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The 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 Rolex Sakhir Grand Prix 2020) was the sixteenth race of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, on 6 December 2020. The event saw the circuit being raced using a different layout.

George Russell, who was replacing Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes due to the seven-time champion recovering from COVID-19 was fastest in Friday's practice sessions but it was Valtteri Bottas who took pole position, with Russell a narrow 0.026 seconds behind, and Max Verstappen starting third. Russell got past Bottas at the start, but the Safety Car was deployed immediately after Charles Leclerc, starting in fourth, tipped Racing Point's Sergio Pérez into a spin, damaging his suspension and resulting Verstappen to retire as well as he ended in the wall while avoiding the collision. Leclerc was handed a three-place grid penalty in the next race as a result.

As the race resumed Russell and Bottas pulled away, with now third-placed Carlos Sainz, Jr. leading a train of cars behind him. Perez, suffering no damage, pitted at the end of the first lap and eventually recovered into the points a few laps later. There would be no drama until with around 20 laps remaining, debutant Jack Aitken, replacing Russell in Williams spun at the final turn and broke his front wing, bringing out the second safety car. During this period, Mercedes had fitted wrong tires onto their drivers, causing Russell to stop in another lap to change into the correct set of tires, which promoted Perez, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll into the top 3, the Mercedes drivers running 4th and 5th. As the race restarted, Russell managed to charge to second, but was forced to pit again after a slow puncture developed.

That left Perez to claim his maiden victory at the line, becoming the second Mexican driver to win an F1 race and the first since Pedro Rodríguez in the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix. Ocon finished 10 seconds behind, taking his first career podium with Stroll in third, a reverse of fortunes for Racing Point after failing to score in the previous round. Russell meanwhile was able to recover to 9th and set the fastest lap, earning his first points.

Post-race, Mercedes were fined €20,000 for the tire mix-up, but Russell was allowed to keep his finishing position and his maiden points.

Background[]

The third venue to host back-to-back race weekends after Red Bull Ring and Silverstone in 2020, the second race on the Bahrain International Circuit, named as the Sakhir Grand Prix, will see the outer layout of the circuit being used[1]. Prior to the season-opening race, on June 12, F1 managing director Ross Brawn had suggested that were Bahrain would host back-to-back race weekends, a second layout would be used, including the possibility of using the outer "oval" layout of the circuit, skipping the infield section[2]. The confirmation of the second layout being used on August 28 will mean that the Bahrain International Circuit would have used three different layouts overall in F1 (the previous, unpopular endurance layout was used in the 2010 race).

Romain Grosjean suffered a massive accident on the previous race, his Haas breaking into two and bursting into flames after wrecking into the barriers on the first lap, but was able to walk away and suffered only burns to his hands, the incident triggering discussions on the latest safety procedures implemented by the FIA. The day after the race, it was announced that reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, who is the grandson of double world champion Emerson will be replacing him for the weekend[3], making it the fourth time a driver with the Fittipaldi name to race in F1.

Following his win at the previous round, Lewis Hamilton was announced to be tested COVID-19 positive two days after the race, the Mercedes team saying in a statement[4]:

Lewis was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme.

However, he woke up on Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Lewis therefore took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.

Lewis is now isolating in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain. Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery.

Following the announcement, Mercedes have announced that Williams driver George Russell will be replacing Hamilton for the weekend[5], with F2 Campos driver and Williams reserve driver Jack Aitken taking over Russell's seat, effectively making his race debut with Fittipaldi[6]. At around the same time, Haas have also announced that Formula 2 HiTech GP driver Nikita Mazepin[7] and F2 chapmionship leader and Prema driver Mick Schumacher[8] will be their new drivers making their debut for the team in the 2021 Formula One Season.

Entry List[]

The full entry list for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo France Renault DP World F1 Team Renault R.S.20 Renault E-Tech 20 1.6l V6t P
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35 Renault E-Tech 20 1.6l V6t P
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF1000 Ferrari 065 1.6l V6t P
6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43 Mercedes F1 M11 1.6l V6t P
7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C39 Ferrari 065 1.6l V6t P
10 France Pierre Gasly Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT01 Honda RA260H 1.6l V6t P
11 Mexico Sergio Pérez United Kingdom BWT Racing Point F1 Team Racing Point RP20 BWT Mercedes F1 M11 1.6l V6t P
16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari SF1000 Ferrari 065 1.6l V6t P
18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom BWT Racing Point F1 Team Racing Point RP20 BWT Mercedes F1 M11 1.6l V6t P
20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen United States Haas F1 Team Haas VF-20 Ferrari 065 1.6l V6t P
23 Thailand Alexander Albon Austria Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB16 Honda RA260H 1.6l V6t P
26 Russia Daniil Kvyat Italy Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AlphaTauri AT01 Honda RA260H 1.6l V6t P
31 France Esteban Ocon France Renault DP World F1 Team Renault R.S.20 Renault E-Tech 20 1.6l V6t P
33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB16 Honda RA260H 1.6l V6t P
51 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi United States Haas F1 Team Haas VF-20 Ferrari 065 1.6l V6t P
55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. United Kingdom McLaren F1 Team McLaren MCL35 Renault E-Tech 20 1.6l V6t P
63 United Kingdom George Russell Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes W11 Mercedes F1 M11 1.6l V6t P
77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes W11 Mercedes F1 M11 1.6l V6t P
89 United Kingdom Jack Aitken United Kingdom Williams Racing Williams FW43 Mercedes F1 M11 1.6l V6t P
99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Alfa Romeo C39 Ferrari 065 1.6l V6t P
Source:[9]

Practice Overview[]

Qualifying[]

Q1[]

Q2[]

Q3[]

Qualifying Results[]

The full qualifying results for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 1 0:53.904 3 0:53.803 1 0:53.377 1
2 63 United Kingdom George Russell Germany Mercedes 3 0:54.160 5 0:53.819 2 0:53.403 2
3 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 2 0:54.037 1 0:53.647 3 0:53.433 3
4 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 7 0:54.249 6 0:53.825 4 0:53.613 4
5 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez United Kingdom Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 6 0:54.236 2 0:53.787 5 0:53.790 5
6 26 Russia Daniil Kvyat Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 10 0:54.346 8 0:53.856 6 0:53.906 6
7 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo France Renault 11 0:54.388 9 0:53.871 7 0:53.957 7
8 55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. United Kingdom McLaren-Renault 12 0:54.450 4 0:53.818 8 0:54.010 8
9 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 5 0:54.207 10 0:53.941 9 0:54.154 9
10 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 14 0:54.595 7 0:53.840 10 0:54.200 10
11 31 France Esteban Ocon France Renault 9 0:54.309 11 0:53.995 11
12 23 Thailand Alexander Albon Austria Red Bull-Honda 15 0:54.620 12 0:54.026 12
13 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Ferrari 8 0:54.301 13 0:54.175 13
14 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 13 0:54.523 14 0:54.377 14
15 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Renault 4 0:54.194 15 0:54.693 19*
16 20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen United States Haas-Ferrari 16 0:54.705 15
17 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 17 0:54.796 16
18 89 United Kingdom Jack Aitken United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 18 0:54.892 17
19 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 19 0:54.963 18
20 51 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi United States Haas-Ferrari 20 0:55.426 20*
107% Time: 0:57.677
Source:[10]
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
  • * Norris and Pietro had taken the start on the back of the grid as they exceeded their quotas of power unit elements.

Grid[]

Pos. Pos.
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Valtteri Bottas 2
______________ George Russell
Row 2 3 ______________
Max Verstappen 4
______________ Charles Leclerc
Row 3 5 ______________
Sergio Pérez 6
______________ Daniil Kvyat
Row 4 7 ______________
Daniel Ricciardo 8
______________ Carlos Sainz, Jr.
Row 5 9 ______________
Pierre Gasly 10
______________ Lance Stroll
Row 6 11 ______________
Esteban Ocon 12
______________ Alexander Albon
Row 7 13 ______________
Sebastian Vettel 14
______________ Lando Norris
Row 8 15 ______________
Kevin Magnussen 16
______________ Nicholas Latifi
Row 9 17 ______________
Jack Aitken 18
______________ Kimi Räikkönen
Row 10 19 ______________
Lando Norris 20
______________ Pietro Fittipaldi

Race[]

Report[]

Results[]

The full results for the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez United Kingdom Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 87 1:31:15.114 5 25
2 31 France Esteban Ocon France Renault 87 +10.518s 11 18
3 18 Canada Lance Stroll United Kingdom Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 87 +11.869s 10 15
4 55 Spain Carlos Sainz, Jr. United Kingdom McLaren-Renault 87 +12.580s 8 12
5 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo France Renault 87 +13.330s 7 10
6 23 Thailand Alexander Albon Austria Red Bull-Honda 87 +13.842s 12 8
7 26 Russia Daniil Kvyat Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 87 +14.534s 6 6
8 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Germany Mercedes 87 +15.389s 1 4
9 63 United Kingdom George Russell Germany Mercedes 87 +18.556s 2 3FL
10 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris United Kingdom McLaren-Renault 87 +19.541s 19 1
11 10 France Pierre Gasly Italy AlphaTauri-Honda 87 +20.527s 9
12 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Ferrari 87 +22.611s 13
13 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 87 +24.111s 14
14 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Switzerland Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 87 +26.153s 18
15 20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen United States Haas-Ferrari 87 +32.370s 15
16 89 United Kingdom Jack Aitken United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 87 +33.674s 17
17 51 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi United States Haas-Ferrari 87 +36.858s 20
Ret 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom Williams-Mercedes 52 Oil leak 16
Ret 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Austria Red Bull-Honda 0 Collision 3
Ret 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Italy Ferrari 0 Collision 4
Source:
  • FL Indicates a driver scored one point for fastest lap.

Milestones[]

Standings[]

References[]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. Motorsport.com, F1 to use outer Bahrain "oval" layout for second grand prix, https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-to-use-outer-bahrain-oval-layout-for-second-grand-prix/4864250/
  2. Motorsport.com: Bahrain could run second race on "almost oval" track, says Brawn, https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/bahrain-oval-track-brawn-race-gp/4805552/
  3. Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Grosjean for Sakhir Grand Prix
  4. Motorsport.com: Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir GP
  5. F1.com: George Russell to replace Hamilton at Mercedes for Sakhir Grand Prix
  6. F1.com: F2 racer Jack Aitken to make F1 debut with Williams at Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing Russell
  7. Haas F1 team: Nikita Mazepin to race for Haas F1 team
  8. Haas F1 team: Mick Schumacher confirmed at Haas F1 team
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EL
  10. ' ', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2020), , (Accessed 05/07/2020)
V T E 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship
Teams Alfa RomeoAlphaTauriFerrariHaasMcLarenMercedesRacing PointRed BullRenaultWilliams
Engines FerrariHondaMercedesRenault
Drivers alphabetically AlbonBottasGaslyGiovinazziGrosjeanHamiltonHülkenbergKvyatLatifiLeclercMagnussenNorrisOconPérezRäikkönenRicciardoRussellSainzStrollVerstappenVettel
Drivers by number 3 Ricciardo • 4 Norris • 5 Vettel • 6 Latifi • 7 Räikkönen • 8 Grosjean • 10 Gasly • 11 Pérez • 16 Leclerc • 18 Stroll • 20 Magnussen • 23 Albon • 26 Kvyat • 27 Hülkenberg • 31 Ocon • 33 Verstappen • 44 Hamilton • 51 P. Fittipaldi • 55 Sainz • 63 Russell • 77 Bottas • 89 Aitken • 99 Giovinazzi
Other Drivers BuemiCâmaraDeletrazIlottKubicaR. NissanyMick SchumacherShwartzmanSirotkinTsunodaVandoorneVipsZhou
Cars Alfa Romeo C39AlphaTauri AT01Ferrari SF1000Haas VF-20McLaren MCL35Mercedes W11Racing Point RP20Red Bull RB16Renault R.S.20Williams FW43
Tyres Pirelli
Races AustriaStyriaHungaryBritain70th AnniversarySpainBelgiumItalyTuscanyRussiaNürburgringPortugalImolaTurkeyBahrainSakhirAbu Dhabi
Cancelled Races AustraliaVietnamChinaNetherlandsMonacoAzerbaijanCanadaFranceSingaporeJapanUnited StatesMexicoBrazil
Tests Barcelona 1Barcelona 2
See also 2019 Formula One Season2021 Formula One SeasonCategory
V T E Bahrain Sakhir Grand Prix
Circuits Bahrain International Circuit (2020)
Bahrain International Circuit--Outer Circuit.svg
Races 2020
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