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.


The current record holder for both Most Pole Positions and Most Wins from Pole is Michael Schumacher. 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 PolesEdit


RankDriverNumber of Poles
1Michael Schumacher68
2Lewis Hamilton67
3Ayrton Senna65
4 Sebastian Vettel48
5 Alain Prost33
Jim Clark
7 Nigel Mansell32

In Same SeasonEdit

RankDriverNumber of PolesSeason
1Sebastian Vettel152011
2Nigel Mansell141992
3 Alain Prost131993
Ayrton Senna 1988
5Lewis Hamilton122016
6 Lewis Hamilton112015
Michael Schumacher2001
Mika Häkkinen1999
Nico Rosberg2014

Pole positions by ageEdit

Youngest (first pole only)
Rank Driver Age Race
1Sebastian Vettel21y 72d2008 Italian Grand Prix
2Fernando Alonso21y 236d2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
3Rubens Barrichello22y 97d1994 Belgian Grand Prix
4Lewis Hamilton22y 153d2007 Canadian Grand Prix
5Andrea de Cesaris22y 308d1982 United States West Grand Prix
6Nico Hülkenberg23y 79d2010 Brazilian Grand Prix
Oldest (last pole only)
Rank Driver Age Race
1Nino Farina47y 79d1954 Argentine Grand Prix
2Juan Manuel Fangio46y 209d1958 Argentine Grand Prix
3Jack Brabham44y 17d1970 Spanish Grand Prix
4Mario Andretti42y 196d1982 Italian Grand Prix
5Nigel Mansell41y 97d1994 Australian Grand Prix
6Carlos Reutemann39y 188d1981 Caesars Palace Grand Prix

Most poles without a winEdit

Rank Driver Poles
1Chris Amon5
2 Jean-Pierre Jarier3
Eugenio Castellotti
4 Teo Fabi2
Stuart Lewis-Evans
6 Luigi Villoresi1
Mike Spence
Nico Hülkenberg
Johnny Thomson
Jerry Hoyt

Most consecutive pole positionsEdit

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
United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 1992
Finland Mika Häkkinen 1999
United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 20162017

Conversion rateEdit

This table shows rates of conversion from pole to win

Rank Driver Poles Wins from Pole Conversion rate
1 United States Bill Vukovich11100%
United States Pat Flaherty
Sweden Jo Bonnier
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
6 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi6466.67%
United Kingdom Tony Brooks32
South Africa Jody Scheckter
9 Italy Alberto Ascari14964.29%
10 Spain Fernando Alonso221463.64%
11 United Kingdom Jenson Button8562.5%
12 Germany Michael Schumacher684058.82%
13 France Alain Prost331854.55%
14 Brazil Felipe Massa16850%


  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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