-back races?

Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean both ruled race at the Sakhir Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton prevailed in an incident-filled Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, adding yet another feather to his 2020 cap.

The Mercedes driver cruised to his 11th win this season and record-increasing 95th victory in Bahrain, even though the race was completely overshadowed by Haas driver Romain Grosjean's horrific crash. The Frenchman needed hospital treatment for burns to his hands after his car exploded in flames after ploughing into a barrier.

Thankfully, Grosjean survived the crash but has been ruled out of the next race – the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, again in Bahrain.

Grosjean has been replaced by Pietro Fittipaldi, a grandson of former F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi for the second race in Bahrain, which will use a shorter outer loop at the same venue.

So why is Bahrain hosting successive races? Given the coronavirus-enforced change in the F1 calendar, the season was crunched into limited venues. The opening two races of the season in July were held in Austria, while Silverstone in the UK held back-to-back races.

Italy also hosted races over consecutive weekends in September.

Bahrain is the penultimate stop of the the 2020 F1 season ahead of the finale – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13.

While Hamilton has already secured the F1 title, he will be missing from action this weekend in Bahrain after testing positive for Covid-19.