Fernando Alonso emulated Kimi Räikkönen 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 Räikkönen.
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…