2021 Bahrain Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyres

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Mercedes gave Lewis Hamilton the chance to win the Bahrain Grand Prix when they reacted quickly to the first pit stops happening behind him, and got him in the pits before race leader Max Verstappen.

Tyres degrade rapidly on the abrasive Bahrain International Circuit, and getting onto fresh tyre provides a powerful ‘undercut’ advantage. Hamilton gained a massive two-and-a-half seconds after switching to fresh rubber, and having been only 1.7s behind the race-leading Red Bull beforehand, he was guaranteed to put himself in a position to jump ahead at this point.

Red Bull reacted the only way they could – by extending Verstappen’s first and second stints as long as they dared. With further degradation forcing Hamilton back into the pits for his second stop as early as lap 28 – half-distance, which suggested he would need to pit a third time – the plan seemed to be working.

Indeed, the strategists can be satisfied that, having arguably dropped the ball by letting Hamilton get ahead in the first place, they put Verstappen in a position where he was able to overtake the Mercedes for the lead with three laps to go. (The move didn’t stick, but that’s besides the point.)

Two things allowed Mercedes to be this aggressive with Hamilton’s strategy. The first was the presence of Valtteri Bottas. Once he was free of Charles Leclerc, Bottas was close enough to the leaders to be a factor, and Mercedes ran him closer to a conventional strategy, forcing Red Bull to cover both options. Unluckily for Bottas this was ruined by a slow second pit stop.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
Hamilton withstood Verstappen’s attack just long enough
The second significant factor was that Mercedes kept a new set of hard C2 tyres in hand for the race, which Red Bull did not have. Both drivers made good use of these in their middle stint, the importance of which was not lost on Verstappen.

“I think, strategy-wise, we’ll have to analyse what we could have done better,” he said. “We didn’t have the tyres like they had so we didn’t really have a lot of flexibility in the strategy. So maybe also there we could have done better in choosing our tyres throughout the practice.

“Last year we would have been super-happy with this result and now we are disappointed so we definitely made a good step forward and of course it is still a very long season. We just have to get on with it and try to do better.”

Red Bull may have started the season with the quickest car, but the world champions seized this opportunity to prove they can with with tactical superiority as well as speed.

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Click name to highlight, right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Very large gaps omitted. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

Position change

DriverStart positionLap one position changeRace position change
Lewis Hamilton201
Valtteri Bottas3-10
Max Verstappen10-1
Sergio Perez11-86
Lando Norris713
Daniel Ricciardo6-1-1
Lance Stroll1010
Sebastian Vettel2065
Esteban Ocon1633
Fernando Alonso91
Charles Leclerc41-2
Carlos Sainz Jnr8-20
Pierre Gasly50-12
Yuki Tsunoda13-24
Kimi Raikkonen1433
Antonio Giovinazzi1200
Mick Schumacher1802
Nikita Mazepin19
George Russell15-11
Nicholas Latifi170-1

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded). Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and toggle drivers using the control below:

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Valtteri BottasMercedes1’32.09056
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’33.2281.13841
3Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’33.9701.88044
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’34.0151.92544
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’34.0902.00048
6Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’34.3962.30638
7Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’34.5092.41948
8Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’34.7612.67138
9Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’34.8652.77531
10Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’34.9322.84236
11Charles LeclercFerrari1’34.9882.89839
12George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’35.0362.94640
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’35.1223.03232
14Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’35.1923.10245
15Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’35.2503.16033
16Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’35.5663.47626
17Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’36.0633.97331
18Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’36.1344.04438
19Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’36.6024.51216
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Lewis HamiltonC3 (13)C2 (15)C2 (28)
Max VerstappenC3 (17)C3 (22)C2 (17)
Valtteri BottasC3 (16)C2 (14)C2 (24)C3 (2)
Lando NorrisC4 (12)C3 (21)C2 (23)
Sergio PerezC3 (2)C3 (17)C2 (19)C3 (18)
Charles LeclercC4 (12)C3 (20)C2 (24)
Daniel RicciardoC4 (13)C3 (19)C2 (24)
Carlos Sainz JnrC4 (15)C3 (22)C2 (19)
Yuki TsunodaC3 (15)C2 (18)C2 (23)
Lance StrollC4 (12)C3 (16)C2 (28)
Kimi RaikkonenC3 (13)C2 (16)C3 (27)
Antonio GiovinazziC3 (12)C2 (18)C3 (25)
Esteban OconC4 (13)C3 (18)C2 (24)
George RussellC4 (13)C3 (23)C3 (19)
Sebastian VettelC3 (24)C2 (31)
Mick SchumacherC3 (14)C3 (19)C2 (22)
Pierre GaslyC3 (4)C2 (15)C3 (20)C2 (13)
Nicholas LatifiC4 (14)C3 (18)C3 (19)
Fernando AlonsoC4 (11)C3 (18)C2 (3)
Nikita Mazepin

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Max VerstappenRed Bull23.84839
2Nicholas LatifiWilliams23.9830.13532
3Sergio PerezRed Bull23.9930.1452
4Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo24.0460.19829
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.0760.22828
6Sergio PerezRed Bull24.1050.25719
7Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo24.1070.25913
8Charles LeclercFerrari24.1760.32832
9Sergio PerezRed Bull24.1910.34338
10Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo24.2230.37530
11George RussellWilliams24.2480.40036
12Valtteri BottasMercedes24.2620.41416
13Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri24.3170.46919
14Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri24.3280.48033
15Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari24.3410.49337
16Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari24.3530.50515
17Fernando AlonsoAlpine24.3730.52511
18Esteban OconAlpine24.4710.62331
19Valtteri BottasMercedes24.5660.71854
20George RussellWilliams24.6210.77313
21Sebastian VettelAston Martin24.6260.77824
22Daniel RicciardoMcLaren24.6550.80732
23Daniel RicciardoMcLaren24.6880.84013
24Max VerstappenRed Bull24.7670.91917
25Fernando AlonsoAlpine24.7750.92729
26Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.8390.99113
27Lance StrollAston Martin24.8841.03612
28Lando NorrisMcLaren24.8991.05112
29Charles LeclercFerrari24.9251.07712
30Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri24.9831.13539
31Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri25.0461.19815
32Esteban OconAlpine25.2261.37813
33Mick SchumacherHaas25.3431.49533
34Lance StrollAston Martin25.5251.67728
35Lando NorrisMcLaren25.6401.79233
36Mick SchumacherHaas25.7981.95014
37Nicholas LatifiWilliams26.0462.19814
38Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo31.9988.15012
39Valtteri BottasMercedes32.8979.04930
40Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri38.33814.4904

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2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

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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16 comments on “2021 Bahrain Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyres”

  1. “Clearly faster”, huh, @f1osaurus? ;)
    What a joke.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      29th March 2021, 7:44

      @niefer Lol you are really going to try to deny that Verstappen had the fastest car?

      What a joke indeed.

      1. @f1osaurus – go argue with the charts, if you can understand them. I give up on you.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          29th March 2021, 14:07

          @niefer The charts clearly shows Verstappen was faster. How do you think he closed the gap to Hamilton? Or how he was on top of every session before the race?

          The chart shows even Perez had a faster lap than Hamilton.

          Is it that you don’t understand that Bottas taking a fresh set of medium tyre to set a single fastest lap is not representative?

          You really should give up on commenting on F1 altogether.

        2. @niefer
          in the charts, you can see average speed of max is faster than lewis… overall…
          RB made a mistake, despite undercut, they should have pitted, as i m quite sure, max would have gotten by mercedes much easier with fresher mediums… and continue to track position… they had the speed and pace… not sure why didnt they pursue it is beyond me… the only logical thing is they were afraid that lewis would pace up and make max waste the tyres sooner… but even then they could do the undercut themselves, and move on… not sure mercedes would answer to max’s pace… they were clearly faster in race pace… not sure why u both argue about the same thing.

  2. Comparing Stroll and Vettel’s lap times, the gap between the two is the largest on the grid.

    Vettel will likely not see out his contract at Aston Martin. I hope I’m wrong.

  3. Seems Perez went from Pit Lane to 3rd in 17 laps, sets the 3rd fastest race lap, 2nd if you discount Bottas’s one-lap-wonder. Not bad for a “new guy on the team”.
    Just can’t wait to see more action from both Red Bull drivers.
    Wonder what he can do once he gets used to the car.?

    1. @rekibsn well, Albon on his first race for RBR did 17th to 5th. Perez pit to 5th, but the SC brought him back into play immediately so in the end both results are highly comparable.

      Not saying Perez ultimately won’t do better but a lot of people seem to forget Albon had a comparable start for the team. The true measure is not seeing how he can get the best (or second best maybe in following races, we’ll see) car up to fifth from back of the grid – it’s seeing how he can consistently qualify it on first or second row of the grid, score podiums with it and make it a bit harder for Mercedes.

      1. Good bit of context @mattds, indeed, let’s not forget why Albon was initially seen as a good try, and hopeful signing, if only he could keep improving on that a bit large deficit to Verstappen in quali, until he couldn’t.

        I do think that Perez did well, and his confidence in his race and tyre-massaging probably helps them go for more advantagous strategies when he’s not quite there, but they will want him to get nearer soon.

    2. Not that remarkable if you consider he rejoined at the back of the field on lap 4 after the safetycar went of.
      On the freshest tires, in arguably the fastest car, and with almost the entire field pitting between lap 12 and 16.
      Not saying it wasn’t a very good drive but lets not forget he still almost finished a minute behind Verstappen on what turned out to be a similar strategy.
      I’ll concede he had to do alot of overtakes but on the restart he was only 5 to 6 seconds behind Verstappen.
      Plus Verstappens car had diff issues and RBR revealed that they had to run his car on a lower engine setting because some sort of software issue.
      I like Pérez and i hope he does well but i think his drive wasn’t as stellar as everyone makes it out to be.

  4. I thought Mercedes had overplayed their hand by pitting Hamilton after only 15 laps on a new set of hard tyres. Of course, he had to use the tyres hard initially to execute the undercut, but still I would have expected him to go a bit longer on those tyres (though his last lap before the pit stop was not good – I did not see if he had any traffic that lap). However, Max had closed to within 2 seconds, which I suppose is the undercut range. I don’t think Red Bull would have pitted Max at the first opportunity, but apparently Mercedes did not want to take the chance.

    Note that Hamilton was not unlucky after the first pit stop. On the timing screens we could see Perez closing to within 0.3 seconds, so despite his pit lane start he almost did do the job Red Bull hired him to do.

  5. The graphs are so hard to follow now that majority of the field is a sea of blues

    1. @eurobrun Yeah I’ll do some work on that to improve it. Remember you can select the driver’s name in the legend to highlight them, and of course switch off the drivers whose data you want to exclude.

      1. One suggestion could be use of dashed and solid lines to show 2 drivers of same team. That would reduce your color requirement by half.

  6. These charts are wonderful. I love a good collection of data!

  7. Although RB appeared faster, Mercedes had to measure their pace, so on race pace they’re not separable currently. IF they stay closely matched, then I’d still call RB slight favourites because they can do sub 2 seconds stops whereas Mercedes still look ,erm… Let’s say rusty.

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