Hamilton becomes the second driver to win in fifteen consecutive seasons, Tsunoda is the first Japanese driver to score on debut and Aston Martin record their first point in Formula 1. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix!
Lewis Hamilton took victory in the season-opening 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. He recorded the 96th victory of his Formula 1 career and a record-breaking fifth win at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Hamilton became only the second driver – after Michael Schumacher – to have won a Grand Prix in fifteen different seasons. He also equalled Schumacher’s record of taking victory in 15 consecutive years and remains the only driver to win in every season in which he has competed.
Hamilton’s victory makes Mercedes only the fourth team to have won a Grand Prix in ten consecutive seasons. The other teams to have done so are Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus. Mercedes equalled Ferrari’s record of six wins at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Winning in Bahrain, Hamilton recorded the 300th victory for a British driver. Britain is the first nation to reach that milestone.
This is the first time that Hamilton has won the season-opening Grand Prix since 2015.
Hamilton won the race by 0.745 seconds – the smallest win margin since the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. It’s the second smallest win margin recorded at Bahrain International Circuit – the smallest since Sebastian Vettel won by 0.699 seconds at the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton led 27 laps on his way to victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix. That takes his total of laps led in his career to 5,126 – overtaking Michael Schumacher as the driver to have led the most laps in Formula 1. Hamilton has led at least one lap of every Bahrain Grand Prix since 2014.
After equalling Schumacher’s record for most podium finishes with a single team at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton set a new record at the Bahrain Grand Prix, recording his 117th podium finish with Mercedes.
Having previously shared the record with Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton becomes the first driver to score points on thirteen appearances at Bahrain International Circuit.
ON THE PODIUM
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas stood on the podium together for the fourteenth time, equalling the record for the most common podium trio in Formula 1’s history. Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel also finished on the podium together on fourteen occasions.
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.
Verstappen’s second place was the 200th podium result for a Honda-badged engine. Honda are the fifth manufacturer to reach the milestone after Ford Cosworth, Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes. Mercedes were the last manufacturer to reach 200 podiums, doing so at the 2009 Spanish Grand Prix.
With his 57th top three finish, Bottas has now recorded as many podium finishes as his Mercedes predecessor Nico Rosberg.
Ferrari had held the record for most podium finishes in Bahrain since Bahrain International Circuit joined the calendar in 2004 – but Mercedes ended their reign on Sunday. Hamilton and Bottas take their tally of top threes at the circuit to fifteen.
Bottas set the Fastest Lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix. That makes 2021 the 25th consecutive season in which a Mercedes-powered car has set the Fastest Lap of a race. It equals Ferrari’s record of successive years in which an engine manufacturer has taken the fastest lap, which came to an end in 2020. Similarly, Mercedes equalled Ferrari’s record for most successive seasons in which an engine manufacturer has led at least one lap. Thanks to Hamilton, 2021 became the 27th consecutive year in which a Mercedes-powered car has led.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Lando Norris finished the race 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.
Sergio 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.
Carlos Sainz finished in eighth place, recording the worst result for a Ferrari driver on their first appearance with the Scuderia since Giancarlo Fisichella finished ninth at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll recorded Aston Martin’s first ever point in Formula 1 with a tenth place finish. Stroll’s point also made this the 100th World Championship race in which a Canadian driver has scored. Canada is the eighteenth nation to reach the milestone.
TSUNODA SCORES ON DEBUT
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. He did so at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. Tsunoda is the sixth driver to score in his first race with the Red Bull junior team after Sebastien Bourdais, Sebastien Buemi, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz.
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.
Tsunoda is the fifteenth youngest driver to score in Formula 1, as well as the sixth youngest driver to score at their debut Grand Prix. He’s the first Japanese driver to score since Kamui Kobayashi at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
THE OTHER FINISHERS
Kimi Raikkonen missed out on points by only two seconds. 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.
Finishing in thirteenth place, this was the first time that Esteban Ocon failed to score in any of his five appearances in Bahrain.
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.
Four drivers failed to finish the Bahrain Grand Prix: Nikita Mazepin, Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly and Nicholas Latifi.
Fernando Alonso retired on his comeback to the sport, recording his first non-finish in Formula 1 since the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix.
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.
Pierre Gasly retired four laps from the end of the race, bringing an end to his 100% finish rate 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. 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.