Every Safety Car deployment at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Since the Bahrain Grand Prix made its debut in 2004, there have been 14 Safety Car deployments at Bahrain International Circuit. Here’s a list of every time that the Safety Car has made an appearance at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

2007 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 1

The Safety Car did not appear in any of the first three races at Bahrain International Circuit. Instead, it made its first appearance at the Bahrain Grand Prix on the opening lap of the 2007 race. Jenson Button and Scott Speed were the cause of this deployment, having both spun out of the race in separate incidents.

Speed had been hit by Christijan Albers, while Jenson Button found himself squeezed between two other cars. Both the Toro Rosso and Honda drivers’ races came to an early end at Turn 4 within metres of one another. Bernd Maylander brought the Safety Car back in at the start of the fourth lap.

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 41

The Safety Car was deployed on Lap 41 of the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Image: Habeed Hameed, CC BY-SA 2.0

It would be another seven years before the next Safety Car deployment at the Bahrain Grand Prix. In the first race at the track to be held at night, the Safety Car was called out when Pastor Maldonado collided with Esteban Gutierrez when exiting the pit lane. The Lotus driver slammed into the side of Gutierrez’s car, flipping the Sauber over and leaving it stranded at Turn 1. Five laps were spent behind the Safety Car while the debris was cleared away.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 13

A similar incident to the 2014 collision brought out the Safety Car in the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix. This time, Carlos Sainz collided with Lance Stroll at the end of the pit lane, with both drivers retiring from the race. Their incident happened just moments after Max Verstappen had crashed out due to a brake failure at Turn 4, which was likely a contributing factor in the deployment of the Safety Car.

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 2

The Virtual Safety Car made its first appearance at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2018. It was called out on the second lap after Daniel Ricciardo came to a halt at the side of the track due to an electronics failure. It was an unlucky few moments for the Red Bull team, with Max Verstappen having picked up a puncture just prior to Ricciardo’s stoppage. The VSC period ended on the fourth lap.

2019 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 55

The 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix ended under Safety Car conditions after both Renault drivers stopped within metres of one another on Lap 55. Both suffering mechanical failures, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo dropped out of the points as a result of their issues. With only two laps remaining, racing did not resume and the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix became the eighth to end under Safety Car conditions.

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 2

Following Romain Grojsean’s horrific first lap crash in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix (for which the Safety Car was not deployed – a red flag instead stopped proceedings) the Safety Car brought the field back around from the pit lane to the grid for the second start of the race. This formation lap was classed as Lap 2 of the race.

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 3

On what was effectively the first proper lap of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lance Stroll’s Racing Point was flipped over by Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso. Stroll was stranded in the car and the Safety Car was called while he made his way out – and while debris was cleared away. The drivers completed six laps under Safety Car conditions.

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 55

Sergio Perez capped off an unlucky afternoon for Racing Point in the closing stages of the race when he retired with an engine failure just two laps from bringing home a podium finish. A fire at the rear of his car necessitated the Safety Car being called out. For a second year in succession, the Bahrain Grand Prix finished under Safety Car conditions.

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Lap 1

There were two races at Bahrain International Circuit in 2020, with the Sakhir Grand Prix taking place one week after the Bahrain Grand Prix on the shorter oval layout of the track. The race was placed under Safety Car conditions on the opening lap, when Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen both crashed out in an incident with Sergio Perez. Perez was running last after the incident, but went on to win the race.

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Lap 55

There was a short VSC period just after the midpoint of the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix after Nicholas Latifi’s Williams came to a stop. The VSC was called while the Canadian’s car was pushed away.

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, Lap 62

The other Williams driver caused the final caution period of the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. On his only F1 start, Jack Aitken – replacing George Russell, the regular Williams driver who was standing in for coronavirus-stricken Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes – ran off the road on the pit straight and made contact with the barriers, losing his front wing.

Aitken was able to make a quick dive into the pit lane for a new nose but debris across the track meant that the VSC was called out. With no suitable gap in the on-track traffic for marshals to clear the wreckage away, the VSC period became a full Safety Car in order to bunch the field together. In total, seven laps were spent under Safety Car conditions.

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 1

Nikita Mazepin failed to impress on his Formula 1 debut, crashing out of his own accord just three corners into the race and embarrassingly becoming the first driver to retire on the first lap of his F1 career in almost 20 years.

This Safety Car outing was notable as it was the first time that the Aston Martin Vantage was used as a Safety Car. The caution period ended at the end of Lap 5.

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 46

Coming to a stop at the side of the track, Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri caught fire on Lap 46 of the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, necessitating the call out of the Safety Car. It returned to the pit lane at the end of Lap 50.

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lap 41

The 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix featured a single Virtual Safety Car deployment. On Lap 40, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari came to a stop on the back straight. An engine issue struck the SF-23 when Leclerc was running in third place. The VSC was deployed on the following lap and remained out for only one lap while the Ferrari was cleared away.

VSC board graphic: Pitlane02, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

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