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Bahrain  2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 18 in the 2006 Formula One season
The Bahrain Circuit in Sakhir
The Bahrain Circuit in Sakhir
Date 12 March 2006
Official name III Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix
Location Bahrain International Circuit
Sakhir, Bahrain
Course Permanent racing facility
5.412 km (3.37 mi)
Distance 57 laps, 308.238 km (191.530 mi)
Weather Fine
Pole position
Driver Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:31.431
Fastest lap
Driver Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
Time 1:32.406 on lap 42
First Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Second Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Third Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes

The 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix was the first round of the 2006 Formula One World Championship, held on 12 March 2006 at the Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain.



Jarno Trulli before the action on track gets underway.

The race was the first run under the new 2006 qualifying rules, in which the one hour session is split into three 'knock out' parts. The first part eliminated Kimi Räikkönen (rear wishbone failure) and Ralf Schumacher, who was caught out by the red flag after Räikkönen's accident and failed to set a competitive time, as well as the MF1's and the two Super Aguris. The second part saw fewer surprises, with the expected runners lining up for the final top 10 part. The result was that the Ferraris swept the front row.

UK TV pundit Martin Brundle referred to the fuel credits used to represent the fuel used during qualifying as 'Tiger Tokens', referring to promotional points offered by the fuel company Esso in the United Kingdom.

The Race

At the start of the race, Fernando Alonso moved up to second in the first lap, only for Michael Schumacher to begin to pull away. Alonso was involved in a near collision with Schumacher's teammate Felipe Massa, who spun at the first corner. Massa was never a threat after this point, not helped by a delay in his pit stop to change tyres the same lap. Alonso's teammate Giancarlo Fisichella also played little part in the race due to an engine mapping problem which restricted power. He retired on the 21st lap due to hydraulic failure. To the surprise of few, Kimi Räikkönen quickly moved his way up the field, only being delayed by Jacques Villeneuve and Fisichella for a short period of time, before passing both men.

Further down the field, Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg touched at the first corner. Both men were significantly delayed, but recovered. Heidfeld's day continued to get worse, as an incident with David Coulthard was investigated after the race.

Juan Pablo Montoya finished 5th in his McLaren, having never been a threat throughout the race. It was a good day for Williams on a whole, as Mark Webber finished in 6th, while Rosberg was the surprise of the race though, ending up a very respectable 7th, passing Christian Klien after catching him in the last few laps of the race, putting Klien down to a still impressive 8th. Rosberg set the fastest lap of the race, becoming the youngest driver ever to achieve this in a Grand Prix, breaking a record held by Alonso.

Honda suffered mixed fortunes throughout the race. Early on fans were treated to a fight between Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, as Button slipped down the order due to a slow getaway. Button eventually fought his way back up, twice passing Juan Pablo Montoya at the end of the straight but losing out again in pitstops. He eventually finished 4th, 0.6 seconds behind Räikkönen in 3rd. Räikkönen fought hard throughout the race, stopping only once on his way to the last podium spot. He rose 19 places in the race which is more than any driver since Fabrizio Barbazza started 25th and finished sixth in the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix.[1]

At the second set of pit stops, Alonso was able to take advantage of staying out longer than Schumacher by coming out of the pit lane side by side with Schumacher. As they came into the first corner both cars were neck and neck, but Alonso was able to pull out in front of the former world champion. Despite coming under heavy pressure from Schumacher towards the end, the reigning champion started of the season with a well earned victory.

After a tussle with David Coulthard, Nick Heidfeld was reprimanded by stewards post-race for positioning his car in a way that forced Coulthard off the race circuit. Coulthard suffered engine failure on cool-down lap and received a 10-place grid penalty for 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix.

This was the first race for the Midland, BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Honda F1 and Super Aguri teams, although only Super Aguri was a completely new team, the others all representing buyouts or rebrandings of existing teams.


Friday Drivers

Constructor Nat Driver
Williams-Cosworth Austria Alexander Wurz
Honda United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Red Bull-Ferrari Netherlands Robert Doornbos
BMW Sauber Poland Robert Kubica
MF1-Toyota Germany Markus Winkelhock
Toro Rosso-Cosworth Switzerland Neel Jani
Super Aguri-Honda none

Qualifying results

From [2]:

Pos Nat Name Constructor Part 3 Part 2 Part 1
1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:31.431 1:32.025 1:33.310
2 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:31.478 1:32.014 1:33.579
3 United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda 1:31.549 1:32.025 1:32.603
4 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 1:31.702 1:31.215 1:32.433
5 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.164 1:31.487 1:33.233
6 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:32.579 1:32.322 1:33.922
7 Australia Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:33.006 1:32.309 1:33.454
8 Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Ferrari 1:33.112 1:32.106 1:34.308
9 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:33.496 1:31.831 1:32.934
10 Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:33.926 1:31.958 1:33.374
11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 1:32.456 1:33.882
12 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.620 1:32.945
13 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari 1:32.850 1:33.678
14 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:33.066 1:33.987
15 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:33.416 1:34.439
16 United States Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:34.606 1:33.995
17 Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:34.702
18 Netherlands Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:35.724
19 Portugal Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:35.900
20 Japan Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:37.411
21 Japan Yuji Ide Super Aguri-Honda 1:40.270
22 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes no time


The podium ceremony after the race.

From [3]:

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 57 1:29:46.205 4 10
2 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 57 +1.246 1 8
3 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +19.360 22 6
4 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda 57 +19.992 3 5
5 4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 57 +37.048 5 4
6 9 Australia Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 57 +41.932 7 3
7 10 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 57 +1:03.043 12 2
8 15 Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +1:06.771 8 1
9 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 57 +1:09.907 2
10 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +1:15.541 13
11 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth 57 +1:25.997 15
12 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 56 +1 Lap 10
13 21 United States Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth 56 +1 Lap 16
14 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 56 +1 Lap 17
15 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda 56 +1 Lap 6
16 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 56 +1 Lap 14
17 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 55 +2 Laps 19
18 22 Japan Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 53 +4 Laps 20
Ret 23 Japan Yuji Ide Super Aguri-Honda 35 Mechanical 21
Ret 17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 29 Engine 11
Ret 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 21 Hydraulics 9
Ret 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 0 Driveshaft 18


Standings after the race

Note, only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Drivers' Championship standings[3]
Pos Driver Points
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
Constructors' Championship standings[3]
Pos Constructor Points
1 France Renault 10
2 United Kingdom McLarenMercedes 10
3 Italy Ferrari 8
4 Japan Honda 5
5 United Kingdom WilliamsCosworth 5


  1. ^ "F1 2006 review: stats". 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12.  
  2. ^ Domenjoz, Luc et al.. Formula One Yearbook 2006-2007. Chronosports S.A.. p. 82. ISBN 2-84707-110-5.  
  3. ^ a b c Domenjoz, Luc et al.. Formula One Yearbook 2006-2007. Chronosports S.A.. p. 87. ISBN 2-84707-110-5.  

External links

Previous race:
2005 Chinese Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2006 season
Next race:
2006 Malaysian Grand Prix
Previous race:
2005 Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain Grand Prix Next race:
2007 Bahrain Grand Prix


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