No driver has won at Silverstone from outside the top seven on the grid, and the polesitter has not won only one of the last four races. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at Silverstone!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- No wins from outside the top 7
- No retirements from 2nd since 2000 or from 4th since 2001
- 10th has never finished on the podium
- 13th failed to finish 5 times in last 9 races
- Furthest back podium from 28th on the grid
|Grid Slot||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last Non Finish||Best Result||Point Scoring %|
|1||2020||70th Anniversary||70th Anniversary||2014||1st||73%|
|2||2019||70th Anniversary||70th Anniversary||2000||1st||73%|
|4||70th Anniversary||70th Anniversary||70th Anniversary||2001||1st||60%|
The polesitter at Silverstone has gone on to win three of the last seven races. Historically, the pole to win conversion rate is under 40% at Silverstone, with only 20 of the 55 races here having been won from the front of the grid. Pole has had its dominant streaks at the circuit – pole won four consecutive races at the track between 1960 and 1967, four times between 1991 and 1994 and, more recently, Lewis Hamilton converted all of his poles into wins between 2015 and 2017. In the 26 races here since 1995, the polesitter has won only eight times, four of those wins being by Hamilton. That being said, a good finish is still likely for the polesitter, with seventeen podiums from the last 21 Silverstone races. Since 2001, Nico Rosberg’s DNF in 2014 with gearbox issues is the only time the polesitter has failed to finish the British Grand Prix. The polesitter has recorded non-finishes at the Silverstone circuit on less occasions than any other grid slot in the top twenty.
The driver starting from second at Silverstone won the British Grand Prix in 2018 and 2019. Second on the grid has scored on as many occasions as the polesitter (40 times) and has had as many podiums as the polesitter (33). Second on the grid has also had less non-classified finishes than any other grid slot, failing to finish the race only eleven times. The last non-finish from this grid slot came all the way back in 2000, when Heinz-Harald Frentzen retired with gearbox issues. Since 2001, Mark Webber’s tenth place finish in 2008 and Valtteri Bottas’ eleventh place in the 2020 British Grand Prix are the only times the driver starting from second has failed to score.
In the last twenty Silverstone races, there has been just one retirement from third on the grid at Silverstone. That was for Sebastian Vettel in 2013. Nico Hulkenberg’s seventh place in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix ended a streak of three consecutive podium finishes for the driver starting third. Eight Silverstone wins have come from this grid slot in total, three since the turn of the millennium. The most recent win from this grid slot was in 2011, when Fernando Alonso was victorious.
Fourth on the grid has had the longest active streak of points-scoring races at Silverstone, having scored points in every season since 2006. The driver starting here has also finished in the top ten in every season since 2002, and has won three times in that time. 2020 saw the driver starting fourth finish on the podium in both races. Charles Leclerc finished third having started fourth in the British Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen took victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli, who was out after a first lap collision in 2001, is the most recent driver to have retired from fourth on the grid at the British Grand Prix. In all of the past seven Silverstone races, the driver starting here has finished in the top five.
No driver has finished on the podium from fifth on the grid since 2010. Since then, the grid slot has supplied two DNFs and eight points-scoring races. Fourth places for Felipe Massa in 2012 and Pierre Gasly in 2019 are the only times during that period that the driver starting here has gained a place during the race. Three wins have come from fifth on the grid at Silverstone, the most recent being for Johnny Herbert in 1995.
In the last 39 years, no victory at Silverstone has come from further back than sixth on the grid. That happened in 2014, when Lewis Hamilton started from the position. In the last seven years, the position has scored two podium finishes, with Sebastian Vettel finishing third here in 2015 in addition to Hamilton’s 2014 win. There have only been two DNFs from this grid slot in the past 22 years – Ralf Schumacher in 2007 and Robert Kubica in 2010.
2020 was the first season in which the driver starting seventh has not scored at Silverstone since 2014. In the last thirteen races at the track, Romain Grosjean’s retirement in 2013 is the only time that the driver starting here has failed to finish the race. This is the furthest back grid slot to have won at Silverstone, with Emerson Fittipaldi winning from seventh on the grid in 1975.
The driver starting eighth on the grid at Silverstone has suffered more non-finishes than any other grid slot in the top ten, with 23 non-finishes in total. There were better fortunes for the driver starting here last year, with Daniel Ricciardo and Charles Leclerc both finishing fourth in the 2020 British Grand Prix and 70th Anniversary Grand Prix respectively. The position last supplied a podium finish – the fourth third place from this grid slot – in 2014 for Ricciardo.
Ninth on the grid has supplied more top ten finishes than either of the two grid slots immediately ahead of it and any of the positions behind it. Ninth has given two podium positions at the circuit in the last eight years, with third place for Fernando Alonso in 2013 and second for Valtteri Bottas in 2017. Those are two of four podium finishes for this grid slot, the others being in 1981 and 1989. The driver starting here finished in the top six in both of 2020’s races at the track.
Tenth is the only grid slot in the top fourteen to have never supplied a podium finish at Silverstone. The best result from tenth position is fourth, recorded by Nelson Piquet in 1989 and Lewis Hamilton in 2011. The driver starting here has scored in all of the last four races at Silverstone.
In the last seven Silverstone races, the driver starting eleventh has scored four times, finished outside the points once, recorded a retirement and suffered a DNS. Jolyon Palmer, who failed to start the race in 2017, took the unwanted honour of being the third driver to fail to start at Silverstone having lined up in the top eleven on the grid. Palmer is in good company, though, with Jack Brabham and Michael Schumacher the only other drivers to do so. All three podium finishes from this grid slot have been the runner-up spot, most recently recorded by Jean Alesi in 1997.
The driver starting twelfth has scored in three of the last four Silverstone races. Twelfth on the grid has supplied two podium finishes here in the past, with Alfonso de Portago and Peter Collins sharing a drive to finish second in 1956 and Kimi Raikkonen coming home third in 2005. Since 1999, there have been only two retirements from twelfth. The grid slot has the least DNFs of any position outside the top six.
Thirteenth on the grid at Silverstone has recorded four non-finishes in the last six seasons. Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean and Carlos Sainz are the drivers who retired here in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively, while Nico Hulkenberg failed to start the 2020 British Grand Prix. The grid slot scored in the two British Grands Prix prior to 2020. Fernando Alonso finished eighth in 2018, while Carlos Sainz finished sixth in 2019.
Valtteri Bottas recorded the best ever finish for a driver starting fourteenth at Silverstone in 2014 with second place. Fourteenth on the grid had previously supplied a podium finish for Jacques Laffite in 1981. The grid slot has scored eight points finishes in total, less than any grid slot ahead of it. It has had more non-finishes than it has had top ten finishes. Other than Bottas’ podium, Esteban Ocon’s eighth place in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix is the only other time that the grid slot has finished above tenth in the last eleven Silverstone races.
Since 1990, only two points finishes have been scored from fifteenth on the grid. Those were eighth place for Kazuki Nakajima in 2008 and tenth for Daniil Kvyat in 2016. Prior to that, the driver starting fifteenth finished sixth four times in the eight races here between 1977 and 1989. The best finish for this grid slot is fifth, ironically recorded by Mark Donohue in 1975 despite him failing to finish. In the last nine seasons, the driver starting here has retired three times.
Sixteenth on the grid has failed to finish the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 29 occasions, more than any other grid slot. Between 1987 and 2002, the driver starting here reached the end of the race on only three occasions. Felipe Nasr failed to even start the race here in 2015 with gearbox issues, Kevin Magnussen retired three laps from the end in 2016, Carlos Sainz was eliminated after a collision with Romain Grosjean in 2018 and Kevin Magnussen retired in 2019. At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020, Daniil Kvyat became the first driver to score from sixteenth on the grid at Silverstone since Fernando Alonso in 2014.
In 2019, Daniil Kvyat became only the fifth driver to have scored starting from seventeenth at Silverstone. Fernando Alonso finished tenth in 2015, but those are the only two occasions in the last 29 years that the driver starting here has finished in a points-paying position. Between 1998 and 2002, the grid slot also scored top ten finishes four times, but in the lower regions of the top ten, before the positions offered points. At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020, Kevin Magnussen became the first driver to retire from this position at Silverstone since 2011.
In the last 36 races at Silverstone – since 1985 – Jaime Alguersuari’s tenth place in 2011 is the only time that the driver starting from eighteenth has picked up a point. The only finish which bettered that in the time-frame was Mika Salo’s eighth place finish in 2000, before the place gave any points. This grid position has had four non-finishes in the last ten Silverstone races.
The driver starting nineteenth has had fewer top ten finishes than drivers starting from any other grid slot in the top twenty. The grid position has supplied only two top ten finishes, with Daniel Ricciardo’s fifth place in 2017 being the best result for a driver starting here, and the first top six finish since Luigi Villoresi finished sixth in 1956.
In Silverstone’s 55-race tenure on the F1 calendar, the driver starting twentieth has scored only twice. Reg Parnell finished fifth in 1951, while Giancarlo Fisichella came home sixth in 2004. In the last seven races at Silverstone that a driver has started from twentieth, they have retired three times. In total, there have been fourteen top ten finishes from this grid slot – more than from eighteenth or nineteenth.
Four starts have been made from the pit lane at Silverstone, including three in 2018. No points have been scored from a pit lane start here, and two pit lane starts have resulted in retirements.
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.