Leclerc takes his tenth pole, Bottas records his new team’s best Saturday result in Bahrain in 14 years and Ricciardo is out-qualified by a team-mate in Bahrain for the first time. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix!
LECLERC TAKES THE FIRST POLE OF 2022
Charles Leclerc secured the first pole position of the 2022 season, setting a lap time 0.123 seconds faster than closest competitor Max Verstappen. It was the tenth pole of Leclerc’s career, making him the 36th driver to take ten pole positions in Formula 1.
Bahrain International Circuit becomes the first circuit at which Lelcerc has taken multiple pole positions. Leclerc becomes the sixth driver to have taken multiple poles at the track, after Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Leclerc took Ferrari’s last Bahrain pole back in 2019. This was the team’s sixth pole at the track in total. It’s the first time Ferrari have taken pole position at the season-opening race since 2007. It’s the twelfth time they’ve taken pole at the first race of the year – overtaking McLaren at the top of the all-time list.
IN THE TOP 10
Carlos Sainz qualifed in the top three for the fifth time in his career and missed out on making this a Ferrari front row lock-out by only 0.006 seconds. It’s the first time that Sainz has qualified in the top six in Bahrain.
The 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix is the first race at which both Ferrari drivers have qualified in the top three since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix.
With fourth place, Sergio Perez recorded his best-ever Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying result. He qualified fifth at both races held at the circuit in 2020.
Pierre Gasly qualified tenth, making this the eighth race in a row at which an AlphaTauri driver has qualified in the top ten.
ALFA ROMEO ARE COMPETITIVE
On his first appearance as an Alfa Romeo driver, Valtteri Bottas continued his record-breaking Q3 streak. This was the 102nd race in a row at which the Finn has qualified in the top ten. Ironically, Bottas out-qualified George Russell, the driver who replaced him at Mercedes.
Bottas’ sixth place was the best Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying result for the former Sauber team since Robert Kubica took pole position with BMW Sauber at the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix. His team-mate Nick Heidfeld also qualified sixth on that day.
Bottas recorded Alfa Romeo’s best qualifying result since Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth at the 2019 German Grand Prix.
Zhou Guanyu reached Q2 on his Formula 1 debut, missing out on the top ten. Lando Norris was the last driver to qualify in the top ten on debut, doing so at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
TROUBLE AT MERCEDES
Mercedes were not on par with Ferrari and Red Bull in qualifying for the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton out-qualified George Russell in their first appearance as team-mates. Fernando Alonso remains the only driver to out-qualify Hamilton in their first race together at the same team. He did so on Hamilton’s F1 debut at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton reached Q3 in Bahrain for the 15th time. He remains the only current driver with a 100% Q3 appearance record at the circuit. Christian Klien, Juan Pablo Montoya and Paul di Resta are the only other drivers in that group.
Qualifying in fifth, Hamilton equalled his worst Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying result. The last time he qualified outside of the top four in Bahrain was in 2009.
Prior to 2022, both Mercedes drivers had qualified in the top four at every race in Bahrain since 2013. With Hamilton fifth and Russell ninth, neither driver qualified in the top four this year.
HAPPY DAYS AT HAAS
In his first race appearance since the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Kevin Magnussen qualified in the top ten for Haas. This was Haas’ first Q3 appearance since both Magnussen and Romain Grosjean reached Q3 at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.
With Mick Schumacher reaching Q2, this was also the first race at which neither Haas driver was eliminated in Q1 since the 2019 Interlagos race.
Schumacher qualified in 12th position, which is the best qualifying result of his career to date. His previous best was 14th at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.
Haas were the only team to improve their qualifying lap time at the Bahrain Grand Prix compared to last year. Magnussen’s lap time for seventh on the grid was 0.988 seconds faster than Schumacher’s best effort last year.
RICCIARDO’S WORST BAHRAIN QUALIFYING
Daniel Ricciardo qualified only 18th for the Bahrain Grand Prix. It’s his worst ever Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying result. His previous worst was 13th, recorded with Toro Rosso in 2013.
Ricciardo last qualified in a position as low as 18th in the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session.
This was McLaren’s worst qualifying result in Bahrain since Jenson Button failed to set a time in qualifying for the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix.
With Lando Norris progressing to Q2, this was the first time in his twelve Bahrain appearances that Ricciardo has been out-qualified by a team-mate. Norris failed to reach Q3, making this the first race weekend since the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix at which neither McLaren driver reached Q3 as well as the first time neither McLaren driver has reached Q3 in Bahrain since 2018.
Norris qualified in 13th place, making this the first time that neither McLaren qualified in the top twelve since the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix.
THE REST OF THE PACK
On his Williams debut, Alex Albon qualified in fourteenth place. It’s Williams’ best qualifying result in Bahrain since Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll qualified eighth and twelfth at the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Yuki Tsunoda recorded the Red Bull junior team’s first Q1 exit in Bahrain since 2017.
With Nico Hulkenberg 17th and Lance Stroll 19th, the Silverstone-based team recorded their first double Q1 exit in Bahrain since they were under their Force India guise in 2009.
Hulkenberg equalled his worst Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying result. He also qualified seventeenth here on his last appearance at the track with Renault in 2019.
Nicholas Latifi qualified last, recording his fourth Q1 exit in Bahrain. He equalled Adrian Sutil, Kevin Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson as the driver to have the most Q1 eliminations at the circuit. It was the first time Latifi has qualified last since the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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.