Nine drivers have a 100% finish rate in Bahrain, two drivers have a 100% top ten qualification rate at the track and three drivers have never been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s past performances at the Bahrain Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has scored the most points of any driver at the Bahrain Grand Prix. He’s finished on the podium and led laps at the event in every season since 2014, taking victories in both 2014 and 2015. The 2008 race is the only one at the track in which he failed to score, finishing only thirteenth after he had a poor start and collided with the rear of Fernando Alonso’s Renault in the opening laps. Hamilton has a 100% finish rate at the Sakhir track, and has never failed to reach the final part of qualifying here. He has always qualified in the top five at the circuit, and has never lined up lower than ninth on the grid. 2015 and 2016 are the two occasions where he’s taken pole position so far at the track, while he’s had a further four front row starts. Hamilton is yet to beat Valtteri Bottas in qualifying at this circuit during their time as team-mates, while Nico Rosberg is the only other team-mate to out-qualify him at the track, having done so in 2013 and 2014. Hamilton has gained positions from his starting place in each of the last two seasons, gaining a best of six places last season after starting ninth as the result of a gearbox penalty.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas took his first F1 pole position at the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix. He’s finished on the podium here in each of the last two seasons, very nearly winning last year’s event, finishing just 0.699 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel in the closest ever finish at the track. Bottas has scored points on every visit except in his debut season in 2013 with Williams. That year, he finished fourteenth; meaning he has a 100% finish rate at the track. The Finn hasn’t qualified outside of the top six at the Sakhir circuit since 2013 and has never been beaten by any of his team-mates on a Saturday at the track. Bottas has never gained more than one position from his starting place in any race at the circuit.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has won each of the last two Bahrain Grands Prix. He’s won four times in total here, more times than any other driver. Vettel recorded the only Did Not Start so far in his career in Bahrain in 2016, as his engine failed on the formation lap. Aside from that, his DNF on his first appearance at the track in 2008 is the only other time Vettel has failed to score at the track. Other than his four wins, his second place for Red Bull in 2009 is the only other time he’s finished on the podium at the event. Last season, Vettel took his third pole position at the circuit, and his first since 2012. The German has qualified in the top three in all but one of the last nine races in Bahrain. In fact his Q1 exit in 2008 and his Q2 exit in 2014 are the only occasions where Vettel hasn’t qualified in the top three here. They’re also the only two occasions where he has been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at the track.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc qualified nineteenth on his first visit to the Bahrain International Circuit in F1 last year, failing to out-qualify his team-mate. The Monegasque driver gained seven places in the race to finish twelfth.
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen’s sixth place for Toro Rosso in the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only time he’s finished the race here. He retired from the 2015 race with electrical issues, while he’s only completed fourteen laps of Bahrain Grands Prix in his Red Bull career, retiring with brake failure on the eleventh lap in 2017 and with transmission issues on the third lap last season. 2016 is the only season in which Verstappen has out-qualified his team-mate in Bahrain. Verstappen reached Q3 in 2017, and exited in Q2 on his other three appearances, qualifying in fifteenth in both 2015 and 2017.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly impressed on his first F1 appearance in Bahrain last year, qualifying in sixth place for Toro Rosso, and finishing a superb fourth in the Grand Prix – with Honda’ best result since their return to F1. It marked the Frenchman’s debut points scoring race in the sport.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo recorded his first non-finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix last season. It ended a four-year streak of points at the track, in which he never finished below sixth. The Australian has never taken a podium finish at the track, but has finished fourth in both 2014 and 2016. 2013 is the only season where Ricciardo has failed to qualify in the top ten at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Third in 2014 is his best qualifying position so far here – though he started the race from thirteenth as the result of a ten-place grid penalty for an unsafe release from his pit-box at the previous race. He’s qualified in the top five at the track in all of the last three seasons. Ricciardo has never been beaten by a team-mate in qualifying at Sakhir.
🇩🇪 Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg has finished the Bahrain Grand Prix on all of his eight appearances at the track. From those eight finishes, only three have been in the points. His best result at the track was fifth in 2014, while he’s also scored points in each of the last two seasons. Hulkenberg has an even split of Q2 exits and Q3 appearances from his visits to the track. He was eliminated in Q2 in all of his first four visits and has reached the final part of qualifying here in all of his last four visits. The German hasn’t been beaten by his team-mate in qualifying at the Bahrain International Circuit since 2014.
🇫🇷 Romain Grosjean
On his first two Bahrain Grand Prix appearances, Romain Grosjean scored two podium finishes, with third places in both 2012 and 2013. Since then, he’s scored points on three occasions, but failed to score last year with a thirteenth place finish. Last season marked the first time Grosjean was eliminated in Q1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, having previously reached both Q2 and Q3 three times. His best qualifying position at the track came on his first visit to Sakhir, when he qualified seventh for Lotus. 2018 marked only the second time the Frenchman has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track – the first time since 2013. Grosjean has a 100% finish rate at the Bahrain Grand Prix and has finished every race at least one position higher than where he started.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
With fifth place last season, Kevin Magnussen recorded his equal-best result of the year at the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was the first time the Dane has scored at the track, with his only other finish being eleventh place for Renault in 2016. He failed to finish on his appearances in 2014 and 2017. Last season also marked the first time Magnussen has qualified in the top ten at the track since 2014. He was eliminated in Q1 in both 2016 and 2017. Magnussen has gained positions from his starting place on both visits to Bahrain, gaining an impressive eleven places in 2016 to finish eleventh having started from the pit-lane.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz’s first visit to Bahrain in 2015 is the only time he’s beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the Sakhir track, while last season is the first time he’s finished a race here. The Spaniard is yet to score a point at the Bahrain Grand Prix, having retired in all of his first three visits and finished eleventh last year. He’s reached the final part of qualifying here twice – in 2015 and 2018 – with a best qualifying result of ninth in 2015.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris took victory on his Formula 2 debut at the Bahrain International Circuit last season. It proved to be the only win of his F2 season. Norris also finished fourth in the Sprint Race.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez scored his first Force India podium at the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing third with his best result so far at the track. He’s scored here a further three times, but finished only sixteenth last season. The Mexican’s best qualifying result at the track also came in 2014. He qualified in fifth but moved up to fourth on the grid as the result of a grid penalty for Daniel Ricciardo. 2014 is the last time Perez has qualified in the top ten in Bahrain. Perez has beaten his team-mate in qualifying at the circuit only twice, the most recent time being in 2014. He has a 100% finish record at the track, and his first and most recent appearances here are the only two occasions where he’s finished the race lower than where he started.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll is yet to score a point at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but did at least finish the race for the first time last season. He was out following a pit-lane exit crash with Carlos Sainz in 2017. Stroll is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the circuit, and recorded his best qualifying position of twelfth at the track in 2017.
🇫🇮 Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen has taken podium finishes eight times at the Bahrain International Circuit, yet has never won the Grand Prix here. It’s a shared record for the most podiums at a circuit without a victory. Last season, a pit stop issue – which left one of his Ferrari mechanics injured – saw Raikkonen retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix for only the second time in his career, and for the first time since the inaugural race. The Finn has scored on every other appearance at the track, finishing second five times and third three times. His most recent podium appearance at the track came in 2016. Last season marked the first time Raikkonen has qualified on the front row at the circuit. He’s qualified in the top ten on all but three occasions at the track – in 2004 and 2006 when he failed to set a time, and in 2012, when he qualified in eleventh. 2013 and 2014 are the only seasons where Raikkonen has beaten a team-mate in qualifying at this track, while 2014 is the only Bahrain Grand Prix which he has finished in a position lower than where he started it. Perhaps his best drive here came in 2006, when the Finn gained nineteen positions from the back of the grid to finish on the podium.
🇮🇹 Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi handed his Sauber back over to Pascal Wehrlein before the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2017 and, as this track was not on the GP2 calendar in 2016, the Italian has no previous racing experience here. He did, however, drive for Ferrari in a test at the track in April 2017.
🇷🇺 Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat has scored on half of his appearances at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with a best finish of seventh for Red Bull in 2016. The Russian has a 100% finish rate at the track, but has never qualified in the top ten. His best qualifying position in Sakhir came on his most recent visit, in 2017, where he qualified eleventh. However, that’s also the only visit to the track so far where he’s failed to finish the race in a position higher than where he started.
🇹🇭 Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon raced here in Formula 2 in 2017 and 2018. He finished all four races here, and scored points in three of the four races. His best result was a fourth place in the 2018 Feature Race.
🇵🇱 Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica took the only pole position of his F1 career so far at the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix. He led only two laps of that race and failed to convert the pole into a win, but nevertheless recorded a podium finish – his only one so far at the circuit. Kubica failed to score points in his last two visits to the track in 2009 and 2010, but has never retired from a race here. He’s reached the final part of qualifying in three of his four Sakhir appearances and has been out-qualified by a team-mate here only once, in 2007.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell competed here in F2 in 2018, finishing a best of fifth in the Feature Race.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.