Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
To circuits

Bahrain GP

Bahrein International Circuit, Sakhir
  • FP1 18 Mar 2022 -
  • FP2 18 Mar 2022 -
  • FP3 19 Mar 2022 -
  • Quali 19 Mar 2022 -
  • Race 20 Mar 2022 -


First held 2004
Laps 57
Circuit length 5.412 kilometer
Fastest race lap 1:30.252 (2004)
Winner 2020 Lewis Hamilton
Second in 2020 Max Verstappen
Third in 2020 Alexander Albon


Winner 2020 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2019 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2018 Sebastian Vettel
Winner 2017 Sebastian Vettel
Winner 2016 Nico Rosberg

Having provisionally returned to its second-round slot, the Bahrain Grand Prix will now act as the first race of the 2021 F1 season after the event in Australia was rescheduled. Since 2004, the race has been a fixture on the calendar every year except 2011, when it was cancelled.

F1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2021

The Bahrain GP became the first F1 event to be held in the Middle East back on 4 April 2004, and has typically been the third race on the calendar, though there have been exceptions to that.

The standard 5.412km circuit blends a number of straights, with several technical corners in the middle to challenge drivers, as well as offer up an exciting spectacle for fans. Originally raced during the day, organisers decided to host it under floodlights in 2014 to mark its 10-year anniversary. It has remained a night race ever since.

It was Ferrari who dominated the inaugural event, with Michael Schumacher leading Rubens Barrichello over the line for a one-two finish.

In 2010, a new circuit configuration was used – the Endurance Circuit – which extended the lap distance to 6.3km. However, the track reverted back to its original layout when F1 returned to Bahrain in 2012.


Work on the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir began in 2002 thanks to high domestic interest in the sport, beating out the likes of Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates in the battle to stage an F1 race.

Schumacher won the first event in 2004, with Fernando Alonso taking the chequered flag the following year for Renault. The Spaniard became the first repeat winner after winning the 2006 edition, before adding a third thanks to his 2010 win in the season-opening race for Ferrari.

Cancellation in 2011 and ongoing controversy

The 2011 Bahrain GP was scheduled for 13 March, however it was postponed a month prior to its running due to civil unrest in the country as part of a series of protests across North Africa and the Middle East.

Organisers were initially given until 1 May to decide whether they would proceed with the race at a later date, with that deadline then pushed back to 3 June .

At a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on 3 June, FIA members unanimously voted to hold the Bahrain Grand Prix on 30 October. However a week following the decision, F1 announced the cancellation of the race for 2011.

Human rights activists called for the cancellation of the 2012 event as well following reports of excessive force by authorities on protestors. Nevertheless the event took place on 22 April, reverting to the configuration last used in 2009 rather than the Endurance Circuit configuration used in 2010.

The race was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually run on 29 November, the first of two events held at the Bahrain International Circuit over two weekends. The second race, called the Sakhir Grand Prix, took place a week later.

Most successful F1 drivers and teams

Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver, winning the Bahrain GP five times. He is followed by Sebastian Vettel on four wins, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa next on the list with three and two victories respectively.

As far as constructors go, Ferrari and Mercedes both sit on six victories, though the Scuderia's last triumph dates back to 2018. Renault and Red Bull have both taken the chequered flag on two occasions.

The Bahrain Grand Prix 2021

The 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first race of the season, and saw Max Verstappen start from pole, having led all three practice sessions.

Hamilton eventually found his way past, however the two rivals were separated by just one second by the start of Lap 51. Although Verstappen made his way past Hamilton around the outside of Turn 4, he was forced to give the place back after exceeding track limits.

In the end, Hamilton held on to take the chequered flag ahead of the Red Bull driver, with Valtteri Bottas rounding out the podium.

When is the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 26-28 March and is provisionally set to be the opening race of the F1 season. The first two free practice sessions will take place on 26 March, with qualifying on Saturday 27 March at 15:00 CET.

What time does the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix start?

The Bahrain Grand Prix starts on Sunday 28 March at 16:00 CET. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365’s blog and watched on F1 TV.

F1 Bahrain GP 2021 Schedule

Session Date Time (UK)
Free Practice 1 Friday 26 March 11:00 - 12:00
Free Practice 2 Friday 26 March 15:00 - 16:00
Free Practice 3 Saturday 27 March 11:00 - 12:00
Qualifying Saturday 27 March 14:00 - 15:00
Race Sunday 28 March 15:00