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Bahrain  2005 Bahrain Grand Prix
Race details
Race 3 of 19 in the 2005 Formula One season
Bahrain International Circuit--Grand Prix Layout.svg
Date April 3, 2005
Official name Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix
Location Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain
Course Permanent racing facility
5.42 km (3.37 mi)
Distance 57 laps, 308.238 km (191.530 mi)
Weather Sunny, hot
Pole position
Driver Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Time 3:01.902 (aggregate)
Fastest lap
Driver Spain Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:31.447 on lap 43
First Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Second Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota
Third Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes

The 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix was a Formula One race held from April 1 to April 3, 2005 at Bahrain International Circuit.



The 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix was only the second Formula One grand prix held in the Middle East, bringing the challenges of high temperatures and dusty conditions. The race was held the day after Pope John Paul II died, with several teams and drivers offering their respects.

The circuit had been modified slightly from 2004, with turn 4 in particular being widened on the exit.

First qualifying on Saturday resulted in few surprises– for the first few drivers, the circuit was still somewhat sandy, providing poor grip, while the later runners performed well, with Fernando Alonso taking provisional pole with a lap time of 1:29.848.

Final qualifying on Sunday morning again passed without major incident, with Alonso taking pole position, and Michael Schumacher taking second. Rubens Barrichello, having had gearbox problems on Friday and Saturday, qualified 15th, and elected to change his engine, resulting in him starting from the back of the grid.

Race afternoon brought some of the highest ever temperatures experienced at a grand prix, with air temperature of 40°C, (104°F) and track temperatures of 56°C (about 132°F). This ties the record temperatures of the 1955 Argentine Grand Prix and the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix. Christian Klien failed to get away from his seventh position on the grid for the formation lap. His car was pushed into the pits but could not be restarted, and he became the first of eight retirements.

The leaders made a clean start, with Alonso first to turn one. Schumacher moved from his second grid slot across to the clean side of the track, ahead of Jarno Trulli, who made a strong challenge to pass Schumacher in the first two corners, without success. Barrichello makes an aggressive start, moving up to tenth by the end of lap one.

Giancarlo Fisichella's engine began to smoke during lap two, and he pulled into the pits to retire. However, as he applied the pit lane speed limiter, he felt power return, and was waved through by his team. But the resurgence was short-lived, and he was back in the pits on lap four to retire.

Schumacher continued to closely pursue Alonso until lap 12, when the world champion overshot turn nine, and performed a 270° turn in the run-off area. Following this, Schumacher coasted back to the pits, making this his first technical retirement since the 2001 German Grand Prix– a remarkable run of 59 consecutive grands prix. It later arose that his hydraulics had failed, meaning he could not downshift to use engine braking for corners. Trulli now took second place, 2.7 seconds behind Alonso, with Mark Webber in third.

On lap 18, Ralf Schumacher in fourth place made the first scheduled pit stop of the front-runners, and rejoined in 12th place. Alonso, Trulli and then Webber all pitted over the next few laps, in what appeared to be the now fairly standard three-stop pattern. After the pit stops shook out, Alonso retained the lead, followed by Trulli, Webber, Kimi Räikkönen, Ralf, and Barrichello.

Nick Heidfeld was the next retirement, with a seriously smoking engine on lap 25, although it took him around half a lap to pull off the track to stop. He was shortly followed by Takuma Sato, whose front brakes had been smoking for a while, and who spun and then retired in the pits on lap 27. His teammate Jenson Button's brakes also appeared to be giving off more dust than usual, as Button fought to keep Pedro de la Rosa from taking his seventh place. De la Rosa finally managed to pass Button on lap 33, outbraking him at turn one.

The following lap, Webber lost control out of turn eight, spun on the entrance to turn nine, and allowed Räikkönen and Ralf Schumacher to pass– on a circuit with very forgiving run-off areas, Webber's race was not compromised.

In the next few laps, before the second pit stops, the closest fight was between Barrichello in sixth, and de la Rosa in seventh. De la Rosa continually pressured the remaining Ferrari, but initially he only succeeded in pushing himself too far, running wide at turn one, and allowing Button to close up behind him. Eventually, though, he was able to take sixth place in the final corner.

Alonso put in several fast laps to extend his lead, and pitted on lap 41. The other drivers also pitted without incident, until Button, who stalled his BAR-Honda; after several attempts at restarting the engine, he almost took his rear jack with him back into the race– only to retire at the end of the pit-lane, making this the second race in a row where both BAR drivers had retired. After the second round of pit stops, Alonso still led the race, followed by Trulli, Räikkönen, Ralf Schumacher, Webber, de la Rosa, Barrichello, and Felipe Massa.

In the closing stages, the main fight was between Webber and de la Rosa for fifth place. Webber was forced to perform some strong defending, but de la Rosa eventually overcame him two laps from the end of the race. Jacques Villeneuve retired from ninth place into the pits on the penultimate lap, while Barrichello slipped further and further back, allowing Massa to take seventh place, and David Coulthard eighth place on the last lap, leaving Ferrari point-less– for the first time in nearly two years.

Alonso won the race by a comfortable 13.4 seconds from Trulli, bringing Renault engines their 100th World Championship Grand Prix win.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 57 1:29:18.531 1 10
2 16 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 +13.409 3 8
3 9 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +32.063 9 6
4 17 Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 57 +53.272 6 5
5 10 Spain Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 57 +1:04.988 8 4
6 7 Australia Mark Webber Williams-BMW 57 +1:14.701 5 3
7 12 Brazil Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 56 +1 Lap 12 2
8 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth 56 +1 Lap 14 1
9 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 20  
10 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Jordan-Toyota 55 +2 Laps 16  
11 11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas 54 Suspension 15  
12 20 Austria Patrick Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth 54 +3 Laps 19  
13 21 Netherlands Christijan Albers Minardi-Cosworth 53 +4 Laps 18  
Ret 3 United Kingdom Jenson Button BAR-Honda 46 Clutch 11  
Ret 4 Japan Takuma Sato BAR-Honda 27 Brakes 13  
Ret 8 Germany Nick Heidfeld Williams-BMW 25 Engine 4  
Ret 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 12 Hydraulics 2  
Ret 6 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 4 Engine 10  
Ret 19 India Narain Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota 2 Electrical 17  
DNS 15 Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Cosworth 0 Electrical 7  


  • The race was the hottest-ever F1 grand prix to that point, with air temperatures of 42°C and track temperatures of up to 56°C.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya had a tennis shoulder injury and would miss this race and the next one. For this race, he was replaced by Pedro de la Rosa.
  • Pedro de la Rosa's first race with McLaren.
  • As the field set off on the final parade lap Christian Klien was left behind with an electrical problem and never took the race start.
  • This was Renault's 100th grand prix win as an engine builder.
  • For most drivers, the engines used in this race would also be used in San Marino, as required by the new 2005 regulations.
  • The celebrations on the podium were muted, due to the death of Pope John Paul II the previous evening. Ferrari raced with blackened nose cones as a mark of respect.
  • This was Michael Schumacher's first mechanical retirement since the 2001 German Grand Prix.
Previous race:
2005 Malaysian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2005 season
Next race:
2005 San Marino Grand Prix
Previous race:
2004 Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain Grand Prix Next race:
2006 Bahrain Grand Prix


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