What is an F1 pole position, who took pole in the 2023 season and who has the most pole positions ever? You can read about it here!
What does pole position mean?
A pole position is the first starting spot on the grid for a Grand Prix race. A driver can achieve pole position during qualifying. The driver who completes the fastest lap in the third part of qualifying (Q3) takes this position and starts the race first.
The position of the first starting spot is sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right side of the grid. This is determined according to which way the first corner goes. Pole position is always positioned on the most ideal line to the first corner.
Where does the term 'pole position' come from?
The term 'pole position' does not originate from motorsport, but from horse racing. In fact, the number one was allowed to start on the inside pole when achieving first position in a horse race. Hence the name 'pole position'.
When does a pole position count?
An official pole position is achieved during Q3 of qualifying for the race. Here, the fastest lap driven counts.
F1 sprint races were introduced for the first time in 2021, where the result of the sprint race determined the starting grid for the race on Sunday. Also, the driver who had won the sprint race was officially given pole position. In 2022, this changed and only official qualifying counted as pole position.
In 2023, the sprint race format was completely changed and there is a separate qualifying session for the sprint race. Still, the driver only gets official pole position if he manages to clock the first time during official qualifying for the race on Sunday.
Overview of pole positions 2023
Which driver will all have a pole position behind his name in the 2023 Formula 1 season? In the overview below, you will find the driver who managed to secure pole position for each race.
Overview of pole positions F1 season 2023
|Bahrain GP||Max Verstappen|
|Saudi-Arabian GP||Sergio Perez|
|Australian GP||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan GP||Charles Leclerc|
|Miami GP||Sergio Perez|
|Monaco GP||Max Verstappen|
|Spanish GP||Max Verstappen|
|Canadian GP||Max Verstappen|
|Austrian GP||Max Verstappen|
|British GP||Max Verstappen|
|Hungarian GP||Lewis Hamilton|
|Belgian GP||Max Verstappen|
|Dutch GP||Max Verstappen|
|Italian GP||Carlos Sainz|
|Singapore GP||Carlos Sainz|
|Japanese GP||Max Verstappen|
Staying up to date on which driver took pole position after qualifying? Then keep an eye on the F1 results.
Overview polesitters all time
A driver who has taken pole position is also known as a polesitter. The table below lists all Formula 1 drivers who have ever taken pole position. Also shown here are the corresponding numbers. Please note that the list is updated up to and including the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.
All drivers with pole position all time
|Position||Driver||Number of polepositions|
|9||Juan Manuel Fangio||29|
|12||Nelson Piquet sr.||24|
|28||Juan Pablo Montoya||13|
|56||Carlos Sainz jr.||5|
|56||José Froilán González||3|
|56||Elio De Angelis||3|
|73||Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips||1|
|73||José Carlos Pace||1|
|73||Andrea de Cesaris||1|
Cashing in on pole positions
It is not always certain that if a driver starts from pole position, that he can cash in on it in a win. The overview below shows the percentage of pole to wins of the active drivers on the 2023 grid. The list below is updated up to and including the 2023 Silverstone Grand Prix.
Pole to win ratio current drivers 2023
Max Verstappen record: most cashed pole positions in a row
Max Verstappen broke Michael Schumacher's record after the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix with the most pole positions in a row he has converted into victories, namely 13.
Special / surprising pole positions
Over the years, there have been plenty of memorable pole positions, from surprises to pole positions where the difference was nil. Below are some special and surprising pole positions:
- Schumacher, Villeneuve and Frentzen 1997 | Something very special happened at the 1997 European Grand Prix. During qualifying, no fewer than three drivers set exactly the same time. Both Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen clocked a time of 1:21.072. Jacques Villeneuve was allowed to start on pole position as he was the first driver to set the time. None of the three drivers managed to cash in on the pole. Mika Häkkinen ran away with the win.
- Hulkenberg 2010 | Nico Hulkenberg scored his first pole position during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix. In varying conditions, he and his Williams secured the first starting spot with a 1.1-second lead over Sebastian Vettel.
- Hamilton 2018 | The pole position Lewis Hamilton grabbed during qualifying for the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most epic ever at that circuit, according to Toto Wolff. The Briton clocked a 1:36.015, which was more than three seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel's pole time the year before (1:39.491). He did so on the hypersoft tyre and was three tenths ahead of Max Verstappen.
- Verstappen 2019 | Two memorable moments for Max Verstappen in 2019. In qualifying for the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, the Dutchman took his first ever pole position, edging Valtteri Bottas by 0.018 seconds. We will also remember the qualifying for the Mexico Grand Prix. Verstappen managed to take pole position in sensational fashion, but unfortunately he was not allowed to start from the first starting spot. Indeed, he received a grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags and had to make do with fourth place on the grid.