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The amazing stats behind the Sakhir Grand Prix

The amazing stats behind the Sakhir Grand Prix

F1 News

The amazing stats behind the Sakhir Grand Prix

The amazing stats behind the Sakhir Grand Prix

The inaugural Sakhir Grand Prix was a race for the ages with unpredictability, pit blunders and an unexpected winner.

There are few races in a season you would likely watch on repeat. This, though, was definitely one of them and with each viewing you are likely to uncover something new.

Without any further ado, here are some of the key stats that defined the weekend.

Hamilton's record-breaking run comes to an end

Lewis Hamilton has become the new benchmark for success in F1, breaking record after record this year but there is one he will never again get close to.

Since making his debut in the sport at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix, prior to the weekend, Hamilton had never missed a race.

The streak lasted an astonishing 265 races - 59 clear of next on the list in former team-mate Nico Rosberg - but ended when the seven-time champion was forced to miss the Sakhir race after testing positive for Covid-19.

To put Hamilton's run into context, he had raced in over a quarter of the races in F1's 70-year history before finally missing out on one.

50 years of hurt comes to an end

Take your pick of the numbers here because they are frankly biblical. The victory of Sergio Perez came 50 years, five months and 29 days after the last Mexican winner in F1 in Pedro Rodriguez who topped the podium in the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix.

Between the chequered flag falling at Spa-Francorchamps, on the fearsome 14.1km layout - rather than the seven-kilometre layout of today - and in Sakhir, a total of 18,445 days had passed.

Formula 1 was only in its 20th season, Ayrton Senna was just 10-years-old and Kimi Raikkonen, the oldest driver racing today, would not be born for another nine years.

Fast, but not fast fast

Make no bones about it, the maiden Sakhir GP was fast, but it wasn't the fastest ever. Yes, the lap times were the lowest ever seen in a grand prix, but this was more down to the short 3.5km layout in tandem with the speed of the cars.

In qualifying, Valtteri Bottas wrote his name in the history books with the fastest lap of all time, with his 53.377 seconds dethroning former Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda, who previously held the record with a 58.790s set in Dijon at the French Grand Prix in 1974.

But Monza retains its crown as the 'Cathedral of Speed'. The average speed of Bottas across the 3.5km layout was 'only' 238.95kph, falling comfortably short of Hamilton's average from qualifying at this year's Italian Grand Prix of 264.36kph.

The race was a similar story. Winner Perez took the flag with an average speed of 202.52kph, impressive considering his lap-one incident and the interruption of a virtual safety car and two full safety cars.

But this is a far cry from the pace of Michael Schumacher in the 2003 race at Monza, where he took the victory with an average speed of 247.586 kph.

Number of podium finishers on the rise

F1 is predictable. F1 is boring. Well, while for the most part the winner of a race this year has been predictable, with Hamilton picking up 11 wins from 15 race starts, the action behind has been fast and frenetic.

The 2012 season is often looked back as the most recent 'exciting' year when the first seven races were all won by different drivers.

While there have been just five winners this year - Hamilton, Bottas, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Perez - over half the grid has now stood on the podium.

In 2012, 13 different drivers achieved that feat and, with a race to spare, 2020 has equalled this total with only Alfa Romeo, Haas and Williams - the bottom three in the constructors' standings - yet to claim silverware.

In addition to the five winners, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll and Alex Albon have all made trips to the rostrum.

The 2019 season saw eight different drivers finish inside the top three across the year. With this season's machinery largely being carried over into '21, is it too early to be getting excited about next year?

A first for Mercedes

A quick final mention goes to Mercedes as, for the first time in its history, it ran without a world champion driver behind the wheel of one of its cars.

The German manufacturer raced with Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and '55, Michael Schumacher upon the team's return in 2010, and with Hamilton since 2013 prior to the weekend.


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