2020 Bahrain Grand Prix
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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix
Race 15 of 17[a] in the 2020 Formula One World Championship
A map of the Sakhir circuit, which runs clockwise and has 15 turns
Race details[1][2]
Date 29 November 2020
Official name Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020
Location Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.412 km (3.363 mi)
Distance 57 laps, 308.238 km (191.530 mi)
Weather Clear
Attendance 0[b]
Pole position
Driver Mercedes
Time 1:27.264
Fastest lap
Driver Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda
Time 1:32.014 on lap 48
Podium
First Mercedes
Second Red Bull Racing-Honda
Third Red Bull Racing-Honda

The 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix (officially known as the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020) was a Formula One motor race that took place over 57 laps on 29 November 2020 on the 'Grand Prix Circuit' configuration at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.[1] The race was the fifteenth round of the 2020 Formula One World Championship. It was the sixteenth time that the Bahrain Grand Prix has been run as a round of the Formula One World Championship.

This race was the first of two back to back Formula One races scheduled to be held in Bahrain. The second race, named the Sakhir Grand Prix, took place at the same venue on 6 December, but was held on a different circuit layout.[3][4][5]

The race was suspended for eighty minutes following a serious accident involving Romain Grosjean, which resulted in his Haas VF-20 splitting in two and catching fire. Grosjean escaped with second degree burns. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the race from pole position ahead of Red Bull Racing teammates Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon.

Background

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The race was originally due to take place on 22 March 2020 as the second round of the championship, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to event organisers initially announcing that no spectators would be permitted to attend the race.[6] On 13 March 2020 the race was indefinitely postponed.[7] It was the second time in Formula One history that the Bahrain Grand Prix was postponed after the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix, which was ultimately cancelled.[8] In its place, an online virtual Grand Prix was held on the original race date featuring racing drivers, celebrities, and e-sport racers. The virtual race was won by Formula Two driver Guanyu Zhou.[9] In August, the Bahrain Grand Prix was rescheduled to 29 November.[10][11] Due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, organisers announced that the Grand Prix would take place behind closed doors. Local authorities have given special dispensation to allow local health workers to attend with their families.[12][13]

Entrants

The drivers and teams were the same as the season entry list with no additional stand-in drivers for the race.[14]Roy Nissany drove for Williams in the first practice session, replacing George Russell,[15] while Robert Kubica drove for Alfa Romeo Racing, in place of Kimi Räikkönen.[16]

Tyres

Sole Formula One tyre manufacturer Pirelli brought their C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres (the middle range of hardness) for teams to use in dry weather conditions.[17] Pirelli also tested the 2021 tyre compounds during the first 30 minutes of both of Friday's two practice sessions.[18] Drivers, particularly Lewis Hamilton, were ultimately unimpressed with the prototype tyres in practice.[19]

Practice

The first of two practice sessions took place on Friday in unrepresentative daylight conditions and saw Hamilton top the timesheet from Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Racing Point driver Sergio Pérez.[20]

Hamilton also topped the second session, with Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in second and Bottas third. The second session was red flagged twice, the first time being for a crash of Alex Albon coming out of the final corner, from which the Red Bull driver emerged unharmed. The second red flag was for a stray dog that had wandered onto the track. The dog exited the racetrack unharmed, managing to escape through a gap in the marshal posts.[21] Albon was given a new chassis for the rest of the event following his crash in the session.[22]

Verstappen was quickest in the third practice session on Saturday, ahead of Hamilton and Bottas.[23]

Qualifying

The second stage of qualifying was red flagged after Carlos Sainz Jr. experienced a brake failure and stopped on track.[24]

Qualifying classification

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Final
grid
Q1 Q2 Q3
1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.343 1:27.586 1:27.264 1
2 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.767 1:28.063 1:27.553 2
3 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda 1:28.885 1:28.025 1:27.678 3
4 23 Thailand Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda 1:28.732 1:28.749 1:28.274 4
5 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez 1:29.178 1:28.894 1:28.322 5
6 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:29.005 1:28.648 1:28.417 6
7 31 France Esteban Ocon Renault 1:29.203 1:28.937 1:28.419 7
8 10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1:28.971 1:29.008 1:28.448 8
9 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1:29.464 1:28.877 1:28.542 9
10 26 Russia Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1:29.158 1:28.944 1:28.618 10
11 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.142 1:29.149 N/A 11
12 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:29.137 1:29.165 N/A 12
13 18 Canada Lance Stroll 1:28.679 1:29.557 N/A 13
14 63 United Kingdom George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1:29.294 1:31.218 N/A 14
15 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1:28.975 No time N/A 15
16 99 Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 1:29.491 N/A N/A 16
17 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 1:29.810 N/A N/A 17
18 20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1:30.111 N/A N/A 18
19 8 France Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1:30.138 N/A N/A 19
20 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1:30.182 N/A N/A 20
107% time: 1:34.527
Source:[25][26]

Race

Race report

First lap and Grosjean's crash

The aftermath of Grosjean's crash, showing the burnt front half of his car wedged into the barriers and the separated back half relatively intact.
Wreckage of Romain Grosjean's car.

The 57-lap race started at the scheduled time of 17:10 local time (UTC+03:00).[2] On the first lap, Haas driver Romain Grosjean clipped the AlphaTauri AT01 of Daniil Kvyat on the straight after turn 3, causing Grosjean's car to ricochet into the trackside crash barrier. Grosjean impacted the barrier travelling at 220 km/h (137 mph) with an estimated force of 53 g (520 m/s2; 1,700 ft/s2).[27]

The impact and angle of the collision caused Grosjean's car to split in half, wedging the front half of the vehicle (including the driver's survival cell) into the crash barrier and tearing off the rear half of the vehicle from the rest of the car, igniting the car immediately upon impact. The collision also caused the front of the car to penetrate through the crash barrier, subsequently causing the driver's compartment to slip through and directly impact the upper section of the barrier. The halo of the driver's compartment was thus credited for saving Grosjean from more serious injuries, and possible death, by sheltering his head and body from the impact.[28][29]

Grosjean endured the flames of the wreckage for approximately 28 seconds, while extracting himself from the vehicle unaided.[27][30] Medical car driver Alan van der Merwe and medical delegate Ian Roberts provided treatment immediately and initially reported that Grosjean seemed to have suffered minor burns on his hands and ankles (where gaps exist between the race suit and the driver's gloves and boots) and a possible broken rib.[31] This was later confirmed not to be the case as Grosjean only suffered second degree burns on his hands and no broken bones.[32][33] Roberts reported that Grosjean's helmet appeared to have been effective in preventing him from inhaling any smoke from the fire.[34]

The crash led to the race being suspended for 80 minutes as debris was cleared and the destroyed metal barrier was replaced with a line of concrete blocks.[35] Grosjean was taken to the track's medical centre, then to Bahrain Defence Force Hospital by helicopter for further treatment.[36] Grosjean was discharged from hospital on the Wednesday morning after his crash.[37]

Formula One managing director Ross Brawn said that the crash would be investigated, and credited the halo cockpit protection device with protecting Grosjean.[38] The most recent two crashes involving spearing a crash barrier in this way were in the 1973 and 1974 United States Grands Prix, where François Cevert and Helmuth Koinigg, respectively, were killed.[27]

Restarted race

Following the barrier repairs, the race restarted at 18:35 local time (UTC+03:00) on the third lap.[39] Drivers restarted in the order they had crossed the second safety car line on lap one.[28] Immediately following the restart, Kvyat and Racing Point driver Lance Stroll collided at turn eight. Stroll's car was flipped upside down but he was not injured in the crash.[40] Kvyat was able to continue but was issued a 10-second time penalty,[41] sending him down the order. Stroll's flipped car brought out a safety car, during which Bottas's car developed a puncture, forcing him to pit for new tyres. The safety car period concluded on the ninth lap, with Hamilton pulling clear of the rest of the field soon after. Hamilton committed to a two-stop strategy on the nineteenth lap, while Verstappen and Pérez behind changed to hard tyres for a one-stop strategy.[28]

On lap 54, while running in third position, Pérez's Racing Point's engine failed and caught fire after turn 10, triggering a double-yellow caution in that zone of the track.[42] As Lando Norris passed the scene, a track marshal, without permission from race control, crossed the track in front of him, carrying a large fire extinguisher. Norris was able to avoid hitting the marshal. Norris later commented on the radio "He's the bravest guy I've ever seen". Race director Michael Masi, while confirming the marshal acted contrary to instructions, defended the marshal's "acting on instinct" in light of the Grosjean fire earlier in the race.[43] Following this a safety car period began which would last for the remainder of the race.

Hamilton won the race, with Verstappen in second position.[35] This was Hamilton's eleventh win of the 2020 season. Pérez's retirement allowed Albon to inherit the final podium position, becoming the first Asian driver to score more than one podium finish.[28] The two McLaren drivers finished in fourth and fifth, allowing McLaren to move ahead of Racing Point into third in the Constructors' Championship standings.[40] Pérez's retirement also led to him losing fourth place in the Drivers' Championship standings to Daniel Ricciardo, who finished the race in seventh place behind Pierre Gasly.

Post-race

Romain Grosjean released a video message after the race while in hospital. He attributed his survival of the crash to the halo device, a safety device which he had criticized in the past. Haas confirmed that Grosjean would remain overnight at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital for treatment,[44] and later confirmed Pietro Fittipaldi would stand in for Grosjean at the Sakhir Grand Prix.[45] Daniel Ricciardo was highly critical of Formula One Management (FOM) choosing to broadcast repeated replays of the incident; FOM later responded to this criticism defending their decision to show the replays as did Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.[46][47] Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also defended the use of replays whilst additionally stating that had Grosjean's injuries proved to be more serious then he would have considered withdrawing his cars and drivers from the race.[48]Sebastian Vettel, also a senior director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, expressed concerns over the collapse of the guardrail involved in the crash;[49] although the barrier is designed to deform and absorb energy from the impact in a crash.[50] The Marshals, Dr Ian Roberts and Alan van der Merwe were awarded the FIA President's medal for their bravery and exceptional reaction to Grosjean's crash.[51]

Race classification

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 57 2:59:47.515 1 25
2 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda 57 +1.254 3 191
3 23 Thailand Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda 57 +8.005 4 15
4 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 57 +11.337 9 12
5 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 57 +11.787 15 10
6 10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 57 +11.942 8 8
7 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 57 +19.368 6 6
8 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 57 +19.680 2 4
9 31 France Esteban Ocon Renault 57 +22.803 7 2
10 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 56 +1 lap 12 1
11 26 Russia Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 56 +1 lap 10
12 63 United Kingdom George Russell Williams-Mercedes 56 +1 lap 14
13 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 56 +1 lap 11
14 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 56 +1 lap 20
15 7 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 56 +1 lap 17
16 99 Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 56 +1 lap 16
17 20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 56 +1 lap 18
182 11 Mexico Sergio Pérez Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 53 Power unit 5
Ret 18 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point-BWT Mercedes 2 Collision 13
Ret 8 France Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 0 Collision 19
Fastest lap: Netherlands Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing-Honda) - 1:32.014 (lap 48)
Source:[26][52][53]
Notes
  • ^1 - Includes one point for fastest lap.
  • ^2 - Sergio Pérez did not finish, but was classified as he had completed more than 90% of the race distance.

Championship standings after the race

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Notes

  1. ^ The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw several Grands Prix cancelled or rescheduled. The revised calendar consisted of seventeen races.
  2. ^ The Grand Prix was held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bahrain.
  3. ^ Racing Point was deducted 15 points after a protest from Renault was upheld regarding the legality of their car.[55]

References

  1. ^ a b "2020 Bahrain Grand Prix". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b Baldwin, Alan; Radnedge, Christian (25 November 2020). "Statistics for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix". Reuters. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ L, Juan David. "Bahrain to host F1 double header as penultimate venue for 2020 season". BIC. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "F1 confirms final 2020 races with Turkey return and Bahrain double". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "F1 to use outer Bahrain 'oval' layout for second grand prix". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Chapman, Simon (8 March 2020). "No spectators for Bahrain Grand Prix". Speedcafe. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix postponed". www.formula1.com. 13 March 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "Bahrain Grand Prix off after anti-government protest". BBC Sport. 21 February 2011. Archived from the original on 24 February 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ Krishnan, Joe (23 March 2020). "F1 eSports Bahrain GP Live: Zhou wins virtual race for Renault". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "Formula 1 to return to Turkey as four more races are added to the 2020 F1 calendar". Formula.com. 25 August 2020. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ Benson, Andrew (25 August 2020). "Formula 1 2020: Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi confirmed to conclude season". bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ Adam Cooper (7 November 2020). "Bahrain F1 races to be "predominantly" without fans as only health workers allowed". Autosport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "Bahrain's Formula 1 races closed to most spectators". Motorsport Week. 7 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "2020 Bahrain Grand Prix - Entry List" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 26 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "Williams to run Aitken and Nissany in post-season Abu Dhabi test, as Nissany gets Bahrain FP1 outing". Formula1.com. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ "Kubica to replace Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo for FP1 in Bahrain". Formula1.com. 26 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "Tyre compound choices and set allocations for last seven Grands Prix of 2020". Pirelli. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ Phillip Horton (23 November 2020). "Drivers to sample 2021 F1 tyres in Bahrain practice". Motorsportweek.com. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "'If that's the best they can do...' Hamilton's 2021 tyre verdict". The Race. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ "FP1: Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Perez and Sainz in Bahrain". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "Huge Albon crash and dog on track disrupt Bahrain practice". The Race. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "Albon given new chassis for remainder of Bahrain GP weekend after big FP2 crash". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  23. ^ "FP3: Verstappen quickest ahead of Hamilton and Bottas in final practice in Bahrain". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "Qualifying report: Hamilton on pole from Bottas as Red Bull lock out the second row in Bahrain". Formula1.com. 28 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ "Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 - Qualifying". Formula1.com. 28 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 - Starting Grid". Formula1.com. 28 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ a b c "Grosjean's miracle leaves F1 with soul searching to do". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d Kalinauckas, Alex (29 November 2020). "F1 Bahrain GP: Hamilton wins following Grosjean's fireball crash". Autosport. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ Richards, Giles (29 November 2020). "Romain Grosjean's 'life saved' by halo after remarkable escape at Bahrain GP". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ "Grosjean 'saw death coming' in crash". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ Smith, Luke. "Haas: Grosjean "lucky by being unlucky" in horror Bahrain crash". Autosport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "Grosjean's injuries only hand burns after 137mph impact". The Race. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ Richards, Giles (29 November 2020). "Romain Grosjean's 'life saved' by halo after remarkable escape at Bahrain GP". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020.
  34. ^ "How Romain Grosjean survived the Bahrain GP crash". Motor Sport. 5 December 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  35. ^ a b Richards, Giles (29 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton's win at Bahrain GP overshadowed by Grosjean's huge crash". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ GPfans.com. "Grosjean "upbeat" in hospital with "nothing broken" after Bahrain GP". GPfans. Retrieved 2020.
  37. ^ "Grosjean discharged from hospital in Bahrain after three nights of care following crash". www.formula1.com. 2 December 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ Cooper, Adam (29 November 2020). "Brawn: "Deep investigation" will follow Grosjean's Bahrain GP accident". Autosport. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ Brewin, John (29 November 2020). "Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix after Grosjean survives huge crash - as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020.
  40. ^ a b Benson, Andrew (29 November 2020). "Lewis Hamilton wins after Romain Grosjean escapes dramatic Bahrain GP fire". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2020.
  41. ^ "Hamilton wins Bahrain GP interrupted by huge Grosjean crash, as Perez suffers late heartbreak". F1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "Sergio Perez: Lost podium 'irrelevant' compared to horror crash". F1 News by PlanetF1. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  43. ^ "F1: Marshal who ran across track "reacted on instinct" - Masi · RaceFans". RaceFans. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "In video injury update, Romain Grosjean thanks fans, praises F1 halo". MotorSportsTalk | NBC Sports. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  45. ^ "Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi to replace injured Grosjean for Sakhir Grand Prix". Formula1.com. 30 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  46. ^ Mitchell, Scott (29 November 2020). "Daniel Ricciardo disgusted with Formula One over Grosjean replays". the-race.com.
  47. ^ Cooper, Adam (30 November 2020). "F1, Steiner defends Grosjean crash coverage". motorsport.com.
  48. ^ "Mercedes thought about withdrawing in Bahrain". PlanetF1.com. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  49. ^ Smith, Luke (29 November 2020). "Vettel: F1 guardrails "not supposed to fail like that"". motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  50. ^ Elson, James (30 November 2020). "Bahrain barrier behaved 'exactly as it was supposed to', says circuit designer". Motor Sport. Retrieved 2020.
  51. ^ "FIA Champions honoured in unprecedented year". 19 December 2020.
  52. ^ "Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 - Race Result". Formula1.com. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  53. ^ "Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 - Fastest Laps". Formula1.com. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  54. ^ a b "Bahrain 2020 - Championship". statsf1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  55. ^ "Racing Point deducted 15 points and fined heavily as Renault protest into car legality upheld". formula1.com. 7 August 2020. Retrieved 2020.

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