No driver has won at Imola from outside the top five on the grid, while all but two grid slots have previously scored. Here’s everything you need to know about each grid slot’s history at Imola!
- No wins from outside the top five
- No retirements from 3rd since 1996
- Furthest back podium from 16th
- No points scored from 17th or 19th
|Grid Slot||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last DNF||Best Finish|
Points likelihood: 74% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 1998
The driver starting second on the grid at Imola has finished in the top ten on more occasions than drivers starting from any other grid slot. Two of the last three Imola races have been won from second on the grid. Jenson Button’s seventh place in the last race here in 2006 marked the first time that the driver starting here failed to finish in the top four since 1998. Only seven retirements have been recorded by drivers starting here in the 27 races held at the circuit.
Points likelihood: 70% Last points: 2004 Last DNF: 1996
There have been no retirements from third on the grid at Imola since 1996 – the longest active streak of finishes at the track. While no driver has retired having started here since 1996, Jenson Button was disqualified having started third in 2005. Five wins have been recorded from third on the grid at Imola, most recently in 2001. The driver starting here failed to score in the last two San Marino Grands Prix.
Points likelihood: 70% Last points: 2004 Last DNF: 2000
Like third, the driver starting sixth has failed to score in the last two San Marino Grands Prix. In the eleven Imola races before 2005, Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s DNF in 2000 is the only time that the driver starting here has failed to finish in the top six, while David Coulthard’s sixth place in 2002 is the only time the grid slot did not record a top five finish in that time. While no wins have been recorded from sixth on the grid at Imola, the driver starting here has finished as runner-up on four occasions.
Points likelihood: 63% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2005
Three of the last five San Marino Grands Prix were won from pole position. The polesitter has never won more than three consecutive races at the circuit; with the longest streak of wins from pole here being between 1991 and 1993. The driver starting at the front of the grid failed to win any of the first eight races at Imola and recorded just one podium finish during that time. Ayrton Senna was the first polesitter to win at Imola, doing so in 1988. The polesitter has retired from the race on ten occasions, most recently in 2005.
Points likelihood: 63% Last points: 2004 Last DNF: 2006
The driver starting ninth has failed to finish the race on each of Formula 1’s last two visits to Imola. Nevertheless, the grid slot has a high points scoring rate, with all but two of the sixteen races before 2005 resulting in top ten finishes. The best finish for a driver starting ninth at Imola is second, recorded by Riccardo Patrese in 1981.
Points likelihood: 56% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2000
The driver starting eighth has finished in the top six in three of the last four F1 races held at Imola. The best result from this position came in 1994, when Mika Hakkinen finished in third; the only podium recorded from this grid slot. There have been eight top five finishes in total recorded from eighth on the grid at Imola, and there has been only one retirement from this position in the last ten races at the circuit.
Points likelihood: 56% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2001
Three victories have been recorded from fourth on the grid at Imola: Didier Pironi in 1982, Alain Prost in 1986, and Damon Hill in 1995. There have been an additional two podium finishes recorded from fourth on the grid: a second place for Prost in 1983 and third for Eddie Irvine in 1998. Between 1989 and 1993, the driver starting in this position retired in all six races. Since then, there have been three retirements recorded from fourth on the grid.
Points likelihood: 52% Last points: 2003 Last DNF: 2005
Seven drivers have scored having started twelfth at Imola. No driver starting here has finished in a better position than fifth. Both Derek Warwick and David Coulthard finished fifth having started twelfth in 1989 and 2003 respectively.
Points likelihood: 48% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2004
In each of the last two races at Imola, the driver starting seventh has recorded a podium result with third place. Alexander Wurz’s third place in 2005 ended a streak of eight point-less races for the driver starting from seventh. All of this grid slot’s last three points finishes have been third place finishes, with Gerhard Berger having also finished on the final step of the podium in 1996.
Points likelihood: 44% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2003
Both of the first two F1 races at Imola were won from fifth on the grid. The grid slot has not won again since, and remains the furthest back position from which a race at Imola has been won. In the last ten races at the track, the driver starting here has retired on six occasions. Fifth on the grid has scored in all of the last three races here though, and Fernando Alonso finished as runner-up having started fifth in 2006.
Points likelihood: 41% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2001
The driver starting eleventh at Imola scored in four of the first six races at Imola. Two of those occasions were third place finishes for Elio de Angelis and Patrick Tambay in 1984 and 1985 respectively. Then, between 1986 and 2004 the driver starting here failed to score in any race – though there were five top ten finishes during that period. The grid slot had an upturn in fortune in the last two races at the circuit – Jacques Villenueve finished fourth in 2005 and Giancarlo Fisichella finished eighth in 2006.
Points likelihood: 35% Last points: 1999 Last DNF: 2004
In 1991, JJ Lehto finished the San Marino Grand Prix in third place having started sixteenth. It’s the furthest back grid position from which a podium result has been recorded at Imola. The driver starting here has scored on only three further occasions: Riccardo Patrese finished sixth in 1986, JJ Lehto finished fourth in 1993 and Giancarlo Fisichella finished fifth in 1999.
Points likelihood: 33% Last points: 1997 Last DNF: 2006
The driver starting fourteenth scored six times in the first eighteen races at Imola but has not scored since 1997. The best finish from this grid slot is fifth, recorded by Eliseo Salazar in 1982, Martin Brundle in 1987, Philippe Alliot in 1993 and Jean Alesi in 1997.
Points likelihood: 32% Last points: 2004 Last DNF: 2006
Two drivers have scored having started twentieth on the grid at Imola. Thierry Boutsen was first to do so, recording the best finish for this grid slot with fifth in 1984, while Kimi Raikkonen finished eighth in 2004. The driver starting twentieth also finished eighth in 1983, 1987 and 1992 – though that was before the position paid any points. The grid slot was left clear in both 1982 and 2003, while Jarno Trulli failed to start the race from here in 1997.
Points likelihood: 30% Last points: 2005 Last DNF: 2002
Only four drivers have scored having started thirteenth at Imola. Most recently, Michael Schumacher recorded the best ever finish from this grid slot by finishing second in 2005. Other points scoring occasions came in 1980, 1981 and 1999.
Points likelihood: 30% Last points: 2006 Last DNF: 2004
All of the first ten Imola races resulted in non-classified finishes for the driver starting from tenth. In the tenth race at the circuit, in 1989, Olivier Grouillard was disqualified. Since then, the grid slot has scored on only three occasions. Karl Wendlinger finished fourth in 1994 and Mark Webber finished sixth in 2006, but the best result from this grid slot is third place, recorded by Martin Brundle in 1993. Though those are the only points finishes from this grid slot, the driver starting tenth has finished inside the top ten every time they have reached the chequered flag.
Points likelihood: 24% Last points: 1980 Last DNF: 2002
The driver starting from eighteenth recorded six consecutive retirements in the San Marino Grand Prix between 1997 and 2002, but the grid slot has enjoyed better fortunes since then. Though no driver has scored from this grid slot since the very first race at Imola, when Elio de Angelis finished fourth in 1980, two top ten finishes have been recorded from eighteenth in the last three races at the circuit.
Points likelihood: 15% Last points: 2005 Last DNF: 2004
Between 1993 and 2000, the driver starting fifteenth failed to finish the San Marino Grand Prix. That’s the record for the most consecutive retirements for a grid slot at Imola. Since that streak of non-finishes, the driver starting here has finished in the top ten only once, that being with an eighth place finish for Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2005. The best finish from this position is sixth, recorded twice. The first time was in 1985 by Stefan Johansson, on a day on which he failed to finish the race, and by Pierluigi Martini in 1992.
Points likelihood: 12% Last points: – Last DNF: 2005
Nineteenth on the grid has never scored at Imola, though four top ten finishes have been recorded from the position. Ironically, the best finish from here is seventh, recorded by Mika Salo in 1999 – despite him failing to reach the chequered flag. Further top ten finishes from this grid slot have been recorded by Erik Comas, who finished tenth in 1991, Mika Salo (again) who finished ninth in 1997 and Esteban Tuero who finished eighth in 1998.
Points likelihood: 12% Last points: – Last DNF: 2006
Statistically, seventeenth is the grid slot which is least likely to score points at Imola. This grid slot has never scored before at the circuit, though it has provided three top ten finishes. The best finish from here is seventh, recorded by both Christian Danner in 1987 and Pedro Diniz in 1996. Johnny Herbert also finished tenth having started seventeenth in 2000. In the last six races at the circuit, Tiago Monteiro’s thirteenth place in 2005 is the only time that the driver starting seventeenth has finished the race.
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 GPDestinations. 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.