2017 Bahrain Grand Prix preview

by Peter Higham on 14th April 2017

Looking ahead to the Bahrain Grand Prix, from the Database 

Lewis Hamilton is looking to qualify on pole position for the seventh race in a row, a feat he achieved on the way to the 2015 title. Ayrton Senna holds the record for consecutive poles, starting from the front for eight races in succession from the 1988 Spanish to 1989 United States GP. There is every possibility Hamilton will extend that run for he has started from pole for the last three years in Bahrain.

Mercedes-Benz has won every Bahrain Grand Prix since it was switched to a night race in 2014 and Hamilton, a two-time winner and on the podium for the last three years, has always finished here. The only time he did not score points was his ragged run to 13th in 2008. Hamilton’s run of seven successive podium finishes since he was third in the 2016 Japanese GP include five victories. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas has scored points for the last three years in Bahrain.

Felipe Massa enjoyed back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008 and has finished all 12 Bahrain GPs since the first race in 2004. Sebastian Vettel is another two-time winner having won for Red Bull in 2012 and 2013. Kimi Räikkönen has never stood on the top step in Bahrain but the under pressure Finn has finished on the podium eight times in his 11 visits to the Sakhir circuit.

Nico Hülkenberg has scored points just once (fifth in 2014) despite finishing all of his six Bahrain GPs so far. Romain Grosjean was third for Lotus-Renault in 2012 and 2013 and Force India’s Sergio Pérez filled that position a year later. Stoffel Vandoorne finished 10th a year ago on his Formula 1 debut. The man he replaced that day, Fernando Alonso is the only three-time winner of the race. Those include his first victory for Ferrari in 2010. Both Alonso and Williams’ Lance Stroll are looking for their first finish of the season, and Pascal Wehrlein his first start for Sauber.

Both GPs so far this season have had the same top four on the grid – Hamilton from Vettel, Bottas and Räikkönen.

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