The polesitter has won four of the last six Red Bull Ring races, the driver starting eighth has not retired since 2001 and the driver starting twentieth has not scored in 46 years. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at the Red Bull Ring!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Polesitter won both 2020 races
- 6th has never won
- 8th not retired since 2001
- 14th scored the furthest back win
- 20th not scored since 1974
|Grid Slot||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last Non Finish||Best Result||Point Scoring %|
|1||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Styria)||2018||1st||73%|
|2||2019||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Austria)||1st||55%|
|3||2014||2020 (Austria)||2020 (Styria)||2003||1st||48%|
|4||2018||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Austria)||1st||64%|
|5||1986||2003||2020 (Austria)||2020 (Styria)||1st||55%|
|7||2001||2020 (Austria)||2020 (Austria)||2018||1st||58%|
|9||-||2014||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Austria)||2nd||48%|
|13||-||1978||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Austria)||2nd||24%|
|14||1977||1998||2020 (Austria)||2020 (Styria)||1st||33%|
|17||-||1970||2020 (Styria)||2020 (Austria)||3rd||15%|
The polesitter won both Grands Prix held at the Red Bull Ring in 2020, marking the first time that the polesitter had won in Austria since 2017. Of the 33 races held at this track, the polesitter has won only eleven of them, giving a pole to win conversion rate of 33.3%. The polesitter has finished on the podium here on twenty occasions, and has retired from the race eight times. Of the 25 finishes for the polesitter at the Austrian circuit, Rene Arnoux’s ninth place finish in 1980 is the only time the polesitter has finished outside of the points. Since 1987, Giancarlo Fisichella in 1998 and Valtteri Bottas in 2018 are the only polesitters who have failed to finish the Austrian Grand Prix. 2020’s pair of races was only the third time that successive Austrian races had been won from pole, after 1971 & 1972 and 2016 & 2017. The polesitter has never won three races in a row here.
The driver starting from second on the grid at the Austrian Grand Prix has won twice in the last five years. Lewis Hamilton won from second in 2015, while Max Verstappen took victory in 2019. In the last eleven races at the track, there have been four occasions on which the driver starting here has failed to score, including three retirements. The driver starting here has won eight times in total.
Carlos Sainz’s ninth place finish in the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix ended a streak of three consecutive podium finishes for the driver starting third at the Red Bull Ring. Nevertheless, the driver starting third has scored in every race since Formula 1’s return to Austria. Nico Rosberg won from this grid slot on the sport’s comeback in 2014. It actually won four of the eight races held here between 1998 and 2014. In the first nineteen races at the track, the driver starting third scored only four times, including Jacky Ickx’s win in the first race here in 1970.
The driver starting from fourth has enjoyed podium finishes in five of the last seven races held at the Red Bull Ring. Max Verstappen won the 2018 race from this grid slot and the position has provided further wins for Jacques Laffite in 1981 and Niki Lauda in 1984, the latter becoming the only Austrian to have won his home Grand Prix. Fourth on the grid has supplied twelve third place finishes – four times as many as any other grid slot. Curiously, Valtteri Bottas’ second place last year was the first time that the driver starting here has finished as runner-up!
Fifth on the grid has supplied two wins – both for Alain Prost in 1983 and 1986. There have been no podium finishes from this grid position since Rubens Barrichello finished third in 2003. Since 2014, Max Verstappen’s retirement in 2017 and Esteban Ocon’s retirement from the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix are the only occasions that the driver starting here has failed to score.
The driver starting sixth at the Red Bull Ring has not failed to score in all eight races held here since 2014. During that time, it has given one podium finish; a third place for Sebastian Vettel in 2018. Between 1983 and 2003, this grid slot suffered one of the unluckiest streaks at the track. It failed to score in any of the twelve races and retired nine times; including for seven consecutive visits. The best result from here is second, recorded by Keke Rosberg in 1982.
Along with sixteenth, seventh is the grid slot with the least retirements at this circuit. Seventh on the grid has given points-scoring finishes on more occasions than most grid slots, with only pole and fourth on the grid scoring more often than seventh. While Daniel Ricciardo retired from this position in 2018, the grid slot has finished in the top ten 21 times in total. From all the finishes at this track for the seventh grid slot, Patrick Depailler’s eleventh place finish in 1975 is the only time the driver starting from here has finished the race in a position lower than tenth. Last year, Charles Leclerc finished as runner-up having started seventh in the Austrian Grand Prix. His was the first podium result from this grid slot since David Coulthard won the 2001 Austrian Grand Prix.
The driver starting eighth has finished in the points in all of the last six races at the Red Bull Ring, including recording a second place finish for Max Verstappen in 2016. The driver starting here has not failed to finish since 2001. Vittorio Brambilla is the only driver to win from eighth on the grid in Austria, doing so in 1975.
The first five races at this track all resulted in retirements for the driver starting from ninth on the grid. Plenty of points-scoring finishes have followed – including three podium finishes – but the grid slot still has unlucky streaks. The most recent was in the five races between 2002 and 2016, with all but one resulting in a DNF. The one that didn’t was Lewis Hamilton’s second place finish in 2014. The grid slot has scored three times in the last four seasons.
The driver starting from tenth has not scored since 2015 and has recorded four retirements from the last five Red Bull Ring races. The grid slot has had more retirements since F1’s return to Austria in 2014 than any other. Both Carlos Sainz in 2017 and Nico Hulkenberg in 2018 came to a halt with engine failures before the races had reached their conclusion, Daniel Ricciardo retired from the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel was taken out by his team-mate on the first lap of the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix.
In 2018, Esteban Ocon finished sixth having started eleventh at the Austrian Grand Prix. But that was a rare moment of joy for the driver starting here, and one of only two times that the driver starting eleventh has scored points in the last thirteen races at the circuit. The other points scoring appearance in that period was tenth place for Sebastian Vettel in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. The grid slot has given one podium finish, but that was for Gilles Villeneuve all the way back in 1978. It was the Canadian driver’s first podium finish in Formula 1.
The driver starting from twelfth finished seventh in both of 2020’s races at the Red Bull Ring. Pierre Gasly finished seventh in the Austrian Grand Prix, while Lance Stroll finished seventh in the Styrian Grand Prix. It’s the best result for the driver starting here since Stefan Johansson finished fourth for Ferrari in 1985. Since the Red Bull Ring returned to the calendar in 2014, Pascal Wehrlein is the only other driver to have scored a point having started twelfth.
Until 2020, the thirteenth grid slot has enjoyed the longest run without a DNF at the Red Bull Ring. Nick Heidfeld was the last driver to retire having started thirteenth in 2000, until luck ran out for Daniil Kvyat at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. Since F1 returned to Austria, the grid slot has scored three times, with ninth place for Sergio Perez in 2015, seventh for Romain Grosjean in 2016 and tenth for Kvyat at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix.
The furthest back win at the Austrian Grand Prix came from fourteenth on the grid in 1977, when Alan Jones took the Shadow team’s only F1 victory. The driver starting from fourteenth has scored on more occasions than any other grid slot outside the top ten, and has had more top ten finishes than any grid slot lower than eighth. Fourteenth has supplied as many top ten finishes as the sixth grid slot has, and only two less top ten finishes than second on the grid!
Until F1’s return to Austria in 2014, the driver starting fifteenth had scored only three times. In the last eight races at the Red Bull Ring, the driver starting here has picked up points on three occasions. Of course, points are awarded for the top ten now – and the grid slot had a healthy share of top ten finishes prior to 2014. The best ever result from fifteenth on the grid is third place, for Tom Pryce in 1975.
The driver starting from sixteenth at the Red Bull Ring has recorded DNFs on only ten occasions; that’s tied with seventh as the least non-finishes from any grid slot apart from pole. While a finish looks quite safe from here – at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, Kevin Magnussen became the first to retire having started here since Jarno Trulli in 2002 – points are less secure, with only three drivers having scored points starting from sixteenth in Austria. The best finish for this grid slot came in 1986, when Alan Jones finished fourth.
In the first Austrian Grand Prix to be held at the Österreichring in 1970, Rolf Stommelen finished third having started seventeenth on the grid. The grid slot is yet to replicate that success and has scored only four times since. Three of those points-scoring races have been in the last four years, with ninth place finishes for Felipe Massa in 2017 and Charles Leclerc in 2018, and sixth for Sergio Perez in the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix. Perez’s sixth place was the best result for this grid slot since 1984. The driver starting here has retired only once in the last eleven races at the track.
Eighteenth may be a lowly place to start from, but points are an achievable target from here – the driver starting here has scored in four of the last seven races at the Red Bull Ring. Three of those finishes have been tenth places – for Daniel Ricciardo in 2015, Lance Stroll in 2017 and Marcus Ericsson in 2018 – while Antonio Giovinazzi finished ninth having started eighteenth in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. There has not been a retirement from eighteenth on the grid since 2002.
In the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz finished eighth having started from nineteenth. It was the first time that the driver starting here has scored since Marc Surer finished sixth for Arrows in 1984. They’re the only two points-scoring races for the nineteenth grid slot in the Austrian Grand Prix. In the last twelve races at the track, the driver starting here has failed to finish on seven occasions. Nineteenth has suffered 21 non-finishes in total, which is more than any other grid slot, and is the only grid position at the track to have recorded a DNS, DNF and a DSQ.
1974 is the only year that the driver starting twentieth has scored, with Vittorio Brambilla finishing in sixth place. Since then, there have been six top ten finishes, but none of those finishes supplied points. Due to pit lane starts, Nicholas Latifi in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix is the only driver to have started twentieth on the grid since 2016.
There have been seven pit lane starts at the Red Bull Ring. Fernando Alonso’s eighth place in 2018 is the only time that a driver starting from the pit lane at the Red Bull Ring has scored points, while Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa’s retirements in 2016 are the only times that a driver starting from the pit lane has failed to finish.
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.