Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at the Bahrain International Circuit!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Polesitter and 5th have never retired
- 16th, 19th and 20th have never scored
- 19th has had most non-finishes
- No wins from further back than 4th
Grid Last Win Last Podium Last Points Last DNF Best Finish
1 2018 2019 2019 - 1st
2 2016 2017 2019 2018 1st
3 2019 2019 2019 2016 (DNS) 1st
4 2009 2019 2019 2018 1st
5 - - 2019 - 4th
6 - 2004 2018 2017 3rd
7 - 2012 2018 2019 3rd
8 - 2013 2019 2014 2nd
9 - 2018 2019 2015 3rd
10 - - 2016 2019 6th
11 - 2013 2015 2019 2nd
12 - - 2019 2017 6th
13 - - 2019 2016 4th
14 - - 2019 2016 8th
15 - - 2016 2018 7th
16 - - - 2017 11th
17 - - 2018 2019 6th
18 - - 2017 2007 7th
19 - - - 2017 12th
20 - - - 2017 9th
Points likelihood: 100% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: –
Less than half of the fifteen races at the Sakhir track have been won from pole. The Bahrain Grand Prix has been won from pole only twice in the last seven years. The good news for the polesitter, however, is that the man starting from the front has never failed to finish the Grand Prix, and has only finished off the podium twice. These occurrences were for Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth in 2010, and Nico Rosberg who finished ninth in 2013. In the last five years, when the polesitter has not won, they have finished third.
Points likelihood: 100% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: –
The driver starting from fifth place has never failed to finish the Bahrain Grand Prix and has always scored points at the event. With the exceptions of Mark Webber who finished sixth in 2005 and Kimi Raikkonen who finished tenth in 2014, the man who started from fifth has never finished below where they started from. In all of the past five seasons, the driver starting fifth has finished the race in fourth place. While the driver starting from fifth has never failed to finish the race, there’s some bad news for the driver starting here: no one starting from fifth has finished on the podium in a Bahrain Grand Prix.
Points likelihood: 87% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2018
Drivers starting from the front row have won ten of the fifteen Bahrain Grands Prix held since 2004. Four of those wins have been from second on the grid. The second grid slot has failed to finish in the top ten only twice at the circuit, with DNFs for Michael Schumacher in 2005 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2018. Sebastian Vettel’s fifth place finish last season means that the driver starting second has not finished on the Sakhir podium since 2017.
Points likelihood: 87% Last points: 2018 Last DNF: 2019
There have been only two occasions that the driver starting from seventh has failed to score. The first was in 2005, when Christian Klien failed to start the race for Red Bull following electrical problems. Last year, Carlos Sainz recorded the first actual DNF from this grid slot. The driver starting here has finished on the podium once – Romain Grosjean’s third place for Lotus in 2012.
Points likelihood: 80% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2016 (DNS)
In the last three seasons, the driver starting third on the grid has won twice. Sebastian Vettel won in 2017, while Lewis Hamilton was victorious from third on the grid last year. In 2018, Valtteri Bottas finished as runner-up having started third. Sebastian Vettel’s DNS in 2016 is the only time in the last five years that third on the grid in Bahrain has not supplied a podium finish. Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Montoya’s DNF in the inaugural race here and Lewis Hamilton’s thirteenth place in 2008 are the only other times that the grid slot has not scored points. All but two Bahrain Grands Prix have been won by one of the top three qualifiers. There is yet to be a race here where none of the top three qualifiers have gone on to finish on the podium.
Points likelihood: 73% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2018
Fourth is the furthest back grid slot to have won the Bahrain Grand Prix. The driver starting here has won twice, with Fernando Alonso taking the win in 2006 and Jenson Button winning for Brawn GP in 2009. In the last six years, the driver starting fourth has finished on the podium four times, including three runner-up slots in the last five seasons.
Points likelihood: 73% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2015
The driver starting ninth has scored in all but one of the last eight seasons. The time that they failed to score was in 2015, when Carlos Sainz recorded only the third retirement from this grid slot. It was also only the fourth time that the driver starting ninth has finished outside of the points at the circuit. Ninth on the grid has supplied two podium finishes in Bahrain, both third places for Kimi Raikkonen in 2005 and Lewis Hamilton in 2018.
Points likelihood: 60% Last points: 2018 Last DNF: 2017
While sixth on the grid has scored points on the least occasions from any of the top seven grid slots, Max Verstappen’s retirement here in 2017 is the only time a driver starting from sixth in the Sakhir desert has failed to finish the race. The grid slot also supplied Jenson Button with a podium finish here in 2004. 2019 marked only the second time in the last five years that the grid slot has not scored.
Points likelihood: 60% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2014
The driver starting eighth at the Bahrain International Circuit has scored more often than not. All of the past three races here have seen eighth on the grid pick up points, while Kimi Raikkonen recorded the best finish, and only podium, for a driver starting from eighth with the runner-up spot in 2013. There have been only two DNFs from eighth on the grid.
Points likelihood: 53% Last points: 2016 Last DNF: 2019
Along with fifth on the grid, tenth is one of only two grid slots in the top eleven to have never recorded a podium finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Last season, Daniel Ricciardo recorded the first non-finish for a driver starting from tenth on the grid since David Coulthard in the first Bahrain Grand Prix. While the position offers a low DNF rate, it also offers a relatively low points rate, with eight top ten finishes.
Points likelihood: 47% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2017
Alex Albon’s ninth place finish in 2019 was the first time that the driver lining up twelfth on the grid in Bahrain scored points since 2016. The grid slot has supplied seven top ten finishes in total, though only two of those have been in the last six seasons. There have been two non-finishes from twelfth on the grid: Kazuki Nakajima in 2009 and Lance Stroll in 2017.
Points likelihood: 40% Last points: 2015 Last DNF: 2019
Eleventh on the grid has supplied two podium finishes at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and is the only position outside the top nine, other than 22nd, to have supplied a podium finish. Kimi Raikkonen finished second in the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix having started from eleventh, and team-mate Romain Grosjean finished third from here in the following season. Though there have been big results from this position, the driver starting eleventh has not scored at the track since 2015, and has suffered two DNFs in the last four years.
Points likelihood: 40% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2016
In all of the last three years, the driver lining up fourteenth on the grid has scored points. The best result from this grid slot is eighth, scored by Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Stoffel Vandoorne in 2004, 2005 and 2018 respectively. The driver starting here has retired four times. Of the eleven races that the driver starting fourteenth has finished, they have finished in a better position than where they started nine times.
Points likelihood: 33% Last points: 2019 Last DNF: 2016
There have been only three races where the driver starting thirteenth has scored points, and two of those have been in the last two seasons. Daniel Ricciardo recorded the best finish for this grid slot in 2014 with fourth place. Though it has supplied points only three times, thirteenth has finished in the top ten on five occasions. There have been three DNFs from thirteenth on the grid.
Points likelihood: 20% Last points: 2018 Last DNF: 2019
There have been mixed fortunes for the driver starting seventeenth at the Bahrain Grand Prix in recent years: a DNS, a ninth place finish and a DNF. Marcus Ericsson’s ninth place was the second time that the driver starting here has scored a top ten finish. Daniil Kvyat’s ninth place finish in 2015 is the only other points-scoring race for seventeenth on the grid.
Points likelihood: 13% Last points: 2016 Last DNF: 2018
In recent years, fifteenth on the grid has been very unlucky in Bahrain, with four retirements in the last six seasons. One of the few times that the driver starting here has not retired was in 2016, when Daniil Kvyat finished seventh. That’s the only time the driver starting here has scored points. Meanwhile, Nelson Piquet Jnr’s tenth place in 2009 is the only other top ten finish for the driver starting fifteenth.
Points likelihood: 7% Last points: 2017 Last DNF: 2007
The eighteenth grid slot has gone the longest without a DNF at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the second and most recent DNF here being for Vitantonio Liuzzi back in 2007. But that’s where the good news ends for the driver starting here, as Sergio Perez’s seventh place finish in 2017 is the only time in fifteen races that the position has supplied points or a top ten finish.
Points likelihood: 7% Last points: – Last DNF: 2017
Sixteenth has scored only once at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with a sixth place finish for Fernando Alonso in 2004. That’s the only top ten finish from here though, with Antonio Giovinazzi recording the best result since 2004 with eleventh place last season.
Points likelihood: 7% Last points: – Last DNF: 2017
Twentieth is the first of two grid slots to have never scored at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello finished ninth having started from twentieth on the grid in 2005, but that was before points were handed out to the driver finishing in ninth. There have been four DNFs from twentieth on the grid.
Points likelihood: 0% Last points: – Last DNF: 2017
Statistically, nineteenth is the unluckiest grid slot in Bahrain. Drivers having started there have failed to finish the race seven times, including Kimi Raikkonen in 2004, Scott Speed in 2007, Sebastian Vettel in 2008, Timo Glock in 2010, Charles Pic in 2012 and Marcus Ericsson in 2017. Jolyon Palmer failed to even make the start of the race from nineteenth in 2016. Furthermore, no one has ever scored points starting from nineteenth at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The best finish for this grid slot is twelfth, which Patrick Friesacher and Charles Leclerc achieved in 2005 and 2018 respectively.
Points likelihood: 0% Last points: – Last DNF: –
There has been only one pit lane starter in Bahrain Grand Prix history. That was Kevin Magnussen with Renault in 2016. Following his pit-lane start, the Dane finished just outside of the points in eleventh place.
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.