Two current drivers have claimed their maiden pole position in Bahrain, while only two current drivers have previously won at the Bahrain International Circuit. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Bahrain Grand Prix!
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton took his third Bahrain Grand Prix victory last season. He has finished on the podium at the track in every year of the V6 hybrid era, and also finished in the top three in 2007 and 2010. Hamilton has never failed to finish the Bahrain Grand Prix, and 2008 is the only season that he has left the track without scoring a point. Hamilton has qualified on the front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix five times, including two pole positions, but has not done so since 2017. Hamilton has led at least one lap in all of the last six Bahrain Grands Prix.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas has finished as runner-up at the Bahrain Grand Prix in each of the last two seasons, and has finished on the podium in all of the last three years. Bottas has a 100% finish rate at the circuit, and has scored points in every season except 2013, when he finished fourteenth. Bottas took the first pole position of his career at the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix. That’s the only time that he has started on the front row at the circuit. Bottas has reached Q3 on every appearance except his debut at the track in 2013, when he was eliminated in Q2. 2019 marked the first time that Bottas has been out-qualified by his team-mate at the circuit.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has been victorious at the Bahrain Grand Prix four times. 2009, when he finished second, is the only other time that Vettel has finished on the podium here. From his eleven appearances, there have been only two occasions that Vettel has failed to score at the event. He retired on his first appearance in 2008, and recorded the only DNS of his career at the circuit in 2016. Vettel has taken three pole positions in Bahrain and has qualified on the front row on six occasions – including in each of the last two seasons. 2008 and 2014 are the only other years that Vettel has not reached Q3 at the track. Last year marked the first time since 2014 that Vettel has been out-qualified at the circuit. Vettel has led laps of the race on seven of his Bahrain Grand Prix appearances.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc took his maiden Formula 1 pole position at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix. He was set for his first victory too, until a late race engine issue saw him able to finish only third – still picking up his first podium finish. On his first F1 appearance at the track in 2018, he qualified nineteenth, failing to out-qualify his team-mate. The Monegasque driver gained seven places in the race to finish twelfth.
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
From his five appearances, Max Verstappen has reached the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix only twice, recording a best finish of fourth last season. His other finish here was sixth place in 2016. Verstappen also recorded his best qualifying result so far at the track last year, with fifth on the grid. It was the third time that he has reached the final part of qualifying at the Sakhir circuit. Last season was only the second time, after 2016, that Verstappen has out-qualified his team-mate at the track.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon scored the first points of his Formula 1 career at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix with a ninth place finish. He qualified twelfth, ahead of his team-mate, and gained three positions in the race. Prior to F1, Albon raced here in Formula 2 in 2017 and 2018. He finished all four races, and scored points in three of the four races. His best result was a fourth place in the 2018 Feature Race.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has never scored at the Bahrain Grand Prix and has finished the race only once in his five appearances. His solitary finish here came in 2018, when he finished eleventh. Sainz has qualified in the top ten three times in Bahrain, with a best qualifying result of seventh last season. Last year was the first time since his maiden season that Sainz has out-qualified his team-mate at the track.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris scored his first Formula 1 points at the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix with a sixth place finish. He was out-qualified by his team-mate, but still reached Q3 and lined up ninth on the grid. Norris took victory on his Formula 2 debut at the Bahrain International Circuit in 2018. It proved to be the only win of his solitary F2 season. He also finished fourth in the Sprint Race.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix in each of the last two seasons. Before that, he had finished in the top six for four consecutive seasons. Ricciardo has never finished on the podium at the track, but has finished fourth twice – in 2014 and 2016. Meanwhile, 2013 and 2019 are the only seasons that Ricciardo has failed to reach Q3 at the track. His best qualifying result here is third in 2014 – though he started thirteenth as the result of a penalty. That year, Ricciardo gained nine places from where he started, but he has never gained more than one position in any other race at the track.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon has two previous appearances at the Bahrain Grand Prix, in 2017 and 2018. He finished tenth on both occasions. After qualifying fourteenth in 2017, Ocon reached Q3 at the circuit for the first time in 2018, with ninth place. He out-qualified team-mate Sergio Perez on both appearances.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has a 100% finish rate at the Bahrain Grand Prix. His best finish here is third, which was his first podium finish for Force India in 2014. He has scored points a further four times at the circuit, and has never finished below sixteenth. Despite this, Perez has not reached Q3 at the circuit since 2014, when he recorded a best qualifying position of fifth. 2012 is the only other season that Perez has qualified in the top ten at the track. Last season marked the first time that Perez has out-qualified his team-mate at the Bahrain International Circuit since 2014. 2012 and 2018 are the only seasons that Perez has lost positions over the course of a race in Bahrain.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll has finished fourteenth in each of the last two Bahrain Grands Prix. He is yet to score a point at the circuit, with his first appearance at the track resulting in a DNF after being taken out at the pit exit by Carlos Sainz. Stroll is yet to out-qualify a team-mate in Bahrain. The only time that he has not been eliminated in Q1 here was in 2017, when he recorded a best qualifying result of twelfth. The Canadian has gained at least four places from where he started in each of the last two Sakhir races.
🇷🇺 Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat has finished the Bahrain Grand Prix on all five of his appearances at the event. His best finish here is seventh in 2016, while his ninth place in 2015 is the only other time that he has scored at the track. Kvyat is yet to reach Q3 at the circuit, but has only been eliminated in Q1 once in 2015. His best qualifying result here is eleventh in 2017. That season is the only one in which Kvyat lost positions from where he started over the course of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has finished in the points on both appearances at the Bahrain Grand Prix. He recorded a career-best fourth place result in the 2018 race with Toro Rosso and finished eighth in 2019 with Red Bull. Gasly out-qualified his team-mate and reached Q3 in 2018 here, but failed to do either of those things in 2019, when he was eliminated in Q2. The Frenchman has gained positions on both appearances at the Sakhir circuit.
🇫🇮 Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen has finished on the Bahrain Grand Prix podium eight times, but has never won the event. He has finished as runner-up five times. His retirements in 2004 and 2018 are the only occasions that he has failed to score at the circuit. Raikkonen failed to set a time in qualifying in both 2004 and 2006, but has qualified in the top ten on every other appearance – except 2012, when he qualified eleventh. He has never taken pole position at the circuit, and 2018 is the only season that Raikkonen has started on the front row at the circuit. 2013, 2014 and 2019 are the only seasons that Raikkonen has out-qualified his team-mate at the Bahrain International Circuit, while 2014 is the only time that Raikkonen has finished in a worse position than where he started in all of his twelve finishes at the circuit.
🇮🇹 Antonio Giovinazzi
On his first appearance at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year, Antonio Giovinazzi finished in fifteenth place. He was eliminated in Q1, qualifying in sixteenth position and failing to beat his team-mate.
🇫🇷 Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean recorded his first Bahrain Grand Prix retirement in 2019. It came one year after he recorded his worst finish at the track of thirteenth. Grosjean has scored points on five occasions at the Bahrain International Circuit, including two podium finishes. He finished third in both 2012 and 2013. Grosjean has reached Q3 at the circuit five times, with a best result of seventh in 2012. He has been out-qualified by his team-mate in each of the last two seasons. In all seven races which he has finished at the circuit, Grosjean has finished in a better position than where he started from.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen has scored only once at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with an impressive fifth place in 2018. He has had two further finishes outside the points at the circuit, and retired from the event in both 2014 and 2017. Magnussen has reached Q3 in each of the last two seasons, recording his best qualifying result at the track so far last year, with sixth place – though he also lined up sixth on the final grid in the previous season.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell finished fifteenth at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix. He did so after out-qualifying his team-mate and starting from nineteenth on the grid. Russell also competed here in F2 in 2018, finishing a best of fifth in the Feature Race.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi has previously raced at the Bahrain International Circuit in GP2 in 2015, where he scored no points, and in F2 in every year since 2017. From his six F2 races at the track, Latifi scored on three occasions. He finished on the podium in both of last year’s races at the track, winning the Feature Race and finishing third in the Sprint Race.
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After graduating from the University of Hull 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 fifth 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.