22px-Flag of Bahrain.svg  2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 18 in the 2006 Formula One season
Bahrain International Circuit--Grand Prix Layout.svg
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)</td></tr>
Distance 57 laps, 308.238 km (191.530 mi)</td></tr>
Weather Fine, Dry and Hot[1]

Air Temp 23C (73.4F)[1]
Track Temp 40C (104F) dropping to 34C (93.2F)[1]

Pole position
Driver Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Time 1:31.431
Fastest lap
Driver Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth
Time 1:32.406 on lap 42
First 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Second Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
Third 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes

The 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix (formally the III Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain on 12 March 2006. The race, contested over 57 laps, was the opening round of the 2006 Formula One season and the third running of the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was won by the 2005 World Champions, Fernando Alonso and the Renault team. Ferrari driver and polesitter Michael Schumacher began his final season in Formula One (before his return with Mercedes in 2010) with second position. Kimi Räikkönen completed the podium after he finished in third place with the McLaren team, despite starting in last position.

The race was the first Grand Prix for Nico Rosberg, son of World Champion Keke Rosberg, who raced with the Williams team. He set the fastest lap of the race, and still holds the record for being the youngest driver to do so at an age of 20 years and 144 days. It was also the début race for the BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Midland F1 and Super Aguri teams, and the drivers Scott Speed and Yuji Ide.



Friday driversEdit

The bottom six teams in the 2005 Constructors' Championship and Super Aguri were entitled to run a third car in free practice on Friday. These drivers drove on Friday but did not compete in qualifying or the race.

Constructor Nat Driver
Williams-Cosworth 22px-Flag of Austria Alexander Wurz
Honda 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Red Bull-Ferrari 22px-Flag of the Netherlands Robert Doornbos
BMW Sauber 22px-Flag of Poland Robert Kubica
MF1-Toyota Flag of Germany Markus Winkelhock
Toro Rosso-Cosworth 20px-Flag of Switzerland Neel Jani


Trulli Toyota 1

Toyota driver Jarno Trulli before the start of the race.

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.


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, who was making his Grand Prix début, 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.


Michael Schumacher started on pole for Ferrari and finished the race in second position.

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.[2]

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 off 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. Along with Rosberg, Scott Speed and Yuji Ide were also making their Grand Prix débuts.




Pos. No. Driver Constructor Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
1 5 Flag of GermanyMichael Schumacher Ferrari 1:33.310 1:32.025 1:31.431 1
2 6 25px-BrazilflagFelipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.579 1:32.014 1:31.478 2
3 12 22px-Flag of the United KingdomJenson Button Honda 1:32.603 1:32.025 1:31.549 3
4 1 22px-Flag of SpainFernando Alonso Renault 1:32.433 1:31.215 1:31.702 4
5 4 22px-Flag of ColombiaJuan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.233 1:31.487 1:32.164 5
6 11 25px-BrazilflagRubens Barrichello Honda 1:33.922 1:32.322 1:32.579 6
7 9 25px-AustraliaFLAGMark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:33.454 1:32.309 1:33.006 7
8 15 22px-Flag of AustriaChristian Klien Red Bull-Ferrari 1:34.308 1:32.106 1:33.112 8
9 2 22px-Flag of ItalyGiancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:32.934 1:31.831 1:33.496 9
10 16 Flag of GermanyNick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:33.374 1:31.958 1:33.926 10
11 17 25px-CanadaflagJacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 1:33.882 1:32.456 11
12 10 Flag of GermanyNico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.945 1:32.620 12
13 14 22px-Flag of the United KingdomDavid Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari 1:33.678 1:32.850 13
14 8 22px-Flag of ItalyJarno Trulli Toyota 1:33.987 1:33.066 14
15 20 22px-Flag of ItalyVitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:34.439 1:33.416 15
16 21 USAflagsmallScott Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:33.995 1:34.606 16
17 7 Flag of GermanyRalf Schumacher Toyota 1:34.702 17
18 19 22px-Flag of the NetherlandsChristijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:35.724 18
19 18 22px-Flag of PortugalTiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:35.900 19
20 22 Flag-of-japansmallTakuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:37.411 20
21 23 Flag-of-japansmallYuji Ide Super Aguri-Honda 1:40.270 21
22 3 22px-Flag of FinlandKimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes no time1 22
  1. Kimi Räikkönen suffered a right rear suspension failure during his first timed lap. The suspension failure, which was due to a manufacturing fault, red flagged the session and ended Räikkönen's qualifying session.[5]


Bahrain 2006 podium

The podium ceremony after the race.


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 57 1:29:46.205 4 10
2 5 Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 57 +1.246 1 8
3 3 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +19.360 22 6
4 12 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda 57 +19.992 3 5
5 4 22px-Flag of Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 57 +37.048 5 4
6 9 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 57 +41.932 7 3
7 10 Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 57 +1:03.043 12 2
8 15 22px-Flag of Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +1:06.771 8 1
9 6 25px-Brazilflag Felipe Massa Ferrari 57 +1:09.907 2
10 14 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +1:15.541 13
11 20 22px-Flag of Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth 57 +1:25.997 15
12 16 Flag of Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 56 +1 Lap 10
13 21 USAflagsmall Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth 56 +1 Lap 16
14 7 Flag of Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 56 +1 Lap 17
15 11 25px-Brazilflag Rubens Barrichello Honda 56 +1 Lap 6
16 8 22px-Flag of Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 56 +1 Lap 14
17 18 22px-Flag of Portugal Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 55 +2 Laps 19
18 22 Flag-of-japansmall Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 53 +4 Laps 20
Ret 23 Flag-of-japansmall Yuji Ide Super Aguri-Honda 35 Engine 21
Ret 17 25px-Canadaflag Jacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 29 Engine 11
Ret 2 22px-Flag of Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 21 Hydraulics 9
Ret 19 22px-Flag of the Netherlands Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 0 Driveshaft 18

Standings after the raceEdit

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

Drivers' Championship standings[6]
Pos Driver Points
1 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso 10
2 Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher 8
3 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen 6
4 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 5
5 22px-Flag of Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 4
Constructors' Championship standings[6]
Pos Constructor Points
1= 22px-Flag of France Renault 10
1= 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 10
3 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari 8
4= Flag-of-japansmall Honda 5
4= 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 5


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "2006 FORMULA 1™ Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix (Race)". (Formula One Administration). 12 March 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. "F1 2006 review: stats". 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  3. Domenjoz, Luc et al.. Formula One Yearbook 2006-2007. Chronosports S.A.. p. 82. 
  4. "2006 FORMULA 1™ Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix". (Formula One Administration). 11 March 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  5. "All Ferrari front row in Bahrain". (Formula One Administration). 11 March 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Domenjoz, Luc et al.. Formula One Yearbook 2006-2007. Chronosports S.A.. p. 87. 

External linksEdit

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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