The track was largely built in 2003 for the first Formula 1 race, which was actually driven on this circuit in 2004. The circuit was designed by renowned German track designer Hermann Tilke. He also designed the courses of Sepang, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul, Valencia and Abu Dhabi. Apart from Formula 1, the track is rarely used for racing and finding sufficient grip is often a problem on the circuit. This is because the circuit is located in the desert and so sand blows regularly on the track. The circuit has 24 turns. Some of these have names. Turn 1 is called Grandstand and Turn 19 is VIP Tower.
On January 25, 2010, it was announced that Formula 1 will use the layout of the endurance races in 2010. This will add 9 bends and make the circuit more than 800 meters longer. There will now only be 49 laps left on the circuit. After criticism from the teams, it was decided to run future races on the shorter Grand Prix circuit. Since 2014, the race has been held in the evening.
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