The polesitter has won all of the last four Red Bull Ring races, the driver starting eighth has not retired since 2001 and the driver starting twentieth has not scored in 47years. 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 races in 2020 and 2021
- 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 has won all of the last four races to be held at the Red Bull Ring. Of the 35 races held at this track, the polesitter has won only thirteen of them, giving a pole to win conversion rate of only 37%. The polesitter has finished on the podium here on 22 occasions, and has retired from the race eight times. Of the 27 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. Max Verstappen’s victory at the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix marked the first time that the polesitter has won four races in a row at this venue.
The driver starting from second on the grid at the Austrian Grand Prix has won only two of the last seventeen races at the Red Bull Ring. Lewis Hamilton won from second in 2015, while Max Verstappen took victory in 2019. The driver starting here has won eight times in total. Five of the last seven Austrian races have resulted in the driver starting second finishing on the podium.
Carlos Sainz’s ninth place finish in the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix is the only time since F1’s return to Austria in 2014 that the driver starting third has not finished in the top six. 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 nine 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 win 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 in 2020 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. Until 2021, there had been no podium finishes from this grid position since Rubens Barrichello finished third in 2003. In 2021, Valtteri Bottas recorded two podium finishes from this grid slot. 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.
Pierre Gasly’s first lap retirement in the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix was the first time that the driver starting sixth retired from an Austrian race since 2002. Gasly’s retirement is the only time that the driver starting here has failed to score in any race at the track since F1’s return in 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 22 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. In 2020, 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.
George Russell’s eleventh place finish in the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix ended a seven race streak of points finishes at the Red Bull Ring for the driver starting eighth. Vittorio Brambilla is the only driver to win from eighth on the grid in Austria, doing so in 1975. The grid slot’s most recent podium came courtesy of Max Verstappen, who finished second in 2016.
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 four times in the last seven races at the circuit.
At the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz became the first driver to score from tenth on the grid in Austria since 2015. In the last seven races at the circuit, the driver starting here has retired five times. 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, Sebastian Vettel was taken out by his team-mate on the first lap of the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix and George Russell retired with engine issues at the 2021 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 three times that the driver starting eleventh has scored points in the last fifteen races at the circuit. The other recent points scoring appearances were tenth places for Sebastian Vettel in the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix and for Yuki Tsunoda in the 2021 Styrian 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 has finished in the top eighth at all of the last four Red Bull Ring races. With sixth place in the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz recorded the grid slot’s best result since Stefan Johansson finished fourth for Ferrari in 1985.
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 four times, with ninth place for Sergio Perez in 2015, seventh for Romain Grosjean in 2016, tenth for Kvyat at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix and seventh for Daniel Ricciardo at the 2021 Austrian 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.
Until F1’s return to Austria in 2014, the driver starting fifteenth had scored only three times. In the last ten 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 five 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 three times in the last thirteen 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 nine 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 20 races at the track, the driver starting here has failed to finish on eleven occasions. Nineteenth has suffered 21 non-finishes in total, which is more than any other grid slot. It’s the only grid position at the track to have recorded a DNS, a 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.
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. 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, Motorsport Guides and WTF1. 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.