Since hosting the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004, Bahrain International Circuit has hosted eighteen Formula 1 races. Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about the track!
Track length: 5.412km
Race length: 308.238km
Circuit opened: 2004
F1 first visited: 2004
Races held: 18
Track Record: 1:27.264, Lewis Hamilton, Q3, 2020
Lap Record: 1:30.252, Michael Schumacher, 2004
Since its inaugural race in 2004, there have been eighteen Formula 1 races held at the Bahrain International Circuit. The Bahrain Grand Prix has been held seventeen times, while the inaugural Sakhir Grand Prix was held on the outer layout of the circuit in 2020.
Eight different drivers have won a race at the Bahrain International Circuit. Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver at the venue, having won a fifth Bahrain Grand Prix in 2021. Ferrari are the team with the most wins here, having taken victory on six occasions. Mercedes are the engine manufacturer with the most wins at the Bahrain International Circuit, with Mercedes-powered cars winning eight times. German drivers have taken more wins than any other nation, with Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg contributing six wins to Germany’s tally.
Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are the only three drivers to have taken back-to-back wins at this circuit. Alonso won consecutive Bahrain races in 2005 and 2006, while Vettel and Hamilton have won back-to-back races twice. Vettel won successive Bahrain Grands Prix in 2012 and 2013, and then again in 2017 and 2018, while Hamilton won consecutive races in 2014 and 2015 and then again in 2019 and 2020. Hamilton won the Bahrain Grand Prix for a third successive year in 2021 – though he missed the Sakhir Grand Prix, which took place at the track between those two races.
Mercedes hold the record for the longest streak of wins for a constructor at the Bahrain Grand Prix. They won three races in a row between 2014 and 2016. Renault, Ferrari and Red Bull are the other teams to have won successive races at the track.
There have been five occasions on which a team has recorded a 1-2 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari have done so three times, while Mercedes have achieved the feat twice.
Four drivers on the 2021 grid have previously won at Bahrain International Circuit. Lewis Hamilton has won five times, Sebastian Vettel has been victorious four times, Fernando Alonso has won here three times and Sergio Perez claimed his maiden F1 win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
The longest streak of different winners here is four. Between 2008 and 2012 there were no repeat winners.
The smallest win margin at this track came in 2018, when Sebastian Vettel was chased down for the victory by Valtteri Bottas, the German eventually winning the race by 0.699 seconds. That’s one of only two times that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been won by less than a second, the other being in 2021. The largest win margin here is 16.099 seconds, a record held by Fernando Alonso on his début appearance for Ferrari in 2010.
The Bahrain Grand Prix has been won by less than five seconds twelve times. The average win margin at the track is 5.281 seconds.
ON THE PODIUM
From the eighteen previous races here, nineteen different drivers have finished on the podium at the track.
Lewis Hamilton has had the most podium finishes at Bahrain International Circuit, with ten. Mercedes are the team with the most top three finishes here. They’ve finished on the rostrum fifteen times.
Finland and Britain are tied for the most podium finishes for a nation at Bahrain International Circuit. Both have finished on the podium twelve times.
On the 2022 grid, there are ten previous podium finishers. Hamilton holds the record with ten podiums. Sebastian Vettel has finished on the podium in Bahrain five times, Valtteri Bottas has four top three finishes here, while Fernando Alonso has three top three finishes at the circuit. Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have finished on the podium twice, while Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll have all finished on the podium once.
Eleven different drivers have started from pole at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton share the record for the most poles at the track, with three apiece. Mercedes are the team with the most poles here, having set the fastest Saturday time seven times. German drivers have far more poles than drivers from any other nation here, with seven. Britain is the only other nation to have more than one pole position here, thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s poles in 2015, 2016 and 2020.
From the 2022 grid, there are six previous Bahrain polesitters. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton each have three pole positions here, Valtteri Bottas has two poles here – including his maiden pole position in 2017 – and Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc each have taken pole here once. Max Verstappen became the latest driver to start from pole in Bahrain in 2021.
The longest streak of different polesitters at this track is six. Between 2005 and 2010, there were no repeat polesitters. That’s a streak which could be equalled in 2022.
Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are the only drivers to have taken back-to-back poles here. Vettel took his in the consecutive races in 2010 and 2012 (there was no Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011), Rosberg in 2013 and 2014, while Hamilton took his in 2015 and 2016. No driver has taken more than two consecutive poles at Bahrain International Circuit.
Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are the three teams to have taken consecutive pole positions at Bahrain International Circuit. Mercedes hold the record for most successive poles at the track having taken pole in all five seasons between 2013 and 2017.
The smallest pole margin in Bahrain is 0.023 seconds, when Valtteri Bottas narrowly took pole in 2017. The largest gap pole was taken by at this track is 0.455 seconds, by Fernando Alonso in 2005; albeit on aggregate times.
Pole has been decided by less than a tenth on six occasions in Bahrain.
The average pole margin at the Bahrain International Circuit is 0.217 seconds.
SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
The Bahrain Grand Prix has been won from pole seven times and has been won from the front row of the grid twelve times.
While the furthest back the Bahrain Grand Prix has been won from is fourth on the grid, which has happened twice – in 2006 and 2009, the furthest back win at this circuit was for Sergio Perez in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. He won from fifth on the grid.
The polesitter at this circuit has only failed to finish on the podium here three times – at the 2010 and 2013 Bahrain Grands Prix, and at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
The furthest back a podium finisher here has started the race from is 22nd on the grid. That happened in 2006 when, after a rear wishbone failure in Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen started from last. That didn’t stop him from taking his second podium finish in Bahrain though.
The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix was the first race at the circuit in which none of the top three on the grid finished on the podium.
With his victory in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Sergio Perez became the first driver to finish on the podium at Bahrain International Circuit having started from fifth on the grid.
The most drivers to finish on the same lap as the leader in a Grand Prix here is seventeen at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, while the least is six, which has happened three times – in 2005, 2016 and 2018.
Seven races at Bahrain International Circuit have seen a Safety Car period, while the 2018 race saw the Virtual Safety Car called for the first time at this track. The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first at the track to feature multiple Safety Car outings.
Unsurprisingly, there has never been a rain-affected race in Bahrain.
The shortest race at this track came at the inaugural event, which was won in a time of 1:28:34.875 by Michael Schumacher. The longest Bahrain Grand Prix was the 2020 race – which Lewis Hamilton won after almost three hours.
Fourteen different drivers have set the fastest lap of the race at this circuit since 2004. Nico Rosberg is the driver who has set the most; he’s taken the honour three times – in his maiden F1 race in 2006, in 2014 and in 2016.
In total, 380 cars have entered a Grand Prix at this circuit. 316 of them have reached the chequered flag, giving an average finish rate of 83%. The lowest number of finishers at this track is twelve, which happened in 2005, while the most to finish a Bahrain Grand Prix is 21, which happened in 2013.
In the eighteen races at the circuit, eight retirements have been recorded on the opening lap.
The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only race which has been red-flagged at this circuit. The Red Flag was called due to Romain Grosjean’s horrific accident, which saw barrier repairs needing to take place.
The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first race at this venue to not run to its scheduled distance. Due to Sergio Perez’s mechanical issues on the formation lap, the start was aborted. Another formation lap was added, making the race distance one lap shorter.
There have been 1,047 Grand Prix laps raced at the Bahrain International Circuit so far in F1 history.
There has never been a World Champion crowned at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which is unsurprising given that – except in 2020 – the race has never been later than the fourth round of the season. 2020 is the only year that dead rubber races have taken place at the Bahrain International Circuit. Both the Bahrain Grand Prix and Sakhir Grand Prix were held after both championships had been decided.
The winner of the Bahrain Grand Prix has gone on to win the World Championship in the same year on eleven occasions, while the championship leader after the race has gone on to win the title nine times.
There have been only seven occasions on which the Bahrain Grand Prix polesitter has been crowned that season’s World Champion. In the past ten seasons, Lewis Hamilton (in 2015 and 2020) and Max Verstappen (in 2021) are the only drivers to take pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix and win the title in the same year.
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.