Bahrain Lap Record & Fastest Lap Times – F1, WEC, GT3

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Bahrain Ferrari F1 car

Image licensed under CC BY 2.0

A list of the fastest lap times around the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit set by F1 drivers in both qualifying and races.

Bahrain lap record

The official Formula 1 lap record around the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit layout is 1:31.447 set by Pedro de la Rosa in 2005 driving for McLaren.

That lap time was set during the race and has stood for nearly 20 years. It’s the second-longest standing record in F1.

The closest anyone has come to beating it was Valtteri Bottas in 2021 with a 1:32.090 lap time which is still half a second off, despite having use of the Bahrain DRS zones that didn’t exist when de la Rosa set his lap time.

Pedro de la Rosa Bahrain lap record holder

Image licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Bahrain fastest lap ever

The fastest ever lap of the Bahrain circuit is 1:27.264 set by Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for the 2020 Bahrain GP driving for Mercedes. This is the track record for qualifying at Bahrain.

As that lap time wasn’t set during the race itself it doesn’t count as an official record (they have to be set during race conditions). But it’s the fastest anyone’s ever gone around the track, and shows just how much quicker the cars are in qualifying spec.

Image licensed under CC BY 2.0

Average speed

On Pedro de la Rosa’s record lap, his average speed on that tour of the circuit was 213.1kph / 132.4mph.

Outer circuit

In 2020 Formula 1 raced in Bahrain twice, thanks to COVID playing havoc with the schedule.

The second of those races was called the Sakhir Grand Prix and it used the outer circuit layout which is a lot shorter. It resulted in the quickest ever Formula 1 lap.

The Bahrain Outer circuit lap record is 55.404 set by George Russell driving for Mercedes in 2020 when he was on loan from Williams for one event to fill in for Hamilton.

Other track records & lap times

The Bahrain circuit is a permanent race track, and when F1 isn’t racing there it’s often used by a number of other high profile motorsport series.

Below are the Bahrain race lap records for a number of different race series.

F2 Bahrain record

  • 1:43.848 – Amaury Cordeel, Dallara, 2022

The FIA F2 championship is one step below F1. But even so, the F2 cars are around 12 seconds a lap slower than their Formula 1 big brothers.

Image licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

F3 Bahrain record

  • 1:50.867 – Pepe Marti, Dallara, 2023

Formula 3 is one step below F2 and the car’s performance drops again, taking around 7 seconds longer to complete a lap.

LMP1 Bahrain record

  • 1:41.511 – Lucas di Grassi, Audi R18, 2016 6 Hours of Bahrain

The World Endurance Championship holds races at this circuit every year. The fastest category within the WEC is the LMP1 class, and the lap record for those has remained unbroken since 2016.

This LMP1 cars have seriously powerful hybrid powertrains and a lot of downforce. It means they’re a couple of seconds quicker than the F2 cars.

Image licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

LMP2 Bahrain record

  • 1:48.579 – Paul di Resta, Oreca 07, 2019 8 Hours of Bahrain

The LMP2 cars have similar amounts of downforce but less power than their LMP1 cousins, making them around 7 seconds a lap slower.

LM GTE Bahrain record

  • 1:56.942 – Miguel Molina, Ferrari 488, 2019 8 Hours of Bahrain

The GTE class was the fastest category of sports cars that raced in the endurance championship. These were faster than GT3 cars but have become less and less popular, and from 2024 onwards they are being replaced by GT3.

GT3 Bahrain record

  • 2:00.675 – Ben Barnicoat, McLaren 720S, 2020 Gulf 12 Hours

With GTE being replaced it’s likely this record could well be broken in the upcoming season. 

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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