Until 2020, no Turkish Grand Prix had been won from outside the front row of the grid – and no podiums had been taken from outside the top five grid slots. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at Istanbul Park!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- One win away from front row
- 1st and 4th never failed to score
- Furthest back podium finish from eleventh
- Four grid slots have failed to score
- Six grid slots yet to record DNFs
|GRID SLOT||LAST WIN||LAST PODIUM||LAST POINTS||LAST DNF||BEST FINISH||POINTS %|
The polesitter at the Turkish Grand Prix has never failed to score at the event. Five of the eight previous races at Istanbul Park have been won from pole, while in 2009 and 2010, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber respectively finished in third place with Red Bull. In 2020, Lance Stroll became the first Turkish Grand Prix polesitter who failed to finish on the podium. Stroll finished only ninth in the race.
The driver starting second has won two of the last four Turkish Grands Prix. Jenson Button won in 2009, while Lewis Hamilton was victorious in 2010. The grid position has recorded a further two podium finishes, with third place for Michael Schumacher in 2006 and second for Mark Webber in 2011. The driver starting second has never retired, while Heikki Kovalainen’s twelfth place finish in 2008 is the only time that the grid slot has failed to score.
The driver who started third finished as runner-up in all of the first four Turkish Grands Prix. Two years of retirements followed for the driver starting here: Rubens Barrichello retired with gearbox troubles in 2009, while Sebastian Vettel retired in 2010 after colliding with his team-mate. Nico Rosberg finished fifth having started from third place in 2011, while Sergio Perez recorded the fifth second place finish from this grid slot in 2020.
There have been only three races at Istanbul Park where the driver who started fourth has failed to finish on the podium. While Lewis Hamilton finished where he started in 2011, Giancarlo Fisichella finished sixth in 2006. Alex Albon recorded this grid slot’s worst finishing position in 2020, with seventh place. The best ever result recorded from fourth on the grid is second. Mark Webber finished as runner-up having started from fourth in 2009, while Jenson Button repeated the feat in 2010.
Fifth on the grid has scored points in all but one Turkish Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso recorded the best result from fifth on the grid in the 2011 race at the circuit, finishing in third place. The driver starting here finished fourth in all of the three years before that. Like second on the grid, the driver starting here has never retired and has only failed to score once. Nick Heidfeld finished only fourteenth in 2006.
Until 2020, sixth was the highest grid slot to never record a podium finish at the Turkish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton changed that though, winning the 2020 event from sixth on the grid. It’s the only time that the race has not been won from the front row of the grid. The previous best result recorded from sixth on the grid was fourth recorded by both Jenson Button in 2006 and Nick Heidfeld in 2007. There has been only one retirement from sixth on the grid in Turkey, with Heidfeld retiring in 2005. Kimi Raikkonen is the only other driver who has failed to score from this grid slot, coming home ninth in 2009.
In the first two Turkish Grands Prix, the driver who started seventh retired. Since then, the driver starting here has failed to score only once, with Esteban Ocon coming home eleventh in 2020. In every race here between 2007 and 2010, the driver starting seventh finished the race in sixth place. In the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix, Vitaly Petrov started seventh and finished eighth.
The driver starting eighth has scored at the Turkish Grand Prix only twice. Both of those occasions were seventh place finishes, for Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa in 2007 and 2010 respectively. There have been a further two top ten finishes recorded from here, both tenth place finishes, in 2008 and 2009. Massa is the only driver to have recorded a retirement from this grid slot, in 2005.
The driver starting ninth has scored in three of the last five Turkish Grands Prix. They’re the only times that the driver starting here has scored. While Nick Heidfeld finished seventh here in the 2011 event, the best result from this grid slot is fifth. Heidfeld is one of the drivers to have finished fifth having started ninth at the Turkish Grand Prix, doing so in 2008, while Nico Rosberg followed suit in 2009.
In 2020, Antonio Giovinazzi became the first driver to record a retirement having started tenth on the grid at the Turkish Grand Prix. From the eight races at Istanbul Park, the driver starting tenth has scored on three occasions. The best result from this grid position is seventh, recorded by Robert Kubica in 2009. Aside from Giovinazzi’s retirement, two drivers have failed to finish in the top ten having started here. Christian Klien and Felipe Massa finished eleventh in 2006 and 2011 respectively.
In the Turkish Grand Prix’s first stint on the F1 calendar, there was one top five finish from eleventh on the grid. That was for Pedro de la Rosa, who finished fifth in 2006. In 2020, Sebastian Vettel finished on the podium having started here, making eleventh the furthest back grid slot from which a podium result has been recorded at Istanbul Park. Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil are the only other drivers to have scored having started here. Rosberg finished eighth in 2008, while Sutil finished ninth in 2010. No retirements have been recorded from this grid slot.
David Coulthard finished seventh having started twelfth at the first Turkish Grand Prix. Since then, only two drivers have scored from this position. Fernando Alonso finished in eighth place in 2010, while Charles Leclerc narrowly missed out on a podium finish in 2020, crossing the line in fourth.
The driver starting thirteenth has retired from the last two Istanbul Park races. In every Turkish Grand Prix which the driver starting thirteenth has finished, they have finished the race in a better position than where they started. Points have been scored from thirteenth on three occasions at Istanbul Park, with the best result being fifth place for Jenson Button in 2005.
In 2020, Lando Norris became the first driver to score from fourteenth on the grid at the Turkish Grand Prix. The McLaren driver finished in eighth place. The driver starting here has finished all but one race, with Nico Rosberg retiring in 2006.
There has been only two Turkish Grands Prix in which the driver starting fifteenth has finished in the top twelve. While Ralf Schumacher finished in seventh place in 2006, Carlos Sainz recorded this grid slot’s best result to date in 2020 with a fifth place finish. While it has a low points-scoring rate, the driver starting fifteenth has also only retired once – and that was in the first race at the track back in 2005.
In the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix, Sebastien Buemi became the first driver to score at Istanbul Park having started sixteenth. He finished the race in ninth place. There have been two retirements from this grid position: David Coulthard was out in 2006, while Kazuki Nakajima failed to finish in 2008.
The driver starting seventeenth has never scored at the Turkish Grand Prix, making it the furthest up grid slot to never score at the track. In 2020, Romain Grosjean became the first driver to retire having started seventeenth at Istanbul Park. The best finishing position from this grid slot is thirteenth. Both Robert Doornbos and Scott Speed finished thirteenth having started seventeenth in the first two races at the circuit.
The driver starting eighteenth has never scored at the Turkish Grand Prix. While there have been two retirements recorded from this position, in 2006 and 2008, the best result recorded from eighteenth on the grid is thirteenth, which was recorded by Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2010. The grid slot was left clear in 2020, as Nicholas Latifi did not leave the pit lane before it closed. He therefore started from the pit lane.
Adrian Sutil’s sixteenth place finish in 2008, Jarno Trulli’s eighteenth place finish in 2011 and Pierre Gasly’s thirteenth place in 2020 are the only times that the driver starting nineteenth has reached the chequered flag at the Turkish Grand Prix. The driver starting here has retired on no fewer than five occasions.
Twentieth on the grid has not yet scored at Istanbul Park, though there has been a top ten finish recorded from the grid slot. Takuma Sato finished ninth in the first Turkish Grand Prix in 2005. Since then, no driver starting here has finished in the top seventeen. There have been three retirements recorded from twentieth on the grid; the second most of any grid slot at the circuit. This grid slot was left empty last year, as George Russell was forced to start from the pit lane having crashed on his way to the grid.
Three drivers have started from the pit lane at Istanbul Park. Lucas di Grassi finished nineteenth having started from the pit lane in 2010. In 2020, both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi started from the pits. Russell went on to finish sixtenth, while Latifi retired.