As the new season begins in Bahrain, Hamilton could get his year off to a record-breaking start and three drivers make their debut. Here are the milestones and records which could be broken at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix!
The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the 1,036th World Championship Formula 1 race. This will be the seventeenth Bahrain Grand Prix since the first event was held in the country in 2004, as well as the eighteenth F1 race held at Bahrain International Circuit. After the 2021 race, the circuit will have hosted as many Grands Prix as Magny Cours.
This will be the third time, after 2006 and 2010, that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been the season-opening race. Bahrain joins the United States in having started the F1 season on three occasions, while Bahrain International Circuit equals Interlagos in hosting the first race of the year three times. Read more: F1 Season Opening Races In Stats.
The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the fourth F1 race held on 28th March. The last race held on this date was the 2010 Australian Grand Prix.
The ninth lap of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the 1,000th Grand Prix lap raced at Bahrain International Circuit.
This will be the third time in the last four races that Bahrain International Circuit has hosted a Grand Prix. No venue has previously done that.
This will be the 75th Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held in the month of March.
This weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix marks the 400th World Championship race in which Pirelli have supplied tyres to competitors. Having previously supplied tyres in the 1950s and 1980s, the Italian manufacturer became the sport’s sole tyre supplier in 2011.
This will be the 352nd Formula 1 race to feature a Mercedes-powered McLaren. It’s the first time the team has raced with Mercedes power since the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first race to feature an Aston Martin car since the 1960 British Grand Prix, setting a new record for the longest gap between appearances for a constructor. Read more: Longest Gaps Between Team Appearances In F1.
This will be the first race for Alpine, who become the 164th constructor to start a race in Formula 1.
Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly’s presence on the grid make this the 900th Grand Prix to feature a French driver. France is the second nation to reach the milestone.
This will be Valtteri Bottas’ 80th appearance with Mercedes. This is the 40th occasion on which a driver has made 80 appearances with a single team.
This will be the 60th race in which Charles Leclerc has raced with the number 16 on his car. He equals Rene Arnoux as the driver to have made the second-most appearances with the number 16 on his car.
This will be the first race in which a driver with a knighthood has partaken. The last race to feature a driver other than Lewis Hamilton who was knighted, albeit after their career ended, was the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix. Read more: F1 Drivers Who Received Knighthoods.
Fernando Alonso returns to Formula 1 after a two-season absence. Race day at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix will mark 2 years, 3 months and 24 days since Alonso’s last F1 appearance at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s the 86th longest gap between Grand Prix appearances.
This will be the first race since the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to feature four World Champions on the grid.
There will be ten Grand Prix winners on the grid at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. It will be the first race in which ten or more previous Grand Prix winners have competed since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin and Yuki Tsunoda will become the 768th, 769th and 770th drivers to start a round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Tsunoda becomes the first driver born in the 2000s to race in Formula 1.
This will be the first race in which Ferrari compete without an active World Champion in their line-up since 2007, when future champion Kimi Raikkonen partnered Felipe Massa. The last time that Ferrari raced with a line-up of drivers who never won a World Championship in their respective careers was at the 1999 European Grand Prix, when Eddie Irvine raced alongside Mika Salo.
THE RECORDS TO BREAK
If Lewis Hamilton leads thirteen laps of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, he would overtake Michael Schumacher as the driver to have led the most laps in Formula 1 history.
Lewis Hamilton would set a new record for most podium finishes with a single team if he finishes in the top three at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. He equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of 116 podium finishes with the same team at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A win for Mercedes would make them only the fourth team, after Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus, to have won a Grand Prix in ten consecutive seasons. If they take pole, the team will also become only the fourth to have taken pole position in ten successive years.
A fastest lap for any Mercedes-powered car would make 2021 the 25th consecutive season in which a Mercedes-powered car has set the Fastest Lap of a race. That would equal Ferrari’s record of successive years in which an engine manufacturer has taken the fastest lap. Their record-breaking run came to an end in 2020. Similarly, if a Mercedes-powered car leads, Mercedes would equal Ferrari’s record for most successive seasons in which an engine manufacturer has led at least one lap. It would be the 27th consecutive year in which a Mercedes-powered car has led.
If Lewis Hamilton wins, he would be only the second driver – after Michael Schumacher – to have won a Grand Prix in fifteen different seasons. He would also maintain his record as being the only driver to have won a Grand Prix in every season in which they have raced. 2021 would also be the fifteenth consecutive year in which Hamilton has won, equalling Schumacher’s record for most consecutive years in which a driver has won. Schumacher won at least one race in every year between 1992 and 2006.
If Valtteri Bottas wins the race, he’d be the first driver to win the season-opening Grand Prix in three consecutive seasons since Michael Schumacher did so in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
If Kimi Raikkonen scores, he will become only the second driver to have a gap of over twenty years between his first and last points-scoring Grands Prix. Michael Schumacher is the only other driver who has achieved this.
If Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel score in the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, they will be only the fifth and sixth drivers to have scored points in fifteen consecutive seasons.
A podium finish for Lewis Hamilton would see him become the second driver to have finished in the top three in fifteen consecutive seasons.
If Yuki Tsunoda, Mick Schumacher or Nikita Mazepin score, they would become the 76th driver to have scored on their Formula 1 debut. The last driver to do so was Stoffel Vandoorne at the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix.
If Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen share the podium, this will be the fourteenth time that they have done so. It will equal the record for the most common podium trio in Formula 1. Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel finished on the podium together on fifteen occasions.
If a British driver wins, this will be the 300th win for the nation. Britain would be the first nation to reach the milestone.
A pole position for Valtteri Bottas would be his seventeenth pole in Formula 1. Should he achieve it, he would move ahead of Stirling Moss and Felipe Massa on the list of non-World Champions with the most pole positions. Only Rene Arnoux, who took eighteen poles in his career, would remain ahead of the Finn.
Should a Honda-powered car finish on the podium this weekend, the Japanese brand will become only the fifth engine manufacturer to have recorded 200 podium finishes in Formula 1.
A top ten finish for Lance Stroll or Nicholas Latifi would see Canada become the eighteenth nation to have recorded points in 100 World Championship Grands Prix.
Finland and Australia could reach similar milestones this weekend. If Kimi Raikkonen or Valtteri Bottas lead a lap, Finland will become the fifth nation to have had a driver lead in at least 200 Grands Prix. Should Daniel Ricciardo lead a lap, this will be the 100th Grand Prix in which an Australian driver has led a lap.
Carlos Sainz could become the eighth driver to win on debut with Ferrari. Read more: Drivers Who Won On Their Ferrari Debut.
BAHRAIN RECORDS TO BREAK
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are currently tied for most victories at Bahrain International Circuit. Either driver could extend their record to five Bahrain Grand Prix wins this weekend, while Fernando Alonso has a chance to equal the record.
Hamilton and Vettel are also tied for most poles at the circuit, with three apiece. While either of them could set a new record this weekend, Valtteri Bottas could equal their existing tallies.
Mercedes are one victory away from equalling Ferrari’s record tally of Bahrain race wins. Ferrari could extend their existing record to seven victories, while Mercedes could equal their current tally of six.
A top three finish for Lewis Hamilton would make him the first driver to have finished on the podium in Bahrain on ten occasions. Meanwhile, if he scores ten points, he would be the first driver to have scored 200 points at Bahrain International Circuit.
Mercedes could surpass Ferrari’s record of fourteen podium finishes at Bahrain International Circuit. Mercedes have thirteen podiums to their name so far at the track.
The record for most podiums for a nation at this circuit is currently shared between Finland and Britain. Both nations have recorded eleven top three finishes here. Either nation could extend the record, while German drivers – currently on ten podiums – could equal the existing record.
A Fastest Lap for Sebastian Vettel would see him equal Nico Rosberg’s record of three Fastest Laps at Bahrain International Circuit.
Both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton could extend their shared record for most points-scoring appearances in Bahrain. The pair have both scored points here on twelve occasions. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso could equal their record of most top ten finishes at the track.
If Sebastian Vettel starts from the front row and Lewis Hamilton does not, Vettel would equal Hamilton’s record of most front row starts at Bahrain International Circuit. Hamilton could, of course, extend the record to eight front rows.
If he completes 31 laps of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen will become the first driver to have raced 900 laps at Bahrain International Circuit.
A Q2 exit for Sergio Perez would make him the first driver to have recorded five Q2 exits at Bahrain International Circuit. He currently shares the record for most Q2 eliminations here with Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat. Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen could all record their fourth Q2 exit at the circuit this weekend.
If Kimi Raikkonen is eliminated in Q1, he would join Marcus Ericsson, Kevin Magnussen and Adrian Sutil as the drivers with the most Q1 exits at Bahrain International Circuit. The Finn has recorded three Q1 eliminations here so far.
Should Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso finish the race and Kimi Raikkonen fail to reach the chequered flag, they would equal the Finn’s record tally of fourteen finishes at Bahrain International 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.