Two current drivers have claimed their maiden pole position in Bahrain, while three current drivers have previously won at Bahrain International Circuit. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Bahrain Grand Prix!
🇳🇱 Max VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen has never won the Bahrain Grand Prix and has reached the chequered flag on only four occasions from his nine appearances at Bahrain International Circuit. Verstappen has finished on the podium twice in Bahrain, in the 2020 and 2021 Bahrain Grands Prix. In addition to his podium finishes, Verstappen has also picked up points at the track with sixth place in 2016 and fourth in 2019.
Verstappen has recorded five retirements in Bahrain. He retired on his first appearance in 2015, and on his first appearance with Red Bull in 2017. He was out after only three laps in 2018 and crashed out on the opening lap in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. While in contention for the win at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, Verstappen’s car broke down with only a handful of laps remaining.
Verstappen has reached Q3 at all of the last five races at Bahrain International Circuit. He recorded his first pole position at the track in 2021 and secured his second front row start at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2022. Verstappen has not been out-qualified by a team-mate here since 2018.
🇲🇽 Sergio PEREZ
Sergio Perez became a Grand Prix winner at Bahrain International Circuit in 2020, emerging victorious in the one-off Sakhir Grand Prix. The Mexican could have finished on the podium in both of 2020’s races at the track, but an engine failure saw him retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix, bringing an end to his 100% finish rate at the circuit. Perez has an additional podium finish here, having finished third for Force India in 2014.
On his Red Bull debut in 2021, Perez could not get into Q3 and started from the pit lane following car issues on the formation lap. He recovered to fifth place in the race, earning himself the Driver of the Day accolade. In 2022, Perez recorded his second DNF at the track, retiring in the closing stages when set for another podium finish.
Last year, Perez recorded his best qualifying result at Bahrain International Circuit to date, with fourth place. He had previously qualified in the top five on three occasions. Those are four of five appearances on which Perez has reached Q3 at the track.
Of the Bahrain Grands Prix which he has completed, 2012 and 2018 are the only seasons in which Perez has lost positions over the course of a race in Bahrain.
🇲🇨 Charles LECLERC
Charles Leclerc recorded his first Bahrain Grand Prix victory in 2022. The Monegasque driver took his maiden Formula 1 pole position at the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix and was set for his first victory too, until a late race engine issue saw him able to finish only third – still picking up his first podium finish.
Leclerc has failed to score in Bahrain twice. He came home 12th in 2018 and crashed out on Lap 1 at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Leclerc had qualified an impressive fourth for the Sakhir Grand Prix, having been eliminated in Q2 one week previously.
Leclerc has taken two pole positions in Bahrain, in 2019 and 2022, and qualified fourth at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. He qualified on the back row on his first appearance here in 2018.
🇪🇸 Carlos SAINZ
Until 2020, Carlos Sainz had never previously scored at Bahrain International Circuit, having recorded four retirements in his first five appearances at the venue.
He has since turned his fortunes around at the circuit. He recorded two top five places in 2020’s pair of Bahrain races and finished eighth here on his Ferrari debut in 2021. In 2022, Sainz finished on the Bahrain Grand Prix podium for the first time, finishing as runner-up to his team-mate.
In 2022, Sainz qualified in the top six in Bahrain for the first time. He did so by qualifying in third place. It was his sixth Q3 appearance from his nine appearances at the track. Sainz has out-qualified his team-mate here only three times.
🇬🇧 Lewis HAMILTON
Coming out on top in a close fight with Max Verstappen at the season-opening race, Lewis Hamilton recorded his fifth Bahrain Grand Prix victory in 2021.
Excluding the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix – which he missed following a positive coronavirus test – Hamilton has finished on the podium on all of his last nine appearances at Bahrain International Circuit. He has had 11 podium finishes here in total and has failed to score only once – when he finished 13th in 2008.
Hamilton has qualified on the front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix seven times, including three pole positions. He has never qualified outside of the top five at the circuit (though he did start ninth due to a grid penalty in 2018). He has been out-qualified only four times in his 15 appearances at the venue.
2008, 2012 and 2016 are the only years in which Hamilton has finished in a worse position than where he has started in Bahrain. 2022 marked the first Bahrain Grand Prix in which Hamilton did not lead a lap since 2013.
🇬🇧 George RUSSELL
George Russell made his first appearance with Mercedes at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix on a one-off basis as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement. Having narrowly missed out on pole to team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Russell stormed ahead at the start and maintained the lead for most of the evening, until pit stop issues robbed him of a likely victory. Nevertheless, Russell finished ninth and set the Fastest Lap, recording the first points of his Formula 1 career.
On his second appearance with Mercedes in 2022 – his first appearance as a full-time Mercedes driver – Russell finished in fourth place. He has a 100% finish rate at Bahrain International Circuit, having never finished below 15th place. The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix is the only Bahrain race in which Russell has finished in a worse position than where he started. Russell reached Q3 at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, qualifying in ninth place.
Prior to F1, Russell competed here in Formula 2 in 2018, finishing a best of fifth in the Feature Race.
🇫🇷 Esteban OCON
Esteban Ocon recorded his first podium finish at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, finishing in second place. Meanwhile, the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first time in five appearances at the circuit that Ocon failed to score. He returned to the points in 2022 with a seventh place finish. Ocon has a 100% finish record at Bahrain International Circuit.
Ocon has not reached Q3 at this circuit since the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, where he recorded his best qualifying result to date at the circuit with seventh place. He has qualified 11th twice here in the last three years. Ocon has recorded one Q1 exit at the track, in 2021. The Frenchman has not out-qualified his team-mate in Bahrain since 2018.
🇫🇷 Pierre GASLY
Pierre Gasly’s best Bahrain Grand Prix result came on his first visit to the circuit in 2018, when he finished fourth for Toro Rosso. He’s scored twice since then, with eight and sixth places in the 2019 and 2020 Bahrain Grands Prix, but failed to score in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and retired from the last two Bahrain Grands Prix.
2019 is the only occasion on which Gasly has not reached Q3 here. He set a new personal best qualifying result at the circuit in 2021 with fifth place. From six appearances, he has been out-qualified by a team-mate on two occasions.
🇬🇧 Lando NORRIS
Lando Norris held a 100% points scoring rate in Bahrain until the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, where he finished 15th. Norris’ best result here is fourth, recorded in both the 2020 and 2021 Bahrain Grands Prix.
The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix are the only races at the circuit at which Norris has missed out on reaching Q3 at the track. His best qualifying result here is seventh, recorded in 2021. 2022 marked the first time Norris out-qualified his team-mate in Bahrain.
The 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first time that Norris failed to gain at least three positions from where he started at this circuit.
Prior to his F1 career, Norris took victory on his Formula 2 debut at the Bahrain International Circuit in 2018. It proved to be the only win of his solitary F2 season. He also finished fourth in the Sprint Race.
🇦🇺 Oscar PIASTRI
Bahrain International Circuit is the track at which Oscar Piastri drove a Formula 1 car for the first time, partaking in his first test with Renault in 2020. Piastri raced in Bahrain in Formula 2 in 2021. He took his first victory of the season in the second Sprint Race following a late pit stop for fresh tyres and finished fifth in the first race of the weekend. He failed to finish the Feature Race.
🇫🇮 Valtteri BOTTAS
Valtteri Bottas is yet to win a race at Bahrain International Circuit, but has scored on all but one of his 11 appearances at the track. He finished on the podium here in every season between 2017 and 2019, but finished only eighth in both of 2020’s races at the circuit. He returned to the podium in 2021, finishing in third place. On his Alfa Romeo debut in 2022, Bottas finished sixth, recording the team’s best result in Bahrain since 2008. 2013, when he finished 14th, is the only time that Bottas has failed to score at the track.
Bottas took the first pole position of his career at the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix. He also started from the front row in both of 2020’s races at the circuit, recording his second pole here at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
The 2019, 2020 and 2021 Bahrain Grands Prix are the only occasions on which Bottas has been out-qualified by his team-mate at the track, while 2013 is the only time he has not reached Q3.
🇨🇳 ZHOU Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu scored a point on his Formula 1 debut at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. After qualifying 15th, Zhou finished the race in tenth place.
He had previously raced nine times at this circuit, in Formula 2. Zhou has recorded four podium finishes at the track, with his last appearance – the 2021 Feature Race – resulting in a win.
🇪🇸 Fernando ALONSO
Fernando Alonso is the only driver present on the grid at the first Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004 who is still competing in F1 in 2023. Alonso has won the Bahrain Grand Prix three times. He took back-to-back victories in his championship winning years, before winning on his Ferrari debut in 2010.
Until 2021, Alonso held a 100% finish record at the circuit. 2008, 2015 and 2017 are the only other years in which he has failed to score at the track. He finished in ninth place in 2022.
Alonso took pole position at the track in 2005 and qualified in the top ten in all eight seasons thereafter. In 2021, he reached Q3 at the circuit for the first time since 2014 and qualified eighth in 2022 – his best Saturday result at the track since 2013.
From 14 Bahrain Grand Prix appearances, Alonso has been out-qualified by his team-mate only four times – most recently in 2014.
🇨🇦 Lance STROLL
Lance Stroll equalled his career-best result with third place at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. It was the first time that he scored at Bahrain International Circuit. He has scored only once since, with a tenth place finish in the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. Stroll has recorded two retirements at the Bahrain Grand Prix, in 2017 – when he was taken out by Carlos Sainz at the pit exit – and in 2020 – when his car was flipped in an incident with Daniil Kvyat.
Stroll has reached Q3 in Bahrain twice – at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. He has had three Q1 exits at the track, including in 2022. 2021 is the only year in which Stroll has out-qualified his team-mate in Bahrain. The good news is that every time he has finished a race here, he has never lost a position from where he has started. In fact, in every race except the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, he has gained at least four positions from his starting spot.
🇩🇰 Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Kevin Magnussen returned to Formula 1 at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix with Haas. In the race, he equalled his previous best result at Bahrain International Circuit with fifth place, He previously finished fifth here with Haas in 2018. The Dane has recorded two retirements here, in 2014 and 2017.
Magnussen has reached Q3 on four occasions in Bahrain and was eliminated in Q1 on his other four appearances. His best qualifying result here is sixth, recorded in 2019. He also lined up sixth on the grid in 2018. 2017 is the only occasion on which Magnussen has been out-qualified by his team-mate at the circuit.
Of the races he’s finished here, the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only one in which Magnussen has finished in a worse position than where he started.
🇩🇪 Nico HULKENBERG
Nico Hulkenberg last scored at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2018, when he finished sixth. It was his third points-scoring race from ten appearances at the track. His best result here is fifth, recorded with Force India in 2014. His DNF in the closing stages of the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix is the only time Hulkenberg has failed to reach the chequered flag at Bahrain International Circuit.
Hulkenberg has reached Q3 on four occasions at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with a best qualifying result of seventh in 2017. He has been eliminated in Q1 in each of his last two Bahrain Grand prix appearances, though he out-qualified team-mate Lance Stroll at Aston Martin last year when deputising for Sebastian Vettel.
🇯🇵 Yuki TSUNODA
Yuki Tsunoda has scored on both appearances so far at the Bahrain Grand Prix. After finishing ninth on his Formula 1 debut at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Tsunoda went one better in 2022 and finished in eighth place. He is yet to reach Q3 at the circuit, having been eliminated in Q2 in 2021 and Q1 in 2022. He is yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the track.
Tsunoda has further past experience at the track, having partaken in the four F2 races at the circuit in 2020. While on the first weekend Tsunoda finished sixth and 15th in the Feature Race and Sprint Race respectively, he won the Feature Race over the Sakhir Grand Prix weekend and finished as runner-up in the Sprint Race on his final F2 outing.
🇳🇱 Nyck DE VRIES
This will be Nyck de Vries’ first appearance at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but he has plenty of past experience at Bahrain International Circuit. The Dutchman first raced here in Formula 2 in 2017 and raced in the category six times in total. His best result was fifth place, in the 2018 Sprint Race.
De Vries has also appeared at the track in the World Endurance Championship, finishing third in the LMP2 class with team-mate Frits van Eerd and Giedo van der Garde in the 2020 8 Hours of Bahrain.
🇹🇭 Alex ALBON
Alex Albon has raced in Bahrain four times previously. The 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix was his first race at the track in which he failed to score. His best result to date here is third place, recorded in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. That race was the only time to date that Albon has reached Q3 at the circuit, qualifying in fourth place.
Albon was eliminated in Q2 on his three other appearances at the circuit, qualifying 12th in 2019 and at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, and 14th at last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Albon has always gained at least one position from where he has started at Bahrain International Circuit, with a personal best of six positions gained in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.
🇺🇸 Logan SARGEANT
Logan Sargeant raced at Bahrain International Circuit in Formula 2 in 2022. After qualifying fourth, he finished sixth in the Sprint Race and seventh in the Feature Race.