Monaco and Thailand take rare successes, Vettel and Hamilton equal Schumacher and Valtteri Bottas equals Jack Brabham. Here are all the post-race facts and statistics from the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend!
FORTUITOUS FIRST FOR HAMILTON
Lewis Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix for the third time in his career on Sunday. It’s the first time he’s won the race since 2015, and he ties with Fernando Alonso as the driver with the second-most Sakhir wins. It was Hamilton’s 74th win and 136th podium finish, as well as being his eighth top three finish at the circuit – equalling Kimi Raikkonen’s record tally of podiums at the track. Hamilton has now scored more points than any other driver at the Bahrain International Circuit, usurping Sebastian Vettel from the top spot.
With second place, Valtteri Bottas became the tenth driver to surpass 1,000 points scored in his Formula 1 career. It was the Finn’s 31st podium finish, equalling Jack Brabham’s tally of top three finishes. Bottas has now finished on the podium three times in Bahrain, and this marked the eleventh podium for a Finnish driver at the track, ensuring the nation remains the most successful by way of podiums in Bahrain.
Charles Leclerc became the first Monegasque driver to finish on a Formula 1 podium since Louis Chiron at the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, equalling the nation’s best F1 result with third place. Leclerc became the 209th driver to finish on the podium in F1, as well as the sixteenth driver to finish on the podium in Bahrain. Though it looked for a while like Leclerc would become the sport’s third-youngest winner, he still has until this year’s U.S. Grand Prix in November to secure that title.
Mercedes took their 89th Formula 1 victory. Impressively, while this is their first 1-2 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix since 2014, they’ve finished on the podium with both cars in all of the last six races here. As a result, the team have now had twelve podiums at the track.
Both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton became only the second and third drivers to have led a lap of a Grand Prix in thirteen consecutive seasons by leading the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix. The only other driver to have completed that feat is Michael Schumacher. Ferrari became the first team to lead over 300 laps in Sakhir, while Mercedes passed 200 laps led at the track.
In the 999th Formula 1 qualifying session, Charles Leclerc became the sport’s 99th polesitter. At 21 years, 5 months and 15 days, he became the second-youngest driver to take pole position in the sport. As well as becoming the first Monegasque driver to ever take pole for an F1 Grand Prix, he also became the tenth different driver to take pole position in Bahrain, lowering the Bahrain International Circuit’s track record by 0.092 seconds with his pole lap. As a result, Ferrari reached 220 pole positions in Formula 1, and equalled Mercedes’ record tally of five pole positions at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
With Charles Leclerc topping the times in Free Practice 1, seven different drivers have set the fastest lap in the session in Bahrain in all of the last seven seasons. Leclerc also became the fifth different driver to set the pace in Free Practice 3 at the track in the last five years.
The 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix is the first time Ferrari have topped all three practice sessions since last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, and only the third time they’ve done so in the hybrid era (the other time being at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix). With the team also topping all three qualifying sessions, it’s the first time Ferrari have dominated Friday and Saturday at any race in the hybrid era.
McLaren reached the final part of qualifying in Bahrain for the first time since the 2014 season, with both of their drivers reaching Q3 for the first time since the 2017 Malaysia Grand Prix. Lando Norris remains the only driver on the grid to have appeared in Q3 on every Formula 1 appearance.
With fourth on the grid, Max Verstappen equalled his best Bahrain qualifying position, while Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen each recorded their best-ever Bahrain grid slots – the latter also being Haas’ best qualifying performance at the track to date. Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg, Robert Kubica and Pierre Gasly all recorded their worst Bahrain qualifying performances. For both Nico Hulkenberg and Robert Kubica, it was their first Q1 exits at the track. Hulkenberg recorded his first Q1 elimination since last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, and his worst qualifying position since the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix, while Kubica recorded two consecutive Q1 knockouts for the first time since the German and Hungarian Grands Prix in 2009.
The 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix marked the first time since 2014 that Nico Hulkenberg has been out-qualified by a team-mate here, and also the first time that Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen have out-qualified their team-mates at the track since 2014. Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas was out-qualified by his team-mate for the first time in seven visits to Bahrain.
With Kimi Raikkonen qualifying in ninth, the Alfa Romeo team (formerly Sauber) recorded their first top ten appearance in qualifying in Bahrain since the 2012 season.
Williams recorded their second consecutive Q1 knockout in Bahrain, locking out the back row of the grid for the first time at the event.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll all equalled their best ever Bahrain Grand Prix results, while Max Verstappen recorded his best Bahrain finishing position with fourth, marking the first time he’s seen the chequered flag at the track since 2016. Verstappen’s six-race podium streak, which started at the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix, came to an end – but he has finished in the top five in all of the last eleven races.
Daniel Ricciardo recorded a second consecutive retirement both at the Bahrain Grand Prix and in the 2019 season. It’s the first time since 2014 that the Australian has no points on the board after two races.
Both Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg recorded their first ever Bahrain retirement at the 2019 event, ending their 100% finish records at the track. With Hulkenberg not winning the race, he’s now matched Martin Brundle’s tally of most Grands Prix without a victory, putting himself equal-third on the all time list. The German has now had more point-less visits to Bahrain than any other driver. Meanwhile, with his sixth place finish, Kimi Raikkonen extends the record for most points-scoring appearances in Bahrain to twelve.
All three drivers who retired from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix also retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz seems to have no luck in Sakhir, with Sunday marking his fourth non-finish from his five visits to the track.
Robert Kubica recorded his worst Bahrain Grand Prix result, as he finished sixteenth for the first time in his career. The Polish driver has now finished a Grand Prix in every position between first and eighteenth, aside from fifteenth.
Pierre Gasly’s eighth place finish means that the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix marks the 500th race in which a French driver has scored a point. Gasly gained the most places of any driver in the race, having started thirteenth, while Kevin Magnussen lost the most positions of any driver, dropping seven places from his grid slot to finish only thirteenth. The Dane has lost seven places in a race which he has finished only once before in his career, at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.
As a result of Renault’s first double DNF since the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix, the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix was the eighth F1 race to finish behind the Safety Car – the first to do so since the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix.
Lando Norris and Alexander Albon became the 340th and 341st drivers to score points in Formula 1. Norris followed in the footsteps of fellow British driver Jenson Button to finish sixth in his second Grand Prix, while Albon became the first Thai driver to score a point since Prince Bira at the 1954 French Grand Prix.
In terms of grid slots, the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix marked the fifth consecutive year where the driver starting fifth has finished fourth at the track. Meanwhile, the race was the first time the driver starting from seventh has failed to finish since 2005 in Sakhir, and the first time the driver starting tenth has failed to finish since the inaugural race at the circuit.
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. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.