Mercedes have won six of the last nine 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: 6, POLES: 7, PODIUMS: 15 | 2021 RESULT: HAMILTON 1ST, BOTTAS 3RD
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.
The team returned to form at the circuit in 2021, with Hamilton taking the season-opening win and Bottas finishing in third place. 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 six Sakhir victories so far, their first three being successive wins between 2014 and 2016. 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. Though Max Verstappen beat both Mercedes drivers to pole position in 2021, Hamilton and Bottas lined up second and third on the grid.
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.
WINS: 2, POLES: 3, PODIUMS: 6 | 2021 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 2ND, PEREZ 5TH
Sebastian Vettel was the only driver to have secured Red Bull a podium finish at Bahrain International Circuit until 2020, but Max Verstappen and Alex Albon finished in the top three at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. Vettel remains the only driver to have won in Bahrain with Red Bull, though Verstappen came within eight tenths of a second of doing so in 2021.
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 2021, Max Verstappen recorded Red Bull’s first pole position in Bahrain since 2012. Prior to Verstappen’s pole, the team had recorded just one front row start at Bahrain International Circuit in the previous nine races at the track. In the past nine 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.
Sergio Perez was eliminated in Q2 on his Red Bull debut in 2021. 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.
WINS: 6, POLES: 5, PODIUMS: 14 | 2021 RESULT: LECLERC 6TH, SAINZ 8TH
Ferrari have taken six wins at the Bahrain Grand Prix than any other team; tying with Mercedes for the most wins at the track.Most recently, Sebastian Vettel brought the team two consecutive wins in 2017 and 2018. Charles Leclerc looked set for a win in 2019 before hitting engine troubles which saw him finish third – the team’s most recent podium at the circuit. 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. In 2021, Leclerc finished sixth, while Carlos Sainz finished eighth on his Ferrari debut.
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: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 4 | 2021 RESULT: NORRIS 4TH, RICCIARDO 7TH
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 the last five races at the circuit, Carlos Sainz’s retirement in 2019 is the only time that a McLaren driver has failed to score. The team has recorded a fourth place result in all of the last three races at the venue; two of those being courtesy of Lando Norris.
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 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first time since then that both McLaren drivers reached Q3 at the track, with Daniel Ricciardo qualifying sixth on his debut outing with the team, and Lanod Norris just behind in seventh place.
WINS: 2, POLES: 1, PODIUMS: 7* | 2021 RESULT: OCON 13TH, ALONSO DNF
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.
Though Renault scored with both cars in both the 2020 Bahrain and Sakhir Grands Prix, they failed to score in their first race as Alpine in 2021. Ocon finished in thirteenth place, while Fernando Alonso retired from the race. 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. The team have reached Q3 with both cars at three of the last six 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. Since then, the team has recorded only two Q1 eliminations at the circuit – for Nico Hulkenberg at Renault in 2019, and for Esteban Ocon in 2021.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: TSUNODA 9TH, GASLY DNF
It wasn’t until 2016 that the Red Bull junior team picked up points at Bahrain International Circuit – with Max Verstappen finishing in sixth place for Toro Rosso. Since then, the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only race at the track 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. The team have had eleven DNFs in total here, including double non-finishes in 2007 and 2015. In 2021, Gasly retired while Yuki Tsunoda became the first Japanese driver to score on debut, finishing in ninth place.
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. Gasly went one better in 2021, recording a new best-ever Bahrain qualifying result for the team with fifth place. 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 ten races at the track.
WINS: 1, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 3 | 2021 RESULT: STROLL 10TH, VETTEL 15TH
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. Team-mate Lance Stroll joined him on the podium, making it the first time that the Silverstone-based team had finished on the podium with both cars since the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix.
Things didn’t go so well in 2021 on the team’s first appearance under their new Aston Martin guise. Lance Stroll scored a single point, while Sebastian Vettel finished in a lowly fifteenth position. In the team’s entire history at the event, they have recorded only four DNFs – two of those being a disappointing double DNF for Racing Point in the 2020 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, as Force India, 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 twelve 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 four Q1 exits here – the most recent being for Sebastian Vettel in 2021.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: RUSSELL 14TH, LATIFI DNF
Williams have not scored at Bahrain International Circuit since 2017, with the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix marking the eighth time in their history that they’ve failed to pick up a point at the Sakhir circuit. In the last ten races at the track, the team have suffered only three DNFs – one a result of Carlos Sainz colliding with Lance Stroll at the pit exit in 2017 and the other results of mechanical issues for Nicholas Latifi at the 2020 Sakhir and 2021 Bahrain Grands 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 five races at the circuit, George Russell is the only Williams driver to make it out of Q1 at the circuit. He did so at the 2020 and 2021 Bahrain Grands Prix. 2019 is the only time that the team has locked-out the back row of the grid here.
WINS: 0, POLES: 1, PODIUMS: 1 | 2021 RESULT: RAIKKONEN 11TH, GIOVINAZZI 12TH
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 the last thirteen races at the circuit, the team has reached Q3 only twice, with eighth place for Sergio Perez in 2012 and ninth for Kimi Raikkonen in 2019. 2021 marked the first time since 2015 that neither of the team’s cars were eliminated in Q1 at the track.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: SCHUMACHER 16TH, MAZEPIN 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. The teams has not scored here since.
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. In 2021, both Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin made their Grand Prix debuts at the circuit with the Haas team. While Schumacher completed the race in sixteenth – the last car still running at the end of the race – Mazepin spun out after just three corners.
The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix marked the first time that neither Haas car qualified in the top ten at Bahrain International Circuit. One Haas car reached Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, while 2019 marked their first double Q3 appearance here. The team have seen both cars eliminated in Q1 at all of the last three races at the track. In 2021, Schumacher and Mazepin set the two slowest times in the qualifying session. The team’s qualifying best effort here is Kevin Magnussen’s sixth place in 2019.
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.