In F1 Power Performers, we re-award points from every race at each track based on the current scoring system, in order to give a more fair representation of which drivers have excelled at each track during their careers. As well as the top five, we’ll also give the full list of points scorers at the end of each article. Here are the drivers who’ve excelled at the Austrian Grand Prix!
1. David Coulthard – 118 points
If every race at the Red Bull Ring – including in its previous guises as the Österreichring and the A1 Ring – had awarded points in the same way, 129 drivers would have scored here. Top of that pile is perhaps a surprising name: David Coulthard. From his seven appearances at the track, Coulthard never failed to score at the event and finished on the podium on all of his first five Austrian outings. Until last year, he was the driver who had completed the most racing laps of the track in history, touring the circuit 495 times. He won the 2001 Austrian Grand Prix by finishing two seconds ahead of polesitter Michael Schumacher.
Coulthard’s career at the track wasn’t all plain sailing though. In the 1999 event, McLaren team-mate Mika Hakkinen had started from pole, with Coulthard alongside him on the front row. But at the third turn on the opening lap, the Scot nudged Hakkinen, and the Finn spun to the back of the order. DC led for the first half of the race, but Hakkinen’s title rival Eddie Irvine overtook him after a slick pit stop. Nonetheless, that day was a minor blip in Coulthard’s Austria form book.
2. Jacques Laffite – 96 points
Another surprising name sits in second place on this list. Jacques Laffite made twelve appearances in total at the Österreichring and although six of those appearances resulted in DNFs, he finished in the top five on the other six occasions. Laffite won for Ligier at the 1981 Austrian Grand Prix and finished on the podium a further three times – in 1976, 1979 and 1982.
3. Alain Prost – 95 points
Just one point behind Laffite is fellow Frenchman Alain Prost. Between 1980 and 1987, Prost made eight appearances at the Österreichring and won the event three times. He still holds the record for most Austrian Grand Prix wins but sits only third in this list. That’s because aside from his three wins, his best result was only sixth place on his final appearance in 1987. Of Prost’s three wins at the track, it was his final one – in 1986 – which was the most impressive, as he took victory by over a lap.
4. Michael Schumacher – 93 points
The Red Bull Ring is the scene of Michael Schumacher’s most controversial F1 win. Back when it was named the A1 Ring in 2002, Rubens Barrichello was leading until the final corner, when he was instructed to let Schumacher by to take the victory. The move caused uproar among the other teams and fans, and rules banning team orders were subsequently introduced. It was the first time in six visits that Schumacher was victorious in Austria, though he had podium finishes here in both 1998 and 2001. He’d go on to take a more deserved victory on his final appearance at the circuit in 2003.
5. Alan Jones – 92 points
Alan Jones sits fifth in the power performers list in Austria. The Australian’s most notable performance here is his win from fourteenth on the grid in the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix. It remains the furthest back grid position from which a driver has won in the country. It was also the only time that the Shadow team won a Grand Prix. Unfortunately for Jones, the organisers had not prepared the Australian national anthem, so ‘Happy Birthday’ was played on a trumpet instead.
Jones won the event again two years later, this time from second on the grid when driving for Williams. He has three podium finishes to his name here, having also finished as runner-up in 1980. On his final two appearances at the track, in 1981 and 1986, Jones finished fourth both times.
On the bubble
Among the drivers just missing out on the top five are a number of the 2020 grid. Lewis Hamilton – whose only win at the event came in 2016 following a last lap overtake on Nico Rosberg – sits in sixth place with 85 points. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen, the winner of the last two Austrian Grands Prix sits eleventh on the list, and could break into the top five with another win in 2020. The Finnish pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas – both with multiple podium finishes at the event – are also in with a chance of moving up Austria’s power performers list. Raikkonen is tied with David Coulthard as the driver to have made the most points-scoring appearances at the track.
The Full List of points scorers:
The below list is based on all races at the track using the same scoring system as is currently used in Formula 1 – 25 points for a win, all the way down to a single point for tenth place plus the bonus point for Fastest Lap.
|23||Elio de Angelis||49|
|62||Juan Pablo Montoya||15|
|85||Carlos Sainz Jr.||8|
|103||Andrea de Cesaris||4|
|114||Gijs van Lennep||2|
|122||Cristiano da Matta||1|
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.