While the polesitter has won two of the last five Monaco races, only three wins have been taken from outside of the top five on the grid. Here’s everything you need to know about each grid slot’s history at the Monaco Grand Prix!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Polesitter won twice in last five races
- Furthest back win from 14th
- 15th retired from last two races
- Furthest back podium from 16th
- 18th not scored since 2005
The Monaco Grand Prix has been won from the front row of the grid 45 times, including in every race since 2009 except 2016, when Lewis Hamilton won from third on the grid. The race has been won from third or further back 21 times. The furthest back win here came in 1996, when Olivier Panis took victory from fourteenth on the grid. His is the only Monaco victory in the last 33 years to have come from further back on the grid than third. In the last nine races at the circuit, there have been just three occasions that the top three on the grid have all finished on the podium, with 2014 and 2018 seeing the top three finish in the same order that they started.
|Grid||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last DNF||Best Result||Point Scoring %|
The Monaco Grand Prix is such a procession that whoever takes pole will win, right? Well, not quite. Since 2004, the polesitter at the Monaco Grand Prix hasn’t failed to finish on the podium. However, in the last five races the polesitter has won only twice. An ill-timed pit-stop lost Lewis Hamilton the win in 2015, Daniel Ricciardo suffered a slow pit stop in 2016 which lost him the win and in 2017 Kimi Raikkonen lost out on victory due to strategy, which saw his Ferrari team-mate take the honours. Perhaps surprisingly, from the 66 F1 races held here, the polesitter has won only 30 times, giving a pole to win conversion rate of under 50%. The polesitter at the Monaco Grand Prix has retired on 20 occasions, but not since 2002, when Juan Pablo Montoya was forced out of the race with engine troubles.
In the last eleven races at the track, 2013 and 2016 are the only occasions on which the driver starting from second on the grid has failed to finish on the podium at Monaco. On both occasions, though, the driver starting here still scored points. The last driver to not score points from here was Kimi Raikkonen in the rain-hit 2008 race. Since 2001, Mark Webber is the only driver to fail to finish in Monaco having started second. He retired in 2006 with an engine failure. Meanwhile, since 2000 the driver starting here has failed to finish only twice. The driver starting second has won the Monaco Grand Prix twice in the last five races.
With five podium finishes in the last seven Monte Carlo races, third is a very favourable place to start the Monaco Grand Prix from. Kimi Raikkonen’s infamous retirement from the 2006 race (when he jumped on his yacht for beers instead of returning to the garage after an engine failure) is the last time a driver starting from third has failed to score. Between 1990 and 2010, the driver starting from third only ever finished on the podium or retired from the race. Lewis Hamilton is the most recent driver to have won from third on the grid, having done so in 2016.
The driver starting from fourth at the Monaco Grand Prix has finished in the top five in all of the last five races, with Sebastian Vettel finishing as runner-up from fourth on the grid last season. Not since Jean-Pierre Beltoise in 1972 has the driver lining up fourth on the grid won the Monaco Grand Prix. The grid slot was also victorious in 1967 and 1969.
In 2019, Kevin Magnussen failed to score having started from fifth on the grid. That was the first time since 2011, when Michael Schumacher retired, that the driver starting fifth failed to finish in the top ten. Schumacher’s retirement is the only DNF for this grid slot in the last fifteen Monaco races. Since 2011, fifth on the grid has given two podium finishes – for Fernando Alonso in 2012 and for Daniel Ricciardo in 2017.
The driver starting sixth has scored in all of the last five Monaco Grands Prix and has not recorded a DNF since 2012. Historically, sixth on the grid has had a relatively high retirement rate, with more non-finishes from here than any other position in the top eleven. This is the highest grid slot at Monaco to have never scored a win. No one has scored a podium finish from sixth on the grid at Monaco since Nick Heidfeld in 2005.The grid slot supplied four podium finishes in five years between 2000 and 2005.
Like sixth, seventh on the grid has never given a win at the Monaco Grand Prix, though two runner-up finishes have been recorded from here, in 1950 and 1981. The most recent podium finish to come from here was for Sergio Perez in 2016, who finished third. That’s the only time that a podium has been scored from outside the top six on the grid in Monte Carlo since 2007. The driver starting seventh has had three DNFs in the last seven Monaco races.
The very first Monaco Grand Prix to be held as a round of the Drivers’ Championship resulted in a podium finish for Louis Chiron. The grid slot has gone on to score nine more top three finishes since then, including a win for Jochen Rindt in 1970. While no one starting here has finished on the podium since 2000, in the last eleven races the driver starting eighth has scored seven times – the four times that they haven’t all being DNFs.
Between 1966 and 1988, the driver starting ninth in Monaco retired nineteen times. The eight times that they didn’t all resulted in top four finishes. Results in recent years have been less polarising. Since 2004, the driver starting here has had ten top ten finishes, but has also suffered four retirements.
The driver starting tenth has moved up the order in each of the last two races at the Monaco Grand Prix, taking the total number of top ten finishes from this grid slot to 31 – more than any behind it. There have been 30 non-finishes from here in total, including four in the last eleven Monaco races.
Just two podium finishes have come from eleventh on the grid. The last time it happened was way back in 1979. The driver starting tenth has had 26 points-scoring races at the Monaco Grand Prix, nineteen of those resulting in points. It has also had 35 retirements; the second-most of any grid slot in the top eleven. Eleventh on the grid has supplied two points-scoring finishes in the last three Monaco races.
The twelfth grid slot has amassed 39 non-finishes in Monaco since 1950. That’s more than any other grid slot. Jenson Button, who finished sixth in 2014, is the last driver to have scored a point having started from this position. The place has supplied points on only nineteen occasions, less than any other grid slot in the top fifteen.
Thirteenth on the grid has supplied three points finishes at the Monaco Grand Prix in the last four races. Between 2013 and 2015, there were three consecutive retirements from this grid slot. There have been two podium finishes from thirteenth on the grid: second for Ayrton Senna in 1984 and third for Johnny Herbert in 1996.
The fourteenth grid slot in Monte Carlo is the only one outside of the top ten to have won a Grand Prix here. That happened in 1996, when Olivier Panis took an unlikely victory for Ligier. While no one has done anything quite so impressive from the grid slot since then, the driver starting 14th has scored points in eight of the last eleven races at the track. Charles Leclerc’s late-race brake failure in 2018 brought to an end a four-year streak of points for the driver starting from 14th. The place also supplied podium finishes for Chris Amon and Lucien Bianchi in 1967 and 1968 respectively.
In the last two Monaco races, the driver lining up fifteenth on the grid at the Monaco Grand Prix has failed to finish. In the last twelve races at the track, the driver starting from fifteenth has scored points only once. The last driver to score points from this grid slot was Nick Heidfeld, who finished eighth in 2011.
In all of the last three races in Monaco, the driver starting sixteenth has gained at least four positions from where they started in the Monaco Grand Prix. Felipe Massa’s seventh place finish in 2014 remains the last time that the driver starting here has scored. In every race which the driver starting sixteenth finished between 1950 and 2002, they finished in the top ten – but they retired on 31 occasions during that time; including in every year between 1994 and 2002. Sixteenth is the furthest back grid slot from which a podium finish has come at Monaco, with Clay Regazzoni finishing as runner-up in 1979.
In the last six Monaco races, there have been three retirements from seventeenth on the grid. Since 2005, Paul di Resta’s ninth place in 2013 is the only time that the driver starting seventeenth has scored points. There have been seventeen top ten finishes from this grid slot and 27 non-finishes.
In the last eleven Monaco races, the driver starting from eighteenth has retired from the Monaco Grand Prix six times, and in the last 24 races the grid position has suffered fifteen DNFs, more than any other in the timespan. There was an even lower completion rate between 1981 and 2004, when the driver starting 18th finished the race just four times in 24 years! Ralf Schumacher, who finished sixth in 2005, is the only driver to have scored points from this position in the last 40 years.
Since 1988, Sebastian Vettel’s fifth place finish for Toro Rosso in 2008 is the only time a driver starting from 19th has gone on to score points at the Monaco Grand Prix. While the position has finished in the top ten on fourteen occasions, Louis Chiron in 1955, Marc Surer in 1981 and Ivan Capelli in 1987 are the only drivers, other than Vettel in 2008, to have started 19th and scored. Curiously, all three of those results were sixth place finishes. On the plus side, the 19th grid slot has scored on more occasions than 18th or 20th.
Good news for the driver starting from 20th – Max Verstappen scored from this position in 2018. The bad news? Well, before that, Danny Sullivan was the last driver to score from the position… all the way back in 1983. Between 2010 and 2013, the driver starting here never finished the race. The driver starting here has failed to even start the race on three occasions – Chris Amon in 1974, Domenico Schiattarella in 1995 and Jenson Button, who suffered a large accident in qualifying, in 2003. In 1984 Stefan Bellof even got disqualified from the race having started 20th. It’s a position which brings a wide variety of results, but very rarely are any of those results points-paying positions. Sullivan and Verstappen are the only two drivers to have scored having started 20th on the grid in Monte Carlo.
At a track where overtaking is so difficult, starting from the pit-lane may sound counter-intuitive. While the last three drivers to start from the pit-lane at the track – Felipe Nasr and Max Verstappen in 2016 and Jenson Button in 2017 – all retired from the race, before that four drivers had scored points having started from the pit-lane. Heikki Kovalainen finished eighth after starting in the pit-lane in 2008, Fernando Alonso finished sixth in 2010 and, most recently, Carlos Sainz finished tenth in 2015. But perhaps most impressive of all was Michael Schumacher who was demoted to the pit-lane following his qualifying antics in 2006. He went on to finish the race in fifth place.
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.