While the world steadily prepared to celebrate George Russell as a race winner at the Sakhir Grand Prix, his ill luck in the latter stages meant Sergio Perez became the hero we didn’t need but definitely deserved.
An iconic race which brought many firsts in Formula 1, here are all the numbers from the 2020 Sakhir GP –
- Last week’s winner, Lewis Hamilton didn’t feature on a race grid for the first time since 2007, a streak of 265 Grands Prix.
- Hamilton’s absence at Sakhir meant it was the first time the eventual world champion that year missed a race weekend since Michael Schumacher sat out the 1994 Italian GP after he was banned for ignoring black flags in the preceding round. A more recent memory would be Fernando Alonso not starting the controversial 2005 US GP after the Michelin tyres were deemed unsafe for the race, although the Spaniard did participate in the practice and qualifying sessions.
- Two drivers made their maiden race starts of the season, Pietro Fittipaldi & Jack Aitken. The last time that occurred mid-season was at the 2010 Singapore GP when Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien were picked instead of Pedro de la Rosa and Sakon Yamamoto respectively.
- None of the podium finishers started in the top 3 of the starting grid, a first since the 2016 Spanish GP.
- This was the first time a driver starting outside the front two rows won the race at Bahrain.
- The 2020 season has seen two new teams and two new drivers winning a race, the first time since 2009 and 2012 respectively.
- Thirteen different drivers have taken a podium trophy this year, similar to the 2012 F1 season.
RACING POINT –
- Sergio Perez became the second Mexican to win a Grand Prix after Pedro Rodriguez won the Belgian GP in 1970.
- There were more similarities to that race apart from Mexicans emerging victorious. Just like at Sakhir, three drivers led the race and the winning driver led the last 24 laps.
- Perez has had to wait the longest in an F1 career before securing his maiden race victory – 190 races.
- He also became the only driver in F1 history to win a race after ending the first lap in last position. Nelson Piquet’s effort at the 1987 Mexican GP were quite similar when he was dead last after colliding with Alain Prost on lap 1, yet crossed the chequered flag first. However, victory was handed to Nigel Mansell as the race had been split into two heats and Mansell held a larger time gap.
- Perez will end the season either 4th or 5th in the drivers’ standings and currently has 125 points to his name. His previous best in the drivers’ championship was 7th with 101 points (2017).
- Lance Stroll has stood on the podium on 3 occasions (Azerbaijan 2017, Italy 2020, Sakhir 2020), but has never had the privilege to share the rostrum with a current or former world champion, including Lewis Hamilton.
- Racing Point registered their maiden victory in F1, becoming the 36th team to do so. This was also their first-ever double podium.