Mercedes are yet to record a retirement in Bahrain, Ferrari have won each of the last two Sakhir races and Toro Rosso have scored only twice at the track. Here’s how the teams’ histories compare at the Bahrain International Circuit!
In every year since 2014, both Mercedes drivers have finished on the podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team have a 100% finish record at the Sakhir circuit, and none of their cars have failed to finish in the points in every season since the manufacturer returned as a works team in 2010. Michael Schumacher’s tenth place at the track in 2012 is Mercedes’ worst finish here. They’ve taken three Sakhir victories so far, all consecutively between 2014 and 2016, and have scored more points here than any other team (just one more than Ferrari).
Mercedes took five poles in a row here between 2013 and 2017, and locked out the front row twice during that time. Last year, neither Mercedes qualified on the front row for the first time since 2012. 2012 is also the year in which Schumacher recorded the team’s worst qualifying performance – 18th on the grid. It’s also the only time a Mercedes car hasn’t qualified in the top ten in Bahrain, and the only time one of their cars hasn’t reached the final part of qualifying.
Ferrari have taken more wins at the Bahrain Grand Prix than any other team, and have won here in each of the last two seasons. 2014 is the last time neither Ferrari car finished on the Sakhir podium, while 2005 is Ferrari’s only point-less appearance in Bahrain. The Italian team have failed to finish the race here on only three occasions: Michael Schumacher had hydraulic issues in 2005, Kimi Raikkonen had pit-stop problems last season and Sebastian Vettel failed to start the race in 2016 due to an engine failure on the formation lap.
Ferrari have taken pole here four times and secured their third front row lock out in Bahrain last season. Eight races in the Sakhir desert have featured a Ferrari on the front row, while there have been just two occasions where one of their cars has qualified outside of the top ten. Felipe Massa’s Q2 exit is the only occasion where a Ferrari driver has failed to reach Q3 at the circuit.
Sebastian Vettel is the only driver to have supplied Red Bull with a win, a pole or a podium position at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Vettel won twice for the team at the track in 2010 and 2012, qualifying on pole in the same seasons and taking an additional podium finish in 2009. From their four entries in the past two years, Red Bull have recorded three DNFs here, including their second double DNF at the circuit last season; the other being in 2007. Their double DNFs are the only time the team have failed to pick up points from the event.
Since their last pole here in 2012, Red Bull have qualified on the front row in Bahrain only once, in 2013. 2017 is the only occasion in the past five seasons where both Red Bull drivers have qualified in the top ten. 2008 is the only time neither of the team’s drivers have reached the final part of qualifying, while 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2017 are the only times both Red Bulls have appeared in Q3.
Renault won the 2005 and 2006 Bahrain Grands Prix, but since then have only scored points in the country on three occasions. Nico Hulkenberg’s sixth place finish last season marked the Renault team’s second points scoring Sakhir race, and their best finish, since their return to F1 in 2016. The inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix is the only time the team have scored points with both cars here, though during the Enstone team’s time as Lotus, Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both finished on the podium in 2012 and 2013.
Both Renaults have qualified in the top ten in Bahrain in each of the last two seasons. 2006 is the only other time both Renaults reached the final part of qualifying here, while 2016 is the only time neither of the team’s cars featured in the top ten. The latter is also the only time Renault have suffered a Q1 exit at the circuit. Fernando Alonso’s pole position at the track in 2005 is the only time a Renault car has featured on the front row for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Last season, both Haas cars reached the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix for the first time. Haas have finished in the top five only four times so far in their existence, and two such occasions have occurred at the Sakhir track, both fifth place finishes, thanks to Romain Grosjean in 2016 and Kevin Magnussen in 2018. Haas have scored on every appearance so far in Bahrain.
One Haas car has reached the top ten in qualifying on all three of the team’s appearances so far at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team have had two Q1 exits, two Q2 exits and two Q3 appearances at the track. Their worst qualifying here was in 2017, when Magnussen set the slowest time of the twenty drivers, while their best effort is the Dane’s seventh place qualification in 2018.
McLaren have never won nor taken pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix and have only led eight laps in the Sakhir desert. Their best finishing position here came in 2007, when Lewis Hamilton finished as runner-up, while their most recent top three finish here also came courtesy of Hamilton in 2010. There have been four races at the track where McLaren have failed to score, while 2004 and 2014 are the only times neither of their cars have reached the end of the race in Sakhir. Between 2014 and 2017, McLaren scored just one point at the Bahrain Grand Prix, thanks to Stoffel Vandoorne’s tenth place finish on debut in 2016. Their form at the track took an upward turn in 2018, as Fernando Alonso and Vandoorne finished seventh and eighth respectively, marking only the sixth time both McLarens have scored at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton’s second place in qualifying in 2007 and 2012 are the only two times a McLaren has qualified on the front row for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team have been frequently unlucky on Saturdays here, whether that be Kimi Raikkonen failing to set a lap time at the inaugural event, the Finn’s suspension failure which saw him start last in 2006 or Jenson Button in 2015, who was unable to set a time after his car broke down on his out-lap. 2014 is the last time either McLaren reached the final part of qualifying in Bahrain. The team have had three Q1 exits in total at the circuit, and have had double-Q2 exits in two of the past three seasons.
Racing Point (Force India)
Force India are one of only two current teams to have never recorded a DNF in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sergio Perez’s podium finish here in 2014 remains the team’s highlight performance, though Paul di Resta’s fourth place finish in the previous season is also worthy of a mention. 2008, 2009 and 2016 are the only occasions where the team have failed to score in Sakhir, while 2014 and 2017 are the only occasions where both Force Indias have finished in the points.
Sergio Perez recorded the team’s best qualifying finish here in 2014 with fifth, which later became fourth on the grid. 2013 is the only occasion where both Force India drivers have reached the final part of qualifying, while 2008 and 2009 mark the team’s only double Q1 exits. 2017 is the only time from the past eight seasons where neither Force India driver has appeared in the final part of qualifying.
The team failed to score any points at the Bahrain Grand Prix under their former Jordan, Midland and Spyker guises.
Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
Robert Kubica took the Sauber team’s only pole position in Formula 1 at the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix, back when the team were backed by BMW. Kubica couldn’t convert the pole into a win, but nevertheless took the team’s sole podium finish in Sakhir with third place. Incredibly, since then Sauber have scored on just one occasion at the Bahrain race. Their dry spell came to an end last year when Marcus Ericsson finished ninth, marking only the fourth season in which the team have scored points in Bahrain. Despite their low points rate, Sauber have had relatively few DNFs here, with 2010 and 2014 being their only double non-finishes at the circuit.
Kubica’s pole is the only front-row qualification for a Sauber at this track, and there have been just five other occasions where Sauber have qualified in the top ten for this event – the last time being in 2012, when Sergio Perez qualified eighth. The team have reached Q2 just once in the last three seasons.
Toro Rosso’s best result at the Bahrain Grand Prix came last year, as Pierre Gasly finished an impressive fourth in the team’s second outing with Honda power. Max Verstappen’s sixth place here in 2016 is the only other time Toro Rosso have scored points in Sakhir, giving them a total of 20 points from the past 12 seasons. The team have had ten DNFs in total here, including double non-finishes in 2007 and 2015. Last year marked the first time both Toro Rosso cars have reached the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix since 2012.
Toro Rosso have qualified in the top ten on just four occasions for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo recorded the team’s best qualification at the track with sixth in 2012, which was equalled by Pierre Gasly last year. 2012, 2015 and 2018 are the only occasions that a Toro Rosso car has appeared in the final part of qualifying at the circuit. 2007 and 2009 are the only times both cars have been eliminated in Q1, and Carlos Sainz’s Q1 exit in 2017 is the only time one of their cars has been eliminated in the first part of qualifying in the last six seasons.
Last season marked the first time Williams failed to score at the Bahrain Grand Prix since 2013; and only the fourth time in their history where they’ve failed to pick up a point at the Sakhir circuit. The team have suffered only one DNF in the past six seasons at the track – that was as a result of Carlos Sainz colliding with Lance Stroll at the pit exit in 2017. 2012 marks the only time neither Williams car has reached the finish of the race here. Bruno Senna was classified in the final result that year, but stopped just three laps short of the chequered flag. The team’s best result here came in 2015, courtesy of Valtteri Bottas who finished fourth.
Williams have never qualified on the front row for the Bahrain Grand Prix, and Juan Pablo Montoya’s third place in qualifying in the very first race here remains their best showing. There have been five seasons where both Williams have qualified in the top ten, most recently in 2016. 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018 are the only occasions where neither car has reached the final part of qualifying, and the team suffered their first double Q1 exit here last season.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth 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 GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.