Feature: Bahrain Grand Prix - Form Guide
Who’s hot 🔥 and who’s not 👎🏻 in Bahrain? Ahead of the 2019 event this weekend, Motorsport Week takes a look at how teams and drivers have fared in recent years at the Sakhir International Circuit.
Only two of the 20 drivers on the grid have savoured Formula 1 success in Bahrain – Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel is the most successful driver at the venue and has triumphed with Ferrari across the past two years, adding to previous wins with Red Bull in 2012 and 2013.
Reigning World Champion Hamilton, meanwhile, prevailed in a titanic tussle with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2014, and followed it up with a more straightforward win in 2015.
Seven racers on this year’s grid have mounted the podium places at the event.
Hamilton (7) and Vettel (5) are high up on the list but they’re both trumped by Kimi Raikkonen, who has taken eight top-three spots despite failing to mount the top step of the podium.
Raikkonen was third in 2005/06/07 before finishing runner-up in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Romain Grosjean joined Raikkonen on the podium in 2012 and 2013 while current title leader Valtteri Bottas placed third in 2017 and finished a close runner-up to Vettel 12 months ago.
Sergio Perez (2014) and Robert Kubica (2008) also have a Bahrain trophy in their collection.
Vettel and Hamilton again feature prominently on the list, with the Ferrari driver’s Q3 effort in 2018 putting him 3-2 ahead.
Vettel’s other poles came while racing for Red Bull in 2010 and 2012 while Hamilton took back-to-back poles in 2015 and 2016.
For Bottas his 2017 lap marked his maiden pole position and nine years previously it was Kubica’s turn; that 2008 stunner remains the only time it’s been a case of Pole on pole.
What else? 🔍
It isn’t a strong circuit for Red Bull – not in the hybrid era at least.
It has not taken a podium finish since Vettel’s 2013 victory and last year neither Verstappen nor Daniel Ricciardo made it past the early stages amid differing setbacks.
Haas led the midfield in Australia and it is surely well-placed to do so once more in Bahrain.
Twice in its three-year history it has claimed a fifth-place finish (Romain Grosjean, 2016; Kevin Magnussen, 2018) and it has never left the circuit empty-handed.
But last year it was Toro Rosso that thrived. The Faenza-based squad has historically performed poorly in the country, failing to finish in the top 10 between 2006 and 2015. But Max Verstappen’s sixth in 2016 was followed last year by a stunning fourth for Pierre Gasly, comfortably the team’s best result of 2018.