Only three of the last eight Hungarian Grands Prix have been won from pole position. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at the Hungaroring!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Only three wins from pole in last eight years
- One retirement from 3rd in last 26 years
- Furthest back win from 14th
- 19th and 20th have never scored
|Grid Slot||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last Non Finish||Best Result||Point Scoring %|
In the last eight races at the Hungaroring, the polesitter has won only three times. The pole to win conversion rate here is under 50%, with the polesitter winning sixteen of the 36 races held at the track since F1 first visited in 1986. The polesitter has recorded only six DNFs at the Hungaroring, with Fernando Alonso’s 2009 retirement, in which he lost a wheel after a botched pit-stop, being the last time the polesitter failed to finish a race here. In every year where the polesitter has finished the Hungarian Grand Prix, they have scored points, aside from Alain Prost in 1993 who finished seven laps down on the leader. However, in this race, Prost did not actually start from pole. He stalled on the formation lap and started from the back of the pack. The de facto polesitter Damon Hill went on to win the event, taking his first Grand Prix victory.
Second on the grid has scored points on more occasions than any other grid slot at the Hungarian Grand Prix. From the 36 races here, the driver starting second has scored 31 times. There have been just five point-less occasions for the driver starting from second on the grid, all five being DNFs. The drivers to have retired from this grid slot are Gerhard Berger in 1987, Nigel Mansell in 1989 (who retired because he was ill with chickenpox. Yes, really.), Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005, Sebastian Vettel in 2009 and Valtteri Bottas in 2021.
Lance Stroll’s fourth place finish in the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix brought to an end a streak of five consecutive podium finishes from third on the grid. The grid slot won twice in that time, with victories for Sebastian Vettel in 2015 and Lewis Hamilton in 2019. There have been only five occasions in the last twelve races where the driver starting here has failed to secure a top three finish. The last DNF from the grid slot came back in 2008 – the longest active finishing streak for any grid slot at the circuit. Felipe Massa’s retirement in 2008 – when he looked set for a win – is the only DNF from third on the grid at the Hungaroring in the last 26 years.
In the last 22 years, there have been only two retirements from fourth on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Those were for Nico Rosberg in 2013 and Sergio Perez in 2021. Juan Pablo Montoya’s eleventh place in 2002 is the only other time that a driver has failed to score from here in that time period. Since 2005, there have been three wins from fourth on the grid at the Hungaroring – in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Fifth on the grid has suffered more DNFs than any other grid slot in the top ten. Having failed to finish on thirteen occasions, the position has also scored at the least number of Hungarian Grands Prix from any of the top six slots. While it has had more retirements than any other position in the top ten, only five of those instances have been in the last 23 races at the track. Though that’s still more than any other slot in the top ten during that period, the last DNF from fifth on the grid came back in 2015 when Kimi Raikkonen retired with engine troubles. In 2019, Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to take a podium finish from fifth on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix since 2014.
The driver starting sixth finished sixth in both the 2018 and 2019 Hungarian Grands Prix and has not scored since. This grid slot has never won, but has recorded six podium finishes. The driver starting here has failed to score only four times in the last eleven seasons – including Charles Leclerc’s eleventh position in 2020 and Lando Norris’ retirement in 2021.
Seventh on the grid has recorded five podium finishes in Hungary, all five being second place finishes. The most recent was for Max Verstappen in 2020. In the past fifteen seasons, the driver starting here has failed to score only twice – both times being retirements, for Verstappen in 2018 and Charles Leclerc in 2021.
In 2021, Esteban Ocon became the first driver to win from eighth on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix. It was only the fourth time in the last twelve years that the driver starting from eighth on the grid at the Hungaroring scored points. From the 36 races here in total, eighth on the grid has resulted in points finishes on only eleven occasions. Five of those occasions have been fifth place finishes – for Johnny Dumfries in 1986, Maurício Gugelmin in 1988, Rubens Barrichello in 1999, Jenson Button in 2005 and Carlos Sainz in 2019.
From the past fourteen seasons the driver starting ninth has failed to score on only three occasions. All three of those occasions were retirements, while five of the top ten finishes have been seventh places. The grid slot has had one podium finish, a third place for Nelson Piquet in 1990. Since then its best result is fourth, most recently recorded by Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso in 2015 and Fernando Alonso with Alpine in 2021.
The tenth grid slot’s fifteen-race streak of finishes at the Hungaroring came to an end in 2020 with Pierre Gasly retiring from the race. Before that, it was the grid slot which had gone the longest without a DNF at the track, with Kimi Raikkonen being the last driver to have started from here and retired back in 2004. The grid slot has given two podium finishes, for Johnny Herbert in 1997 and for Nick Heidfeld in 2006, who both finished third. Sebastian Vettel would have recorded the grid slot’s best ever result in 2021 with second place, but he was disqualified from the event for failing to supply a sufficient fuel sample.
Eleventh is one of only two grid slots in the top twelve to have never recorded a podium finish. The best result from here is fourth place, recorded by Kimi Raikkonen in 2002. The grid slot has scored more often than not in the last sixteen years, including in three of the last five years. Between 1990 and 1997, the driver starting here either retired or finished fifth.
Twelfth is one of only two grid slots outside of the top ten to have won the Hungarian Grand Prix. A single victory has come from twelfth, and that was for Nigel Mansell back in 1989. Though the driver starting here has recorded four DNFs in the last eight seasons, the driver lining up twelfth on the grid scored in two of the last four seasons, including with a fourth place finish for Daniel Ricciardo in 2018.
In 2020, Alex Albon equalled the best ever Hungarian Grand Prix result for a driver starting thirteenth by finishing fifth. Martin Brundle also finished fifth for Ligier in 1993. Until 2019, if the driver starting from thirteenth on the grid had finished the race, they had always finished in a position higher than where they started from – but Daniil Kvyat could finish only fifteenth in 2019. In the last thirteen Hungarian races, the driver starting thirteenth on the grid at the Hungaroring has scored on five occasions. The grid slot does have quite a high retirement rate. Its current streak of six finishes is the longest streak that it has had without a retirement.
Jenson Button won the Hungarian Grand Prix from fourteenth on the grid in 2006, making it the furthest back grid slot to have won at the Hungaroring. Since then, Kimi Raikkonen’s sixth place in 2016 is the only time that the driver starting here has scored, while Ralf Schumacher’s fifth place in 1997 is its only other points-scoring occasion. The grid slot was left clear for the first time in 2021, as Antonio Giovinazzi opted to change his tyres at the end of the formation lap.
The driver starting fifteenth has scored only three times at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz recorded the first podium finish from this position in 2021, with third place. Other points scoring races for the driver starting here came in 2013 and 2015 when Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso finished tenth and fifth respectively. This position has had more non-finishes than any other position in the top sixteen. In the first 22 races at the Hungaroring, the driver starting here finished on only seven occasions. Since then it has recorded only two retirements.
Sixteenth on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix has provided more top ten finishes than any of the grid slots around it. The best result from here is fourth place for Mika Hakkinen in 1992. It has scored three times in the last eight seasons. most recently with Yuki Tsunoda finishing sixth in 2021. The grid slot was left clear for the first time in 2020 as Kevin Magnussen, who was due to start here, opted to start from the pit lane.
The seventeenth grid slot has had more non-finishes at the Hungarian Grand Prix than any other, with eighteen non-finishes in total. While no one has retired from here in all of the last seven seasons, in the fifteen races before that, the driver starting seventeenth crossed the finish line only three times. The position has scored only twice in the last 26 years. Marcus Ericsson became the first driver since 1993 to score points having started seventeenth, when he finished tenth for Sauber in 2015, while George Russell finished eighth in 2021.
Nicholas Latifi finished seventh having started eighteenth at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. He became the first driver to score points having started here and equalled the grid slot’s best-ever Hungaroring result. Martin Donnelly finished seventh from eighteenth on the grid in 1990. Ricardo Rosset’s eighth place in 1996 was the last top ten finish for a driver starting here until Latifi in 2021. In the last fifteen seasons, the driver starting here has failed to finish only twice. The grid slot was left clear for the first time in 2020 as Romain Grosjean, who was due to start here, opted to start from the pit lane.
Satoru Nakajima’s seventh place from nineteenth on the grid back in 1988 is the best result for the driver starting nineteenth at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Since then, the position has recorded only three more top ten finishes, but it has never resulted in a points finish.
Twentieth on the grid has never scored at the Hungaroring, and the grid slot has had only two top ten finishes. Michele Alboreto finished seventh from twentieth on the grid in 1994, while Ukyo Katayama finished tenth in 1997. There have been positions lower than this on the grid which have supplied points, however. The driver starting 23rd scored in both 2010 and 2011. Since 2005, there have been only two retirements from this grid slot.
Six starts have been made from the pit lane at the Hungarian Grand Prix. No one has retired having started from the pit lane and two pit lane starts have resulted in points. Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium after suffering a fire on his car in qualifying in 2014, while Kevin Magnussen finished tenth having started from the pits in 2020.
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.