Perez’s wait for win is over, Ocon records his first podium finish and Russell scores for the first time. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix!
PEREZ AND RACING POINT’S MAIDEN WIN
Sergio Perez took an incredible win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Perez is the 110th different driver to win a World Championship Formula 1 race, doing so on his 190th race start. That’s a new record for most starts before a driver’s first win. The previous record was 130 starts, which was set by Mark Webber at the 2009 German Grand Prix.
Perez becomes the second Mexican driver to win a Formula 1 race – the first to do so since Pedro Rodriguez at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix, over fifty years ago.
This was Perez’s first race win in 3,676 days. He took his last win just over ten years ago at the Yas Marina Circuit, winning the Abu Dhabi Feature Race in the 2010 GP2 season.
Racing Point are the 36th different constructor to win a World Championship event, though this is not the first win for the Silverstone-based team. They last won as Jordan at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, with Lance Stroll also finishing on the podium, the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix is the first time both of the Silverstone-based teams cars have finished on the podium since the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez is the eighth different driver to win at Bahrain International Circuit, while Racing Point are the sixth different team to win at the track.
With Pierre Gasly also taking his maiden win earlier in the season, 2020 is the first season to have two new winners in a single year since 2012, when Nico Rosberg and Pastor Maldonado won for the first time.
Perez’s win means that he has now scored more points this season than in any other season during his F1 career. His previous best score was 101 points from 21 races in 2016. In 2020, he has scored 125 points from only 14 races.
Perez is the first driver to win from fifth on the grid since Lewis Hamilton did so at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix.
ON THE PODIUM
Esteban Ocon finished on the podium for the first time in his Formula 1 career. Ocon became the 214th driver to finish on the podium in World Championship history. His was the 306th top three finish for a French driver and the first time that a French driver has finished on the podium with Renault since Patrick Tambay at the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix. The last French driver to finish on the podium for the Enstone team was Romain Grosjean at the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.
Before the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Ocon’s previous best result was fifth place. He’s finished fifth three times – at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix and the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix.
Ocon records Renault’s first podium finish in Bahrain since Fernando Alonso won the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll recorded his third podium finish. He becomes the 115th driver to record at least three top three finishes in F1. Stroll’s third place marks the first time that he has scored points at the Bahrain International Circuit.
While Sergio Perez becomes the eleventh driver to record multiple podium finishes at the Bahrain International Circuit, Ocon and Stroll become the nineteenth and twentieth drivers to finish in the top three at the circuit.
This was the first race in which none of the drivers who started in the top three on the grid finished on the podium since the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. It’s the first time in F1 history that the drivers who started fifth, tenth and eleventh have finished on the podium together.
THE TOP TEN
Carlos Sainz finished in fourth place, recording a third consecutive top five finish. This was the fourth time that Sainz has finished in the top four during his career.
With Ocon second and Daniel Ricciardo finishing fifth, this is the first time in Renault’s history that both of their drivers have finished in the top five at a race in Bahrain.
Daniil Kvyat finished in seventh place. This is the fourth successive F1 race in Bahrain in which the Red Bull junior team has scored.
Valtteri Bottas finished in eighth place for a second consecutive race. This is the first time that Bottas has failed to finish on the podium at three consecutive races since the end of the 2018 season. This was the twelfth time in F1 that the polesitter finished in eighth place – the first time since Sebastian Vettel did so at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.
George Russell came close to recording his maiden win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. While that wasn’t to be, Russell finished ninth and recorded the first points of his career. He scores for the first time on his 37th appearance. Only two drivers took longer to score their first points – Jonathan Palmer, on his 42nd appearance, and Nicola Larini, on his 44th appearance.
Russell also set the Fastest Lap for the first time in his career. He’s the 135th driver to set the Fastest Lap during a Formula 1 race, doing so with a 55.404 second lap. Russell set a new record with his fastest lap: it’s the shortest ever race lap in Formula 1 history. The previous record was a 1:00.00, set by Jody Scheckter at the 1974 French Grand Prix.
This was the first time since the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix that neither Mercedes driver finished on the podium at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Finishing in tenth place, Lando Norris is the first driver to score at the Bahrain International Circuit having started from nineteenth on the grid.
THE OTHER FINISHERS
Sebastian Vettel finished twelfth. With Charles Leclerc retiring, this is the first time that Ferrari have failed to score at the Bahrain International Circuit since 2005.
Finishing in fourteenth place, Kimi Raikkonen became the first driver to have raced 800 laps at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Jack Aitken made his Grand Prix debut and finished in sixteenth place. He’s the first driver to finish sixteenth on debut since the man he replaced did so. George Russell finished sixteenth at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
Pietro Fittipaldi became the first driver to finish seventeenth on debut since Will Stevens did so at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He’s the first member of the Fittipaldi family to finish in seventeenth place since Christian Fittipaldi did so at the 1994 European Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc were both eliminated on the opening lap of the race. This was Verstappen’s fourth retirement in Bahrain and Leclerc’s first. This was the first time that two drivers have retired on the opening lap in Bahrain since 2007.
Leclerc is only the third Ferrari driver to record a retirement in Bahrain. Michael Schumacher failed to finish in 2005, while Kimi Raikkonen was out in 2018.
Nicholas Latifi recorded Williams’ first retirement in Bahrain since Lance Stroll failed to finish the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix.
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.