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The 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, officially the III Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, was the opening round of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 12 March 2006.[1] The race would see defending World Champion Fernando Alonso open his title defence with victory, beating Michael Schumacher in a race long duel.[1]

The opening round of 2006 came after a very busy winter, which had included a major rulebook change and several new teams.[2] Out went the 3.0l V10 engine formula introduced in 1995 to be replaced by 2.4l V8s, new 7-speed gearboxes were implemented, and drivers were limited to fourteen sets of tyres for the race weekend, but could change tyres during pitstops.[2]

Elsewhere, BMW became a constructor and entrant in their own right, taking over the Sauber entry after buying a controlling stake in Peter Sauber's business.[3] Likewise, Honda took control of BAR to become a constructor in their own right, and would support a junior team in the form of Super Aguri.[3] Red Bull similarly formed a junior team after their purchase of Minardi, which became Toro Rosso for 2006, while Jordan became Midland.[3]

Driver-wise there would be one significant change, as Ferrari signed reserve driver Felipe Massa to take over their second seat, replacing Rubens Barrichello.[3] The Brazilian veteran moved to the factory Honda team to partner Jenson Button, with Takuma Sato moving to partner Yuji Ide at Super Aguri, while GP2 Series Champion Nico Rosberg, son of 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg would make his debut with Williams-Cosworth.[3]

Into the race weekend itself and the field was faced with a new qualifying format, which was split into three sessions.[2] All 22 drivers would venture out in the first session to set as many flying laps as they could in fifteen minutes, before the bottom six drivers were eliminated.[2] Q2 would be a repeat with the next six slowest drivers eliminated, before the remaining ten progressed to Q3 to battle for pole position.[2]

The new quali-format saw several surprises, as a heavy accident for Kimi Räikkönen eliminating both himself and Ralf Schumacher in Q1.[3] Regardless, it was Michael Schumacher who emerged on pole ahead of new teammate Massa, while Button beat Alonso to third ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya.[3]

Alonso was the man to watch at the start, with the #1 Renault sprinting off the grid to claim second, managing to dodge a lunging Massa in the process.[1] Massa would hence slip behind the Spaniard, while Rosberg smacked into Nick Heidfeld in the middle of the pack, although both would continue.[1]

Out front, meanwhile, Schumacher would ease into an early lead, and would do his best to escape during the early stages.[1] However, Alonso would manage to keep the German racer in sight as the field settled down, and would fend off Massa's clumsy challenge on lap eight that resulted in the Brazilian youth destroying his tyres via a spin.[1]

The first round of stops for the leaders opened on lap fifteen as Schumacher dived into the pits, with Alonso stopping four laps later.[1] He rejoined behind the German ace as Montoya briefly led, while Räikkönen had become a major threat for victory having opted for a one-stop strategy, moving into third once Montoya stopped.[1]

Räikkönen's eventual stop left him behind Montoya and Button, before the second round of stops ultimately settled the majority of the positions.[1] Indeed, Alonso would be the main beneficiary as he jumped Schumacher to claim the lead, running side-by-side into the first corner having made his stop.[1]

With that Alonso was clear, and duly claimed victory at a canter ahead of the man who many predicted would be his major rival.[1] Behind, the battle for third between Montoya, Button and Räikkönen was settled in the Finn's favour, the result of a better strategy, with Button just falling shy.[1] Montoya, meanwhile, would slip to a lonely fifth ahead of Webber, while Rosberg and Christian Klien claimed the remaining points.[1]

Rosberg would also make history by setting fastest lap, becoming the youngest driver to do so at the age of 20 years and 258 days.[1] This would stand until Max Verstappen set his maiden fastest lap at the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix.

BackgroundEdit

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 M
2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 M
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 M
4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 M
5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 B
6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 B
7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF106 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF106 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
15 Austria Christian Klien United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
21 United States Scott Speed Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
23 Japan Yuji Ide Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
Test Drivers for Practice Sessions Only
35 Austria Alexander Wurz United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
36 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
37 Netherlands Robert Doornbos United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
38 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
39 Netherlands Markus Winkelhock Russia MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
40 Switzerland Neel Jani Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
Source:[4]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Q1Edit

Q2Edit

Q3Edit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Q3 Q2 Q1 Grid
1 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 1:31.431 1:32.025 1:33.310 1
2 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 1:31.478 1:32.014 1:33.579 2
3 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 1:31.549 1:32.025 1:32.603 3
4 1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 1:31.702 1:31.215 1:32.433 4
5 4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.164 1:31.487 1:33.233 5
6 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 1:32.579 1:32.322 1:33.922 6
7 9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 1:33.006 1:32.309 1:33.454 7
8 15 Austria Christian Klien United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 1:33.112 1:32.106 1:34.308 8
9 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Renault 1:33.496 1:31.831 1:32.934 9
10 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 1:33.926 1:31.958 1:33.374 10
11 17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Germany BMW Sauber 1:32.456 1:33.882 11
12 10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 1:32.620 1:32.945 12
13 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 1:32.850 1:33.678 13
14 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 1:33.066 1:33.987 14
15 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:33.416 1:34.439 15
16 21 United States Scott Speed Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:34.606 1:33.995 16
17 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Toyota 1:34.702 17
18 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Midland-Toyota 1:35.724 18
19 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Midland-Toyota 1:35.900 19
20 22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 1:37.411 20
21 23 Japan Yuji Ide Japan Super Aguri-Honda 1:40.270 21
22 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes no time 22
Source:[5]

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Michael Schumacher 2
______________ Felipe Massa
Row 2 3 ______________
Jenson Button 4
______________ Fernando Alonso
Row 3 5 ______________
Juan Pablo Montoya 6
______________ Rubens Barrichello
Row 4 7 ______________
Mark Webber 8
______________ Christian Klien
Row 5 9 ______________
Giancarlo Fisichella 10
______________ Nick Heidfeld
Row 6 11 ______________
Jacques Villeneuve 12
______________ Nico Rosberg
Row 7 13 ______________
David Coulthard 14
______________ Jarno Trulli
Row 8 15 ______________
Vitantonio Liuzzi 16
______________ Scott Speed
Row 9 17 ______________
Ralf Schumacher 18
______________ Christijan Albers
Row 10 19 ______________
Tiago Monteiro* 20
______________ Takuma Sato
Row 11 21 ______________
Yuji Ide 22
______________ Kimi Räikkönen
  • * Monteiro started the race from the pitlane.[5]

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 57 1:29:46.205 4 10
2 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 57 +1.246s 1 8
3 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 57 +19.360s 22 6
4 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 57 +19.992s 3 5
5 4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 57 +37.048s 5 4
6 9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 57 +41.932s 7 3
7 10 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 57 +1:03.043 12 2
8 15 Austria Christian Klien United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +1:06.771 8 1
9 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 57 +1:09.907 2
10 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +1:15.541 13
11 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 57 +1:25.997 15
12 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 56 +1 Lap 10
13 21 United States Scott Speed Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 56 +1 Lap 16
14 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Toyota 56 +1 Lap 17
15 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 56 +1 Lap 6
16 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 56 +1 Lap 14
17 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Midland-Toyota 55 +2 Laps 19
18 22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 53 +4 Laps 20
Ret 23 Japan Yuji Ide Japan Super Aguri-Honda 35 Engine 21
Ret 17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Germany BMW Sauber 29 Engine 11
Ret 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Renault 21 Hydraulics 9
Ret 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Midland-Toyota 0 Driveshaft 18
Source:[1]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Victory at the opening round of the season meant Fernando Alonso opened his maiden title defence in perfect form, scoring a maximum ten points. Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, had started his campaign in second, two behind, while Kimi Räikkönen completed the opening day top three. The rest of the scorers in Bahrain were Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Webber, debutante Nico Rosberg and Christian Klien.

In the Constructors Championship it was Renault who led the way after the opening round, all because of Alonso's win. Indeed, McLaren-Mercedes had matched the French squad's ten point haul at the opening round, but because Alonso had won the race, it was Renault who headed the field on countback. Behind, Ferrari started the season in third ahead of Honda, with Williams-Cosworth and Red Bull-Ferrari having also scored points.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Spain Fernando Alonso 10
2 Germany Michael Schumacher 8
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 6
4 United Kingdom Jenson Button 5
5 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 4
6 Australia Mark Webber 3
7 Germany Nico Rosberg 2
8 Austria Christian Klien 1
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 France Renault 10
2 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 10
3 Italy Ferrari 8
4 Japan Honda 5
5 United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 5
6 United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 1

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 'Bahrain 2006: Alonso triumphs in desert duel.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 12/03/2006), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/54913/1/bahrain-2006-alonso-triumphs-in-desert-duel, (Accessed 02/02/2020)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 'FIA Rules & Regulations Sporting Regulations 2006: 2006 season changes', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://web.archive.org/web/20070428004836/http://www.formula1.com/insight/rulesandregs/13/995.html, (Accessed 02/02/2020)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 'Bahrain GP, 2006', grandprix.com, (Inside F1 Inc., 2014), https://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr751.html, (Accessed 02/02/2020)
  4. 'Bahrain 2006: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/bahrein/engages.aspx, (Accessed 02/02/2020)
  5. 5.0 5.1 '2006 FORMULA 1™ Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 12/03/2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2006/races/790/bahrain/qualifying.html, (Accessed 02/02/2020)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 '1. Bahrain 2006', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/bahrein.aspx, (Accessed 02/02/2020)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 '2006 Bahrain GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20190410083955/http://chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2006&gp=Bahrain%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 02/02/2020) - Original
V T E Bahrain Bahrain Grand Prix
Circuits Bahrain International Circuit (2004–present)
Sakhir1
Races 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • 2019
V T E 2006 Formula One Season
Teams Renault • McLaren • Ferrari • Toyota • Williams • Honda • Red Bull • BMW Sauber • Midland • Toro Rosso • Super Aguri
Engines BMW • Cosworth • Ferrari • Honda • Mercedes • Renault • Toyota
Drivers Alonso • 2 Fisichella • 3 Räikkönen • 4 Montoya • 4 De la Rosa • 5 M. Schumacher • 6 Massa • 7 R. Schumacher • 8 Trulli • 9 Webber • 10 Rosberg • 11 Barrichello • 12 Button • 14 Coulthard • 15 Klien • 15 Doornbos • 16 Heidfeld • 17 Villeneuve • 17 Kubica • 18 Monteiro • 19 Albers • 20 Liuzzi • 21 Speed • 22 Sato • 23 Ide • 23 Montagny • 23 Yamamoto
Other Drivers Badoer • Davidson • Hamilton • Kovalainen • Piquet • Sutil • Vettel • Wurz
Cars Renault R26 • Ferrari 248 F1 • McLaren MP4-21 • Honda RA106 • BMW Sauber F1.06 • Toyota TF106 • Red Bull RB2 • Williams FW28 • Toro Rosso STR1 • Midland M16 • Super Aguri SA05 • Super Aguri SA06
Tyres Bridgestone • Michelin
Races Bahrain • Malaysia • Australia • San Marino • Europe • Spain • Monaco • Britain • Canada • United States • France • Germany • Hungary • Turkey • Italy • China • Japan • Brazil
See also 2005 Formula One Season • 2007 Formula One Season • Category
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