Mercedes have won five of the last eight F1 races in Bahrain, while Vettel remains Red Bull’s only winner at the circuit. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at the Bahrain Grand Prix!
WINS: 5, POLES: 7, PODIUMS: 13
2020 RESULT: HAMILTON 1st, BOTTAS 8th
Until 2020, Mercedes had finished on the podium in Bahrain with both cars in every year since 2014. That changed at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix as, although Lewis Hamilton won the race, Valtteri Bottas finished only eighth. One week later at the Sakhir Grand Prix, held on the shorter Outer Circuit, a pit stop error from Mercedes left both drivers off the podium with Bottas eighth and George Russell – who replaced Hamilton following a positive coronavirus test – ninth. Nevertheless, since their rebrand to Mercedes in 2010, the Brackley team has a 100% finish rate at Bahrain International Circuit, with both cars scoring in every race at the track. Michael Schumacher’s tenth place at the track in 2012 is Mercedes’ worst finish here. They’ve taken five Sakhir victories so far, three consecutively between 2014 and 2016 and their latest in 2019 and 2020. Mercedes recorded 1-2 finishes at the circuit in both 2014 and 2019. They have scored more points here than any other team.
Mercedes took five poles in a row here between 2013 and 2017, and locked out the front row twice during that time. In both 2018 and 2019, Hamilton and Bottas locked out the second row of the grid, before both cars qualified on the front row at both the 2020 Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix. Michael Schumacher recorded the team’s worst qualifying performance in Bahrain in 2012, with 18th on the grid. It remains 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 here.
Sebastian Vettel was the only driver to have secured Red Bull a podium finish at Bahrain International Circuit until 2020. Both Max Verstappen and Alex Albon finished in the top three at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year. Vettel remains the only driver to have won or taken pole in Bahrain with Red Bull. 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. While 2019 marked the first time the team finished with both cars in the points at the Sakhir circuit since 2016, 2018 marked their second double DNF at the track. Their double DNFs are the only times the team have failed to pick up points from the event. In the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Albon finished sixth while Verstappen was eliminated on the first lap.
Since their last pole here in 2012, Red Bull have qualified on the front row in Bahrain only once, in 2013. In the past eight races at the track, the 2017 and 2020 Bahrain Grands Prix are the only times that 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 the 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2020 Bahrain Grands Prix are the only times both Red Bulls have appeared in Q3. At the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Verstappen qualified third, while Albon qualified only twelfth.
WINS: 2, POLES: 2, PODIUMS: 5
2020 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 2nd, ALBON 3rd
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 4
2020 RESULT: NORRIS 4th, SAINZ 5th
McLaren have never won nor taken pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix and have led only 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 his 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. In 2020, both McLaren drivers scored in both the Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix. Lando Norris finished fourth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, while Carlos Sainz finished fourth at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton’s second places in qualifying in 2007 and 2012 are the only two times a McLaren has qualified on the front row at Bahrain International Circuit. 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, Jenson Button who was unable to set a time after his car broke down on his out-lap in 2015 or Carlos Sainz’s brake failure in 2020. The 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix marked the first time since 2014 that a McLaren driver had appeared in the top ten on the grid at the Sakhir circuit, with both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz reaching Q3. The team’s best qualifying result here in 2020 was for Sainz, who qualified eighth at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Team Silverstone claimed their first victory in seventeen years at Bahrain International Circuit in 2020, with Sergio Perez victorious for Racing Point in the Sakhir Grand Prix. With Lance Stroll joining him on the podium, this was the first time that the Silverstone-based team had finished on the podium with both cars since the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix. The omens are good for the first appearance for the Aston Martin name in sixty years. In the team’s entire history at the event, they have recorded only four DNFs – two of those being a disappointing double DNF in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix. In the team’s pre-Force India history, Jordan, Midland and Spyker failed to pick up any points at this circuit. They first scored here in 2010, with Vitantonio Liuzzi finishing in ninth place. Since 2012, the 2016 and 2020 Bahrain Grands Prix are the only races at the circuit in which the team has failed to score. 2014 – in which Perez recorded a podium finish for Force India – 2017 and the second 2020 race are the only occasions on which the team has scored with both cars at this circuit.
The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix marked the first time since 2013 that both of Team Silverstone’s cars qualified in the top ten in Bahrain. At least one of the team’s cars has progressed to Q3 in nine of the last eleven races at the track. Sergio Perez recorded the team’s best qualifying finish here in 2014 with fifth, which later became fourth on the grid. Perez went on to qualify fifth for the team again at both Bahrain races in 2020. The team had both cars eliminated in Q1 at the track every year between 2006 and 2009, but since then have recorded only three Q1 exits here – the most recent being in 2019.
WINS: 1*, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 3*
2020 RESULT: PEREZ DNF, STROLL DNF
WINS: 2*, POLES: 1*, PODIUMS: 7*
2020 RESULT: RICCIARDO 7th, OCON 9th
The Enstone team have recorded two wins at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Renault victorious in 2005 and 2006. Since then, the team have recorded five podium finishes at the track. Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean finished on the podium for Lotus in both 2012 and 2013, while Esteban Ocon recorded Renault’s last podium finish with second place in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Renault scored with both cars in both the 2020 Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix – something which the team will be hoping to do again in the first race of their new Alpine era. The team has scored in four of their last five appearances at the track. The 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix resulted in a disappointing double DNF, with both Renault drivers retiring on the same lap, resulting in the team’s first double non-finish at the circuit.
Fernando Alonso scored the Enstone team’s only pole position in Bahrain back in 2005.Renault have reached Q3 with both cars at three of the last five F1 races held in Bahrain. During that time, their best qualifying result was sixth, recorded by Daniel Ricciardo at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix – their best grid position at the track since 2006. 2016 is the only time that the team has recorded a double Q1 elimination here, while Nico Hulkenberg recorded their only Q1 exit here since then in 2019.
Ferrari have taken more wins at the Bahrain Grand Prix than any other team, with six wins in total. Most recently, Sebastian Vettel brought the team two consecutive wins in 2017 and 2018, and Charles Leclerc looked set for a win in 2019 before his engine troubles. The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix marked the first time since 2014 that neither Ferrari driver finished on the podium here, while the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix marked the first time that the team failed to score at the circuit since 2005. The Italian team have failed to finish the race here on only four occasions: Michael Schumacher had hydraulic issues in 2005, Kimi Raikkonen had pit-stop problems in 2018, Sebastian Vettel failed to start the race in 2016 due to an engine failure on the formation lap and Charles Leclerc was eliminated in a first lap crash at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Ferrari have taken pole here five times and secured their fourth front row lock out in Bahrain in 2019. Nine races in the Sakhir desert have featured a Ferrari on the front row. Until 2020, there were just two occasions that one of their cars qualified outside of the top ten: Felipe Massa’s Q2 exit was the only occasion that a Ferrari driver has failed to reach Q3 at the circuit, while Rubens Barrichello’s fifteenth place in 2005 was the team’s only other non top ten qualification at the track. At the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, neither driver progressed to Q3, while Vettel was eliminated in Q2 at the Sakhir Grand Prix. The team is yet to record a Q1 elimination at the venue.
WINS: 6, POLES: 5, PODIUMS: 14
2020 RESULT: LECLERC 10th, VETTEL 13th
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: GASLY 6th, KVYAT 11th
It wasn’t until 2016 that the Red Bull junior team picked up points at the Bahrain Grand Prix – with Max Verstappen finishing in sixth place for Toro Rosso. Since then, the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only race in which the team has failed to score. Pierre Gasly recorded the team’s best result here with an impressive fourth place in the team’s second outing with Honda power. Their only other points scoring appearances at the track are ninth for Albon in 2019, and sixth and seventh for Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat in the 2020 Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix respectively. The team have had ten DNFs in total here, including double non-finishes in 2007 and 2015.
Until 2020, the Red Bull junior team had never qualified with both cars in the top ten in Bahrain. They had four top ten qualifications in total between 2012 and 2018, with a best of sixth for Daniel Ricciardo in 2012 and for Pierre Gasly in 2018. Both Gasly and Kvyat progressed to Q3 in both events held at the track in 2020, with Kvyat equalling the team’s best qualifying result here at the Sakhir Grand Prix. 2007 and 2009 are the only times both cars have been eliminated in Q1, while 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 nine races at the track.
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. Sauber then failed to score at the event until 2018. Their dry spell came to an end when Marcus Ericsson finished ninth, marking only the fourth season in which the team have scored points in Bahrain. As they became Alfa Romeo in 2019, Kimi Raikkonen recorded the team’s best result at the circuit since 2008, with seventh place. Despite their low points rate, the former Sauber team have had relatively few DNFs here, with 2010 and 2014 being their only double non-finishes at the circuit. Their most recent DNF was for Ericsson in 2017.
Kubica’s pole is the only front-row qualification for the team at this track, and there have been just six other occasions on which they have qualified in the top ten. In 2019, Kimi Raikkonen gave the team their first top ten qualification since Sergio Perez qualified eighth in 2012. At least one of their cars has been eliminated in Q1 in all of the last six races held in Bahrain.
WINS: 0, POLES: 1*, PODIUMS: 1*
2020 RESULT: RAIKKONEN 15th, GIOVINAZZI 16th
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: MAGNUSSEN 17th, GROSJEAN DNF
The 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix and the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix are the only times that both Haas cars have reached the end of the race at Bahrain International Circuit. Haas have finished in the top five twice at the Sakhir track. Romain Grosjean finished fifth in 2016 and Kevin Magnussen repeated that result in 2018. In 2019, with Magnussen finishing thirteenth and Grosjean retiring, Haas failed to score at the Bahrain International Circuit for the first time in their four appearances. In 2020, Grosjean was lucky to escape a fiery crash on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix. He was replaced by Pietro Fittipaldi at the Sakhir Grand Prix one week later. The team’s best result at the track in 2020 was a lowly fifteenth place for Magnussen at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix marked the first time that neither Haas car qualified in the top ten at Bahrain International Circuit. At both the 2020 Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix, both drivers were eliminated in Q1, marking the team’s first double Q1 exit at the venue. One Haas car reached Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, while 2019 marked their first double Q3 appearance here. Their worst qualifying result here is twentieth, recorded by Magnussen in 2017 and Fittipaldi in 2020. The team’s best effort is Magnussen’s sixth place qualification in 2019.
Williams have not scored at Bahrain International Circuit since 2017, with 2020’s pair of races marking the sixth and seventh times in their history where they’ve failed to pick up a point at the Sakhir circuit. In the last nine races at the track, the team have suffered only two DNFs – one a result of Carlos Sainz colliding with Lance Stroll at the pit exit in 2017 and the other a result of an oil leak for Nicholas Latifi at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. 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. Williams’ best Bahrain result was 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 when both Williams have qualified in the top ten, most recently in 2016. In the last four races at the circuit, George Russell’s Q2 appearance at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only time a Williams driver has made it out of Q1 at the track. 2019 is the only time that the team has locked-out the back row of the grid here.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: RUSSELL 12th, LATIFI 14th
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 Motorsport Guides. 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.