Pole Position is a term used to describe the position which lies at the front of the starting grid. This gives the driver in pole the advantage of starting ahead of all the other drivers. This advantage is such that, in all races in Formula One history, more than 40% of race wins have come from pole.[1]

Throughout the history of F1, pole position has been determined by one or more qualifying sessions, the fastest driver (either in a single session or as an aggregate) of which starts on pole.

Since 1950, only five drivers have achieved pole position on their F1 debut. Two of these, Giuseppe Farina and Walt Faulkner were in Formula One's inaugural season (1950). The other three, Duke Nalon, Carlos Reutemann and Jacques Villeneuve were set in 1951, 1972 and 1996 respectively.

As from 2014, the driver who scores the most Pole Positions in a season will win the Pole Position Trophy.

Records[edit | edit source]

The current record holder for Most Pole Positions is Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel holds the records for most poles in a season and youngest pole sitter. The following tables show the top six in each category. (Bold names indicate currently active drivers.)

Most Poles[edit | edit source]

Overall[edit | edit source]

Rank Driver Number of Poles
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 97
2 Germany Michael Schumacher 68
3 Brazil Ayrton Senna 65
4 Germany Sebastian Vettel 57
5 France Alain Prost 33
United Kingdom Jim Clark
7 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 32
8 Germany Nico Rosberg 30
9 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 29
10 Finland Mika Häkkinen 26

In Same Season[edit | edit source]

Rank Driver Number of Poles Season
1 Germany Sebastian Vettel 15 2011
2 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 14 1992
3 Brazil Ayrton Senna 13 1988
1989
France Alain Prost 1993
6 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 12 2016
7 Finland Mika Häkkinen 11 1999
Germany Michael Schumacher 2001
Germany Nico Rosberg 2014
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 2015
2017
2018

Pole positions by age[edit | edit source]

Youngest (first pole only)
Rank Driver Age Race
1 Germany Sebastian Vettel 21y 72d 2008 Italian Grand Prix
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc 21y 166d 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix
3 Spain Fernando Alonso 21y 236d 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen 21y 309d 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix
5 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 22y 97d 1994 Belgian Grand Prix
6 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22y 153d 2007 Canadian Grand Prix
7 Italy Andrea de Cesaris 22y 308d 1982 United States Grand Prix West
8 Germany Nico Hülkenberg 23y 79d 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix
9 Poland Robert Kubica 23y 120d 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix
10 Belgium Jacky Ickx 23y 216d 1968 German Grand Prix
Oldest (last pole only)
Rank Driver Age Race
1 Italy Nino Farina 47y 79d 1954 Argentine Grand Prix
2 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 46y 209d 1958 Argentine Grand Prix
3 Australia Jack Brabham 44y 17d 1970 Spanish Grand Prix
4 United States Mario Andretti 42y 196d 1982 Italian Grand Prix
5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 41y 97d 1994 Australian Grand Prix
6 Argentina Carlos Reutemann 39y 188d 1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix
7 United Kingdom Graham Hill 39y 156d 1968 British Grand Prix
8 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 38y 319d 2018 Italian Grand Prix
9 United States Fred Agabashian 38y 283d 1952 Indianapolis 500
10 France Alain Prost 38y 241d 1993 Japanese Grand Prix

Most poles without a win[edit | edit source]

Rank Driver Poles
1 New Zealand Chris Amon 5
2 France Jean-Pierre Jarier 3
Italy Eugenio Castellotti
4 Italy Teo Fabi 2
United Kingdom Stuart Lewis-Evans
6 Italy Luigi Villoresi 1
United Kingdom Mike Spence
Germany Nico Hülkenberg
United States Johnny Thomson
United States Jerry Hoyt

Most consecutive pole positions[edit | edit source]

Driver Poles Season(s)
1 Brazil Ayrton Senna 8 19881989
2 Brazil Ayrton Senna 7 19901991
France Alain Prost 1993
Germany Michael Schumacher 20002001
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 2015
6 Austria Niki Lauda 6 1974
Brazil Ayrton Senna 1988
1989
United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 1992
Finland Mika Häkkinen 1999
Germany Nico Rosberg 2015
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 20162017

Conversion rate[edit | edit source]

This table shows rates of conversion from pole to win

Rank Driver Poles Wins from Pole Conversion rate
1 United States Bill Vukovich 1 1 100%
United States Pat Flaherty
Sweden Jo Bonnier
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
6 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 6 4 66.67%
United Kingdom Tony Brooks 3 2
South Africa Jody Scheckter
9 Italy Alberto Ascari 14 9 64.29%
10 Spain Fernando Alonso 22 14 63.64%
11 United Kingdom Jenson Button 8 5 62.5%
12 Germany Michael Schumacher 68 40 58.82%
13 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 97 41 42.27%
14 France Alain Prost 33 18 54.55%

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 351 wins from pole out of 874 Formula One Grands Prix in total, as of the 2012 Korean Grand Prix
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