1080th F1 GRAND PRIX | 19th BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX | 20th GRAND PRIX AT BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT
2022 POLESITTER: CHARLES LECLERC | 2022 WINNER: CHARLES LECLERC
Formula 1 ventured into the Middle East for the first time in 2004. The Bahrain Grand Prix has since appeared on the calendar in almost every season since and now hosts the opening race of the season. The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix is set to take place on March 3-5.
2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday 3rd March
Free Practice 1 – 2:30pm Local Time / 11:30am UK Time
Free Practice 2 – 6pm Local Time / 3pm UK Time
Saturday 4th March
Free Practice 3 – 2:30pm Local Time / 11:30am UK Time
Qualifying – 6pm Local Time / 3pm UK Time
Sunday 5th March
The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix – 6pm Local Time / 3pm UK Time
2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX MILESTONES
The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first F1 race since the 2011 European Grand Prix which will not feature Daniel Ricciardo on the grid.
Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant make their Formula 1 debuts at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
- Hosting the season-opening race for the fifth time, Bahrain International Circuit will equal Circuit de Monaco as the venue to have hosted the first race of the Formula 1 season on the fifth-most occasions.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will make their 16th appearance at Bahrain International Circuit at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix – one short of Kimi Raikkonen’s record of 17 outings at the track.
Lewis Hamilton could extend his record of wins at Bahrain International Circuit to six this weekend. While no driver can equal his record tally, Fernando Alonso could become only the third driver – after Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – to secure four wins at the track.
Ferrari currently hold the record for most Bahrain Grand Prix victories, with seven. They’ve always held or shared the record for most wins in Bahrain. Their tally could be equalled by Mercedes this weekend.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE CIRCUIT SINCE LAST YEAR?
There have been no changes to the circuit since the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.
HOW MANY DRS ZONES WILL THERE BE AT THE 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX?
Like in 2022, there will be three DRS zones at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, located on the main straight, on the run between Turns 3 & 4 and on the final straight between Turns 13 & 14. The DRS activation zone on the main straight is 80m shorter than last year, while the other two zones remain unchanged.
BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT TRACK GUIDE
F1 stepped into the Middle East for the first time in 2004, with the Bahrain International Circuit hosting its first race in the Sakhir desert. Since then, the track has become host to one of the sport’s annual night races.
Situated 30km south-west of the Bahrain capital Manama, the Bahrain International Circuit is built on the site of a former camel farm. Crown Prince of Bahrain, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, was enthusiastic for the track to be built and for the pinnacle of motorsport to visit the country – so much so that it became a national objective for the country.
WHO WILL BE IN THE 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX PRESS CONFERENCES?
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers on Friday morning before the opening practice session. The drivers appearing in the press conference are:
- Nyck de Vries
- Fernando Alonso
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Oscar Piastri
- Logan Sargeant
- Zhou Guanyu
- Pierre Gasly
- Charles Leclerc
- George Russell
- Max Verstappen
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Saturday morning. The team members appearing in the press conference are Andrea Stella (McLaren), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Frederic Vasseur (Ferrari), Pat Fry (Alpine), Dan Fallows (Aston Martin) and Mike Elliot (Mercedes).
WHO WILL BE THE RACE DIRECTOR AT THE 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX?
Niels Wittich will be the race director at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
WHO WILL BE THE DRIVER STEWARD AT THE 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX?
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is Derek Warwick.
WHICH TYRE COMPOUNDS WILL BE USED AT THE 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX?
Pirelli will supply the C1, C2 and C3 tyre compounds at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
In 2023, there are six compounds which Pirelli can nominate for use over a race weekend. In addition to the previous C1-C5 offering, the C0 tyre has been introduced. C0 is the equivalent of 2022’s C1 tyre, while the 2023 C1 tyre slots between the 2022 C1 and C2 equivalents.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR AT THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX?
Formula 1’s 2022 season began with a race long battle between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari started the year with a 1-2 finish, while both Red Bull drivers retired.
Formula 1’s new era began with the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. It was a false start for Sebastian Vettel, who sat out the race weekend after testing positive for coronavirus. His seat was taken by Nico Hulkenberg.
Saturday’s qualifying session saw a close fight for pole between the two Ferraris and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Charles Leclerc secured the first pole position of the season, beating Verstappen’s lap time by a little over a tenth of a second.
Leclerc maintained his lead at the start, while Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen went wheel-to-wheel through the opening corners in a battle over fourth place. The other Haas driver, Mick Schumacher, was less successful on Lap 1, getting spun around by Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman was handed a five-second time penalty for the incident.
Verstappen stayed close to the back of the leading Ferrari and attempted an overtake at the first turn on Lap 17. He made the move stick, only for Leclerc to take the position back at Turn 4. On the next lap, the same thing happened again with the two drivers swapping positions at the same corners. Next time around, Verstappen attempted a move at the first corner for a third consecutive lap but locked up.
Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri caught fire ten laps from the end, coming to a stop at the side of the track and necessitating a Safety Car. That presented a seven-lap shootout between Leclerc and Verstappen for the first win of the season. The Red Bull made a poor restart, allowing Carlos Sainz the chance of taking second place at Turn 1. As Verstappen began to complain of battery issues, Sainz made a relatively easy pass on the back straight on Lap 54.
Red Bull confirmed an issue on Verstappen’s car as he began to slow and was passed by those behind him. He pulled into the pits and retired, leaving team-mate Sergio Perez in third place. Things went from bad to worse for Red Bull as Perez began to lose power on the penultimate lap. The Mexican’s car spun and stopped at the first turn on the final tour, leaving Lewis Hamilton to secure a highly unlikely podium finish, given Mercedes’ porpoising issues over the winter.
Leclerc and Sainz secured maximum points for Ferrari at the opening race of the year, leading home the team’s first 1-2 result in well over two years. Magnussen impressed on his comeback with a fifth place finish, while Zhou Guanyu impressed on his debut, taking home the final point with tenth place.
WHAT’S THE FASTEST EVER LAP AT THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX?
Attending the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix? Learn more about visiting Bahrain International Circuit in the F1Destinations Travel Guide.