Hamilton takes the record for most laps led in F1, Bottas equals Rosberg’s podium tally and Mazepin is the first driver to crash out on Lap 1 of his career in almost 20 years. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend!
Recording the 300th win for a British driver, Lewis Hamilton won the season-opening Grand Prix for the first time since 2015. Hamilton became the second driver – after Michael Schumacher – to have won a race in fifteen consecutive seasons. He also broke two of Schumacher’s records, becoming the driver to have led the most laps in F1 history (his tally now stands at 5,126 – fifteen more than Schumacher) and the driver to have taken the most podium finishes with a single team (117 with Mercedes).
Qualifying in third place, Valtteri Bottas became the first driver to make 80 consecutive Q3 appearances. He has reached Q3 on every appearance so far with Mercedes. In the race, Bottas recorded his 57th top three finish, Bottas has now recorded as many podium finishes as his Mercedes predecessor Nico Rosberg.
Max Verstappen took pole positions at consecutive races for the first time in his Formula 1 career. This was the first time that Red Bull have taken pole position at the season-opening race since Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in qualifying for the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. Finishing as runner-up, Verstappen equalled Jackie Stewart’s tally of 43 podium finishes. He now sits nineteenth alongside the Scot in the all-time list of most podium finishes.
On his Red Bull debut, Sergio Perez became the first driver since Max Verstappen at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix to be eliminated in Q2 when their team-mate went on to take pole position. Perez nearly didn’t start the Bahrain Grand Prix following issues on the formation lap. He eventually started from the pit lane, after necessitating a second formation lap. It’s the first time that there has been an abandoned start in F1 since the 2017 British Grand Prix. Perez gained fifteen places from his pit lane start – the most positions he has ever gained from where he has started in a Grand Prix. His previous highest was fourteen places gained in the 2012 Australian Grand Prix.
On his eleventh appearance in Bahrain, and on his first F1 appearance with McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo maintained his record of never being out-qualified by his team-mate at the circuit. Ricciardo qualified in sixth place; McLaren’s best qualifying result in Bahrain since both drivers qualified in the top four in 2012.
Lando Norris finished the Bahrain Grand Prix in fourth place, equalling his best result at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Norris has scored on all four appearances so far at Bahrain International Circuit. He has also gained at least three positions in all of his races at the track.
Sebastian Vettel suffered disappointment on his first outing with Aston Martin. It was the first time that Vettel was eliminated in Q1 in Bahrain since driving for Toro Rosso in 2008 – and his worst qualifying result since failing to set a time in qualifying at the 2019 German Grand Prix. Vettel last qualified in eighteenth place at the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll recorded Aston Martin’s first ever point in Formula 1 with a tenth place finish. Stroll’s point also made the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix the 100th World Championship race in which a Canadian driver has scored. Canada is the eighteenth nation to reach the milestone.
On his return to Formula 1, Fernando Alonso reached Q3 for the first time since the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. This was his 27th consecutive appearance on which he has out-qualified his team-mate. Alonso failed to finish the race, recording his first non-finish in Formula 1 since the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon qualified only sixteenth in the 2021 season-opener. It was his first Q1 elimination since the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix and Team Enstone’s first Q1 exit since Daniel Ricciardo qualified sixteenth at the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix. Finishing the race in thirteenth place, this was the first time that Ocon failed to score in any of his five appearances in Bahrain.
Charles Leclerc qualified in fourth place for the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, already equalling Ferrari’s best qualifying result of the 2020 season. It was the fourth time in the last eight races that Leclerc has qualified in fourth place. Leclerc finished the race in sixth, scoring his first points since last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz set the fastest time in Q2 on his Ferrari debut, pipping team-mate Charles Leclerc to the fastest time by just one thousandth of a second. It was the first time Ferrari had been fastest in a qualifying session since Leclerc topped the timesheet in Q2 at the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sainz went on to qualify in eighth place – the lowest qualifying position for the driver who was fastest in Q2 since Kimi Raikkonen at the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix. Raikkonen also qualified eighth for that race having set the fastest time in Q2. Sainz finished the race in eighth place – the worst result for a Ferrari driver on their first race with the team since Giancarlo Fisichella came home ninth at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix.
After recording his best Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying position in fifth place, Pierre Gasly retired four laps from the end of the race, bringing an end to his 100% finish rate at Bahrain International Circuit.
Finishing in ninth place, Yuki Tsunoda became the first driver to score points on debut since Stoffel Vandoorne did so at the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix. His was the best finish for a debutant since Felipe Nasr finished fifth in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. Before Tsunoda, Carlos Sainz was the most recent driver to score on debut with the Red Bull junior team, while Kamui Kobayashi was the last Japanese driver to score in F1 at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. Tsunoda became the first Japanese driver to score on their Formula 1 debut – but his ninth place was not the best result for a Japanese debutant. Satoru Nakajima finished seventh at the 1987 Brazilian Grand Prix, as did Shinji Nakano at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix, but that was before the position gave any points.
Kimi Raikkonen missed out on points by only two seconds in the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. Completing all 56 laps of the race, Raikkonen became the first driver to race 900 laps at Bahrain International Circuit. The Finn also became the first driver to finish fifteen races at the venue.
Both Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen progressed to Q2. It’s only the second time in the last nineteen races that neither Alfa Romeo driver has been eliminated in Q1, the other time being at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix. Giovinazzi recorded his best Bahrain qualifying result with twelfth place, bettering his previous best of fourteenth at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
Mick Schumacher had a quiet debut in Formula 1, finishing last of the cars still running at the end of the race in sixteenth place. Of the three Schumacher drivers who have competed in Formula 1, Mick is the first not to retire on his Grand Prix debut.
On debut, Nikita Mazepin spun out of the Bahrain Grand Prix after just three corners. He’s the first driver to retire on debut since Sergey Sirotkin in 2018 and the first driver to retire on the first lap of his career since Andre Lotterer at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix. Not counting Lotterer, who pulled into the pits at the end of the first lap of his career, Mazepin is the first driver to crash out on the first lap of their career since both Allan McNish and Felipe Massa were eliminated on Lap 1 at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix.
George Russell became the 30th driver to record five fourteenth place finishes in their Formula 1 career. Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly are the other drivers on the 2021 grid to have achieved the feat.
Nicholas Latifi pulled into the pits five laps from the end of the race having suffered with a suspected boost leak throughout the race. The Canadian has now recorded three retirements in the last five races.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix in our Post Race Statistics article!
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.