Since its introduction to the F1 calendar in 2004, the Bahrain Grand Prix has created some classic moments, as well as some controversies which led to the race being cancelled in 2011.
With the second round of the 2019 season taking place this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit, here’s our top five moments for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
5: 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix – Toyota’s Shock Lock out.
The 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix saw a remarkable qualifying session occur for the Toyota F1 Team.
For the first time in their history, the Japanese team secured a front row lock out in qualifying, with Italian Jarno Trulli taking his fourth career pole position and his first since 2005, with team-mate Timo Glock joining him on the front row.
This performance did not translate on race day however, as Jenson Button claimed victory for Brawn GP, with pole sitter Trulli finishing in third and Glock further back in seventh place.
2008 Bahrain Grand Prix: The first Pole on Pole
In 2008, Robert Kubica made history for Polish motorsport, as he took his only career pole position to date around the Sakhir circuit.
Kubica became the first Polish driver to start a Grand Prix from pole position, as well as taking the first and only pole position for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.
Kubica ended the session just 0.027 ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, the smallest qualifying margin Bahrain would witness until 2017.
However, Kubica was unable to convert this success in the race, as he had to make do with third place, whilst Massa took his second consecutive win in Sakhir.
2006 Bahrain Grand Prix – Raikkonen goes from Zero to Hero
After suffering suspension failure in Q1 for the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen started the race down in 22nd place, as he failed to set a timed lap.
But through a mix of an excellent one stop strategy and a fine display of overtaking, the Finn would mount an incredible drive through the field.
In what would prove another in a list of incredible comeback drive across the Iceman’s career, Raikkonen would eventually finish the race in an unlikely third place, behind the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher and Renault’s Fernando Alonso.
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix – Alonso’s Dream Ferrari debut
The 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix was the season opener for the first time since 2006 and marked the Diamond Jubilee for F1, with the race being held for the only time on the Endurance layout of the track.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel would take pole position, but would suffer gearbox issues on lap 33, and would lose the lead to Fernando Alonso, who was making his debut for Scuderia Ferrari.
The Spaniard would go on to win the race, becoming the sixth driver in F1 history to win in their first race for the famous Italian constructor, after Juan Manuel Fangio, Giancarlo Baghetti, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Kimi Raikkonen.
2014 Bahrain Grand Prix – The Duel in the Desert
Arguably the most memorable race hosted in Sakhir to date, the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first race in the country to be run under the floodlights.
It was also the host to an incredible duel between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg started the race on pole, but Hamilton got the better start, and took the lead into Turn 1, and started a race long battle between the two.
When the Safety Car was deployed on Lap 41 for a collision between Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado and the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, it seemed Rosberg had the advantage for the impending restart, as he was on softer compound tyres, whereas Hamilton chose to stay out in the harder compound.
The pair continued to battle all the way to the finish, with Hamilton just edging Rosberg over the line by just a single second in one of the best races in the Turbo Hybrid era.