Formula 1: Top 10 drivers with most wins from different starting grid positions
These drivers proved their skills by shattering this record.
Throughout the decades, Formula 1 has witnessed numerous records being broken as drivers push their limits, fueled by advanced engines and powerful cars.
Motorsport has always been about teams and drivers striving to set new benchmarks in this dynamic environment. However, within the confines of the cockpit, specific drivers have dedicated themselves to shattering these records. Let’s have a look at the top 10 drivers with the most wins from different starting grid positions.
10. Emerson Fittipaldi (7 wins)
Taking over the 10th position, Emerson Fittipaldi has successfully made his way into the list of the top 10 drivers to win from different grid positions. Fittipaldi made his race debut for Team Lotus as a third driver at the 1970 British Grand Prix. At the time, he was the youngest-ever F1 World Champion and held the record for 33 years.
9. Jackie Stewart (7 wins)
Jackie Stewart nicknamed the “Flying Scot”, competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers’ Championships and twice finishing as runner-up over those nine seasons. After his racing career, between 1997 and 1999, in partnership with his son, Paul, he was also the team principal of the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One racing team. The British driver has aced from all the top six grid slots, as well as from the farthest 16th position on the grid (1973 South African Grand Prix).
8. Lewis Hamilton (8 wins)
Lewis Hamilton, a record-breaking driver, challenges to equal Alonso’s feat with eight wins from different grid positions. His dominance in qualifying earned him the title “The Qualifying Master,” securing pole position in most races. His performance in the ongoing 2023 season remains competitive. Throughout his career, Hamilton has managed to break numerous records which also includes the titles held by the legend, Michael Schumacher.
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7. Niki Lauda (8 wins)
It is no secret that Lauda has secured victories from both favourable and challenging starting positions, being the only driver in Formula One history to have been champion for both Ferrari and McLaren, two of the sport’s most successful constructors.
One notable race that highlighted Lauda’s ability to triumph from a challenging grid position was the 1985 Dutch Grand Prix. Held at Zandoovrt, Lauda started from 10th position on the grid and lap by lap made it to the checkered flag with a win margin of 0.232s. Unfortunately, Lauda was seriously injured in a fatal crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix while racing at the Nürburgring; during the crash his Ferrari 312T2 burst into flames, nearly killing him after he inhaled hot toxic fumes and suffered severe burns. However, he had a comeback to the circuit just after 6 weeks of recovery.
6. Kimi Raikkonen (8 wins)
Kimi Räikkönen, the Finnish Formula 1 driver known for his cool demeanour and incredible racing talent, has showcased his ability to win from various grid positions throughout his career. Räikkönen, often referred to as “The Iceman,” has secured victories from a diverse range of starting positions, displaying his adaptability and skill on the track.
Among Räikkönen’s notable achievements is his impressive record of winning from the pole position. Moreover, Räikkönen has also showcased his ability to emerge victorious from more challenging grid positions. One of the most memorable instances was during the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka where he started from the 17th position on the grid due to a problem in qualifying. However, he managed to execute a brilliant drive and secured a win.
5. Michael Schumacher (8 wins)
Michael Schumacher is a legendary name in the world of Formula 1, renowned for his unparalleled success and extraordinary talent as a racing driver. Michael Schumacher achieved his first win at the 1992 Belgian GP while driving for Benetton-Ford. Michael had spread his dominance in the world of Formula 1 racing by having the highest number of wins, most pole positions and most championships during his career.
It was no wonder that the Red Baron had won 40 races from pole position in the grid, but there was also a time when Schumacher portrayed his ultimate performance when he started 15th on grid position and made it to the top in the 1995 Belgium Grand Prix. Even after his retirement from the industry, Schumacher’s name will forever be etched in the history books of Formula 1 as one of the greatest drivers to have ever graced the sport.
4. David Coulthard (8 wins)
On the list with 8 wins from different grid slots, stands David Marshall Coulthard, a British former racing driver, who has achieved eight wins from different grid slots during his career with top teams like Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull.
The British driver even managed to race his way to the pole from 11th position in the 2003 Australian Grand Prix and exited Formula 1 racing in 2008. After retiring from Formula One, Coulthard continued working with Red Bull as a consultant and joined the BBC as a commentator and pundit for their coverage of Formula One.
3. Nelson Piquet (8 wins)
Nelson Piquet is a Brazilian retired racing driver and businessman who won the World Drivers’ Championship three times. The retired triple world champion made his Formula One debut with the Ensign team and drove for McLaren and Brabham. The win of 1981 brought innovation in Formula 1 racing when Nelson managed to win the Argentine Grand Prix after upgradation in the suspension system which was later adopted by other teams as well.
In addition to his triumphs from the prime starting positions, he has also demonstrated his remarkable skill by claiming wins from positions as challenging as 8th( at the Canadian Grand Prix) and having 5 wins from pole, 4th and 5th positions as well. However, the retired racer was recently seen involved in a recent controversy where he was fined $950,000 in moral damages for racist and homophobic comments about Lewis Hamilton.
2. Max Verstappen (8 wins)
Among the current grid, Max Verstappen closely challenges Alonso at the top of the list. Verstappen has won from 8 different slots so far. Despite being only 25, the young Red Bull racer has shown immaculate performance with a total of 45 F1 wins. In addition to securing wins from each of the top four positions on the grid, his wins include triumphant drives from 10th place (conquered at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix) and an impressive win from as far back as 14th place (achieved at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix).
1. Fernando Alonso (9 wins)
Fernando Alonso, holds a remarkable feat in Formula 1, securing victories from nine different grid positions and topping this list with 32 wins. His ability to triumph from various starting positions sets him apart as a versatile and skilled driver.
Out of Alonso’s impressive Grand Prix victories, 14 were secured from the pole position. The Spaniard has won from all the top six grid slots, with other victories coming from 8th, 11th, and 15th on the grid. His victory from 15th on the grid in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix remains memorable, although it was under controversial circumstances involving his team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr.
These drivers’ triumphs from varied grid positions underscore their exceptional talent and determination, leaving a lasting legacy in the history of Formula 1.