After 203 starts and over 10,000 laps, Jarno Trulli finally set his first fastest lap in a Grand Prix yesterday.
Plus, Nick Heidfeld is set to finally beat Michael Schumacher’s records for most consecutive race finishes if he’s still running at the end of the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
Jenson Button scored his fourth career win, giving him as many as Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren and Eddie Irvine.
Jarno Trulli set his fourth pole position and first fastest lap. It took him 203 starts to achieve his first fastest lap, which is a record. The previous driver to have started the most races before setting a fastest lap was Jenson Button – he did at this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix, his 155th start.
Trulli also passed the 10,000 laps landmark, recording his 10,013th. Only six drivers have covered more: Michael Schumacher (13,909), Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Riccardo Patrese, Giancarlo Fisichella and Alain Prost.
Toyota scored their first one-two in qualifying ever, and their first pole position since Suzuka 2005 (Ralf Schumacher).
Nick Heidfeld equalled Michael Schumacher’s record for most races consecutively finished, with 24. He also has 32 consecutive race classifications (completed more than 90% distance but not necessarily still running at the end). Schumacher’s run stretched from Hungary 2001 to Malaysia 2003, in which time he won 14 races and finished on the podium seven other times. Heidfeld is yet to win a race and in the course of his 24-race finishing stretched finished on the podium five times.
Six drivers are yet to score a point this year: Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Kazuki Nakajima, Nelson Piquet Jnr and Force India pilots Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil.
On the flip side three drivers have scored points in all four races: the Brawn drivers and Timo Glock. Lewis Hamilton would also be on the list but for his disqualification in Australia.
Sebastian Vettel finished second for the first time in a Grand Prix.
Mercedes won their 70th Grand Prix as an engine constructor. They are the fifth most successful engine builder in F1 history, behind Ferrari (210), Ford/Cosworth (176), Renault (116) and Honda (72). Those 70 wins are split between Mercedes’ works team of the 1950s (nine), Brawn (three) and McLaren (58).
Despite the changes in the technical regulations and the fact there have been two wet races, reliability has been better so far in 2009 than in the whole of 2008. Last year 78% of starts ended in a finish, so far this year it’s 86%. Only Kazuki Nakajima failed to finish in Bahrain, retiring after his car developed high oil pressure.
Spotted any more interesting facts and stats from the Bahrain Grand Prix? Don your finest anorak and leave a comment below…