2010 Bahrain Grand Prix stats and facts

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Fernando Alonso is now one of F1's top ten winners

Fernando Alonso emulated Kimi R??ikk??nen and Nigel Mansell by winning on his debut for Ferrari.

The win means he is now among the top ten drivers who have won the most F1 races. And it was a return to form for the red cars who recorded their first one-two finish since 2008. Here’s the stats and facts from the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso won the Bahrain Grand Prix for the third time in his career, giving him more victories in the event than anyone else.

He joins the ranks of drivers who won on their first appearance for Ferrari, a select group which includes the likes of Nigel Mansell and Alonso’s predecessor Kimi R??ikk??nen.

It was Alonso’s 22nd win, giving him as many as Damon Hill, and tying in for tenth in the list of all-time greatest winners. But Alonso has lost his position as the active driver with the most wins which he enjoyed last year, due to the return of Michael Schumacher.

With Felipe Massa in second place Ferrari recorded their 80th one-two finish and their first since the 2008 French Grand Prix.

While Alonso became the first driver to score 25 points for a win, Ferrari claimed the new maximum haul for a team in one race – 43 points for first and second. What’#s the maximum they could score if they keep that up? A mammoth 817 points.

Alonso also recorded his 14th career fastest lap, putting him 18th in the all-time list.

Pole position went to Sebastian Vettel who recorded the sixth of his career. That’s as many as 1972 and 1974 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, 1961 world champion Phil Hill, 1980 world champion Alan Jones, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Carlos Reutemann and Ralf Schumacher. Vettel also led a Grand Prix for the tenth time in his career.

Lewis Hamilton scored his 28th podium finish in 53 starts. As we noted before the start of the season his podiums-per-start strike rate is already over 50% and if he keeps racking them up this year he could catch Schumacher.

Mercedes weren’t able to pick up where they left off at the end of their last season as a full works team. They ended 1955 with four consecutive wins, three for Juan Manuel Fangio and one for Stirling Moss, but Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher could only mange fifth and sixth yesterday.

As for Lotus, both their cars retired from their final race at Adelaide in 1994, whereas Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli were classified finishers in 15th and 17th respectively yesterday.

HRT and Virgin, meanwhile, failed to finish in their first race.

Vitantonio Liuzzi and Rubens Barrichello became the first drivers in F1 history to score points for finishing ninth and tenth. Points for seventh and eighth were introduced for the first time in 2003.

Rubens Barrichello has now matched Graham Hill’s record of starting in 18 seasons. Barrichello’s run stretches back to 1993, Hill’s lasted from 1958 to 1975. But while Hill ‘only’ started 175 Grands Prix in that time, Barrichello has now done 286 and should pass the 300 mark later this year.

We saw seven DNFs yesterday, six of which for mechanical reasons, and Sebastien Buemi was a classified finisher despite having stopped with electrical problems. With three new teams in the sport we’ll probably see a much higher rate of retirements this year compared to last.

Spotted any more interesting stats and facts from the Bahrain Grand Prix? Share them in the comments…

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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94 comments on “2010 Bahrain Grand Prix stats and facts”

  1. The only fact that really matters is that that race was dire and something needs to be done very very quickly.

    1. We will go to Asutralia for the next race soon :-)

      1. Which Peter is that? I am confused now! ;)

  2. I think you’ve missed Fangio off the list of drivers who have won on their Ferrari debut.

    1. I didn’t say it was an exhaustive list.

      1. OK then, fair enough.

      2. Mouse_Nightshirt
        15th March 2010, 11:57


        That put a smile on my face.

        1. :D rather amusing.

          top stuff Keith, quite an interesting read.

    2. And Mario Andretti.

  3. It’s incredible that Graham Hill could manage 18 seasons and 175 races in F1 in such a dangerous era. It seems cruel that after surviving his F1 career he died in a plane crash.

    Here’s a stat I liked- there have been 5 different teams and 6 different drivers on pole in the last 6 Bahrain GP’s:

    2005: Renault – Alonso
    2006: Ferrari – Schumacher
    2007: Ferrari – Massa
    2008: BMW – Kubica
    2009: Toyota – Trulli
    2010: Red Bull – Vettel

    Also, of these drivers only Massa and Alonso held on to win the race.

    Another stat (which obviously cannot be measured objectively) is that Bahrain was perhaps the worst season ever. Australia 07 was pretty dull too, but every other other season opener I can think of has been reasonably/ very good.

    1. Bahrain 2006 was very dull too…

      1. Bahrain 2006 was great – fantastic battle for the lead between Schumi and Alonso and a good recovery drive by Nico Rosberg on his debut.

      2. It was the worst season opener. But then, what else would you expect in Bahrain and with no refuelling? All the champs (Hammy, Jense, Schumi and Alonso) gave the verdict that the ban on refuelling will lead to races similar to Bahrain. So did Nick Fry, Christian Horner and Martin Whitmarsh. Perhaps when the season is over, we’ll reclassify Bahrain as one of the most exciting races in the season.

        1. Yes but as Keith and all those with cool heads have pointed out its not the refueling ban that’s the problem. Its the emphasis on aerodynamic rather than mechanical grip combined with tyres that are too hard. I heard one of the team bosses said they could have done the whole race on the mediums.

          1. Maybe the reintroduction of refuelling is not the solution to the problem, but at least it would alleviate it. Now that we effectively have the cars that weigh the same and drivers whose prime concern is the preservation of tyres – we’ll have no overtaking. Cool heads won’t help us this time. I suggest to ditch the new rules or at least make two mandatory pit-stops.

          2. Adding back refuelling would make more passes, none of which would occur on the track, Passing someone in the pits is great but that’s not what we want is it?

            We want passing on the track for position like we saw with Lotus and Virgin in the Bahrain GP.

            It isn’t motivation for passing as the FIA seems to think, every time we have cars alongside It is brilliant. The problem is that the cars, due to the extraordinary aerodynamic grip and the engines not being able to cope close to another car do not allow the drivers to close up enough to even try.

            Two mandatory pit stops is not the answer, This like refuelling will not make cars pass on track, Drivers, tend to be ambitious to not make a pass, even if they should be conserving the tyres.

            Technical changes to the rules must be made, Aerodynamic grip must be limited, so that the cars quickness doesn’t fall of a cliff when they get even mildly close to someone in front.

            The engines must be made so that they can cope behind another car, Hopefully this was a Ferrari problem due to Bahrain’s heat, and not a universal one.

            And regarding the race being dull. The most ominous thing is that, it shouldn’t have been dull. we had cars who wanted to pass, but simply put, lost seconds of performance once they had closed up.

            This isn’t like the other boring races, they were boring because the fastest guy was in the lead, and the second fastest followed him. This time, the fastest car was in 2nd and 3rd, but could not get close enough even on Bahrain’s straights, to try and make a pass.

        2. From the comments made by one champion (button) and the suprised faces in the pits, i think it is save to say, that most drivers will push harder next time, now that they know what the tyres can take.
          At least i hope so.

          1. Jarred Walmsley
            15th March 2010, 18:51

            Thats a very good point, I think that this race was almost a full length test so the teams know what the tires are capable of and how they will respond to the different weights of the car, so I think you’re right we will see better races as the season progresses.

      3. @ Fer no 65
        I think you meant that Bahrain 06 the race was dull,I think it was great.At the start the fight between Alonso & Massa, then Kimi coming back from the back of the pack & at last the wheel to wheel battle between Alonso & Schumacher as Alonso came out of his pit.

    2. South Africa 1992? That was an excruciatingly dull season opener…

  4. Too much was expected yesterday from the race. Everyone had to manage cars,fuel and tyres for the first time and were all too cautious. I can’t see this lasting for the season. A Ferrari 1,2 did not help for many because of the strong feelings for or against the team. If it had been a Mclaren or Red Bull 1st and 2nd comments would not have been so harsh.

    1. I do think you are a little bit too harsh on the rest of us here.

      I liked Alonso winning, just I had hoped the first corners of the race were just the start and he would have to fight Vettel for it.

      Not too much action in the rest of the top 10 so that put most watchers off.

    2. While some people may have rated the race lower because of a Ferrari 1-2, the people who rated the race as perfect probably did so because of the Ferrari 1-2.

      I think most people would have rated the race the same even if Vettel hadn’t had his problem and had ended up winning.

      1. Seriously, why is it when one race is seen as “boring”, many think F1 is in a decline? No one says football is in a decline, because it’s on all the time. F1 is only on 17-19 times a year, and thus has less chances to show good it really is.

        Give the new rules time, I am sure we will get some good racing in the future.

        1. You can give them time. All the time of the world. But then nobody is going to be watching…

        2. I mean: nobody is going to be watching if the races end up being as dull as Bahrain was…

  5. Don’t know if anyone’s realised this but in 16 of the past 20 Formula One seasons, the opening round winner has gone on to win the world championship. Only Coulthard (97 & 03), Irvine (99) & Fisichella (05) won round one and didn’t win the championship. Interestingly, they were all in Australia, not Bahrain.

    A good omen for Alonso winning the title in 2010 you think?

    1. Hi Peter,
      I see you are using my name too ;-)

    2. Yeah but Bahrain only hosted 2 out of those 20 season openers, If I’m not mistaken. But yeah, Fernando will grab it anyway after what we’ve seen yesterday. He just needs to qualify in top 3 and wait for Massa to screw up and Vettel to have technical problems. Overtaking is impossible so no chance of somebody taking him from behind.

  6. 3 years in a row the driver who started in 2nd position was in some other position after turn 3. Massa 08 and Glock 09 took the lead, Massa 10 lost a place.

  7. I miss kimi :(…

    1. Yeah. It’s harsh that he put in two good years with Ferrari. Both years with a problematic car, albeit getting himself a championship. Only to move over for Alonso who lucks into a seriously competitive car.

      Not taking anything away from Alonso there. But if would have been nice to see Kimi at Ferrari in a truly dominant car. Just as it’s nice to see Alonso get that opportunity.

      1. Why do people always think Kimi only spent two years at Ferrari? He won the drivers’ title in his first year, then Hamilton won it and then Button, and now he’s gone.

    2. me to man, its not the same, i cant help but wonder how fast he’d be in these cars. He’s a damn good rally driver, had a few offs but shown some real good pace

  8. What about Heidfeld record .. how wait !

  9. Vettel led 33 laps, Alonso 16.

  10. This is the fourth consecutive season opener in which Kubica failed to score points due to either bad luck (gearbox in 2007, Webber’s oil cloud this year) or a crash (Nakajima ran into Robert in 2008, crash with Vettel in 2009). There is some improvement though because this time he at least finished the race…

    1. And was overtaking successfully six times – the most of all drivers yesterday and for few races.

  11. Guilherme Teixeira
    15th March 2010, 14:58

    Keith, Ferrari has now surpassed the 5000 points mark!
    They have now 5032,27, if I’m not mistaken.

    1. is that 503,207 points? then they would have passed 5000 a long time ago! lol

      1. Guilherme Teixeira
        15th March 2010, 16:27

        No, I mean, in their history, since the 1950 Monaco GP, they have scored 5032,27 points. Before the Bahrain GP they had 4989,27.

        1. 5032.27

          Some countries use commas and decimal points differently. I think in Germany for instance they would write one million as


          1. I know I’m going to regret asking, but how did they manage to acrue .27 of a point?

          2. Guilherme Teixeira
            15th March 2010, 18:43

            Salty, if I’m not mistaken, it’s back in the day where drivers were awarded points for fastest laps. In the early fifities time measuring methods were, uhm, inaccuarete, so four or five drivers shared the fastest lap of the race, thus shared the single point. That would make .25 though, I don’t know how the extra .02 came into the history. If anyone could make things clearer, please do =)

          3. A while ago i followed a blog about the early years of GP racing.
            Aparently the scores at the start were given partly according to laps done in the race and in case 2 drivers shared a car it was divided between them as well.
            I suppose this is how the .27 got there, but i am not sure where and when.

          4. Between 1950 and 1957 Ferrari scored 566.77 pts then Lauda scored 64.5 in 1975 that then gives you the 0.27 remainder.

          5. Forgot to mention that there may be other half points in the records but they will still give you the same remainder

          6. The .27 was when seven drivers got the fastest lap. Four of the drivers were Ferrari drivers and hence Ferrari scored .57 points. Then there could have easily been a .2 (five drivers) or a .5 (two drivers)

          7. Right you are Gusto!

            I read about that about the points systems here. After that the discussion led me to an obscure site, where a (i think 8) years long discussion was going on about the 1939 european championship.

            It was very fascinating to see these guys spending all holidays etc. doing fact finding on cars and drivers from that period.

  12. Sundays race was exactly 17 years since Rubens started his first F1 race.

    Bruno Senna has the number 21 on his blue hat, which is coincidently the number on his car.

    1. Guilherme Teixeira
      15th March 2010, 16:32

      It’s not ‘coincidently’. Bruno is sponsored by Embratel, a telephone company. Embratel’s dialing code is 21, so the fact that Bruno drives the car number 21 rather than the 20 is in fact a marketing move.

      1. I see your point because Senna was confirmed before Chandhok.

        But still coincidentally that he drives for a team that has the number 21.

  13. this is ferrari’ third one two finish after schumi\barri in 2000 and 2004 in a season opener.

  14. For me watching F1 and following it means enyojing reading / discussing details like this (link below) about the reason for Petrovs retirement. Seems not only the new outfits had some problems with their car designs.


    1. Me too. I enjoyed the race by looking at other issues, not just Vettel (who did a great race).

  15. Fernando Alonso is the only active driver to score wins for three different teams: 17 with Renault (2005, 2006 and 2008), 4 with McLaren (2007) and 1 with Ferrari (2010).

    Not even Michael Schumacher was able to do it, because he spent most of his career with only two teams (Benneton and Ferrari).

    Other drivers are, in theory, able to repeat this acheivement: Michael Schumacher, now racing for Mercedes, Jenson Button, who already collected victories with Honda (2006) and Brawn (2009), and now races for McLaren, and Rubens Barrichello, a Grand Prix Winner for Ferrari (2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004) and Brawn (2009), currently a Williams driver.

    Sebastian Vettel also have won for two different teams: Toro Rosso (2008) and Red Bull (2009), in which he still stays…

    1. I think its unfair to call Honda and Brawn separate teams, it is essentially the same ‘factory’ producing the car.

      Otherwise, we will have to also consider Fisichella who came agonizingly close to achieving that record last year, with Force India (as he has wins with Jordan and Renault)

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        15th March 2010, 18:56

        How is it unfair Honda withdrew and then Ross Brawn brought the team, however Mercedes and Brawn are the same team because Brawn did not withdraw they were simply renamed. And on your
        ‘same factory’ argument you can argue that Vettel should only count one team wins as the cars in 2008 and 2009 were built by the same design studio so essentially they are the same as well.

  16. Hi,

    Although the HRTs started from the pits, first time a 24 car field started a race since the 1995 Pacific Grand Prix.

    1. Can’t think of the proper statistical rubric, but it remains remarkable for the defending champion to be blown away, without any exigent circumstances to blame, by his teammate in the first race by more than 22 seconds. How soon before we must review and rehabilitate Kovalainen’s reputation? OK, I’ll wait until at least Barcelona.

      1. DMW, you’ll find in proper statistical rubric a sample size of 1 means bugger all ;)

  17. kimi took pole, fastest lap and victory!!!! lead all race!!!

    alonso clinch the victory because vettel problems…its a big diference!!!! not a perfect weekend!!!

    1. But did Keith say Fernando had a perfect weeekend? Because I think he simply pointed out that “Fernando Alonso emulated Kimi Räikkönen and Nigel Mansell by winning on his debut for Ferrari.”

      1. Certainly is an elusice club to win on a Ferrari debut.

  18. Gooooooooo Ferrari

  19. Great, Massa! Alonso the best! Schumi, go home!!!

  20. After bahrain, we can discuss again whos is fatest :)

    My types:

    1. Ferrari/Red Bull
    3. McLaren
    4. Mercedes
    5. Renault/FI
    7. Wiliams
    8. Sauber
    9. Toro Rosso
    10. Lotus
    11. Virgin
    12. HRT

    1. Small update. I could even place renault FI and mercedes together.


      1. It looks like Alonso would have caught Vettel even if the RBR had not had a problem. Too bad we didn’t get to see it.

        The announcers on SPEED said that Alonso had set his car up to be able to push very hard at the end of the race. It looked to me like he pushed super hard, even after he had passed Vettel, just to see how the tires would hold up and how the car would do….

        1. Catch him, possible. Pass him, no way. With no problem in Red Bull, Vettel win.

    2. ohh god missed out Force india the second fastest.. how badddddd

      1. 5) renault/FI (force india)

        2nd fastest for a lap time means nothing.
        overall pace was not for a top 3.

  21. This is the first season opener since Australia 2000 that fewer than half the drivers participating made their debuts in Australia.

  22. This was first time since Brazilian GP 1975 when there were drivers born on four decades in the race. Back then, Graham Hill in 1920s, Jody Scheckter in 1950s and rest of the grid in 1930s or 1940s.

    Now, Michael Schumacher in 1960s, Jaime Alguersuari in 1990s and rest of the grid in 1970s and 1980s.

    It could have happened in 1980 Dutch Grand Prix as well, but Mike Thackwell (1960s) did not qualify. That was Vittorio Brambilla’s (1930s) last race.

  23. McLaren is going half a second slower because they have switched to black wheels instead of the silver ones of the car presentation.
    Go back to silver wheels Ron !

  24. I think the main problem has been that with rule changes & the return of Michael Schumacher with the other drivers & waiting for 130 days for the race to go we may have expected too much from the season opener.But I am a bit optimistic that we may see better racing in Australia,if not then we may head towards one of the boring season in F1.

  25. Off course Alonso would not have been able to overtake Vettel in the end. Vettel also lowered his lap times near the end of the race. Despite the spark plug problem Vettels lap times dropped almost to the level of Nico Rosbergs laptimes. Had it not been for the spark plug problem he could have increased speed near the end as Alonso did. This season Redbull will (again) lose the championship because they didn’t depart with Renault Engines…But I predicted this already when they opted to stay with Renault…
    But I’m sure we will see very tough duels between Alonso and Hamilton again and also among several off the other top teams/drivers.
    Kimi’s qualities can be seen by the fact that he was the only driver able to get top results with the 2009 Ferrari.

    1. Apart from when Felipe was outperforming him before the incident, but hey-ho.

      1. Kimi actually scored the first podium and the first points last year and managed a win. Massa might have gone into an ascendency when Kimi was slumping, but Kimi got a win with that dog of a Ferrari, and was slapped in the face for it.

  26. I wonder how the 15 spectators at Bahrain found the GP….

  27. Not Liuzzi is the first driver whot got a point for the 9th place. In 1951 Spa, Fangio finished 9th too, and he got 1 point for the fastest lap :)

  28. Another stat: this race has received the lowest average rating (on this site) since Turkey last year – which is the only other race to date in which Vettel has started on pole but not won!

    1. In fact, it’s even lower than that (but Turkey was the lowest-ranked race of last year).

  29. To Dan Thorn,

    Ok I’m wrong about Kimi being the only driver to get top results with the 2009 Ferrari, but he wasn’t outperformed by Massa: for the results in the races up to Massa’s injury Massa had the upper hand in 5 races, Kimi in 4. When You look at Qualifying Kimi did best in 5 races, Massa in 4.
    I was just thinking of the fact that Fisichella qualified best in the Force India in the Spa GP, where Kimi was allowed to steal the Victory from him – very unjust that You can be allowed to gain places by driving outside the track as Kimi did on the opening lap – and later Fisichella could not match Kimi at all in the Ferrari and Luca Badoer destroyed his good reputation trying for 2 GP’s.

    1. Well, the only ‘reputation’ Badoer had, as a racing driver, was the record for most Grand Prix started without scoring points, which he extended in his two frustrated outings with Ferrari in 2009.

      Luca is highly respected as a loyal and efficient test driver, but never had what it takes to be competitive in real Formula 1 racing

  30. I think the worst thing for me was the absence of the drivers on the grid just before the race. What numpty thought it was a good idea not to give passes to the driver’s physios?

    Dull as watching paint dry… RIP F1

    1. I`ve been biting my lip over this one. Bernie has decided that the grid is to crowded before a race and it makes the prawn sandwich brigade nervous as they are not used to mixing with the peasants, So in He`s wisdom He has denied free passes to the Physios`, therefore the team will have to sacrifice a pass to the grid to accomodate the Physio, therefore the drivers are holding an unoffical boycott of the grid to be with there Physio in the Pits before the race.

  31. “Dull as watching paint dry… RIP F1”

    I think the same about golf, but I don’t comment it on golf sites – if they exists.

    1. Right on! Tell it like it is Palle!

  32. So how many times have Alonso, Massa and Hamilton shared a podium?

    1. Spain, Monaco and United States 2007.

  33. This is Massa’s best start to a season. 2nd place.

    In 2006 he started with 9th and 5th

    In 2007 he started with 6th and 5th in the first two races.

    In 2008 he had a DNF and DNF

    In 2009 he had a DNF and 9th place.

  34. Shame that all the speculation about Rubens’s grid position and new tyres did not amount to anything. Well done Fernando…

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