No driver has won at Silverstone from outside the top seven on the grid, and the polesitter has won only one of the last five 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
- 16th has scored at the last two 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 only one of the last five F1 races at the track. Historically, the pole to win conversion rate is under 40% at Silverstone, with only 20 of the 56 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 28 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 22 Silverstone races. Since 2001, Nico Rosberg’s DNF in 2014 with gearbox issues and Max Verstappen’s first lap crash in 2021 are the only times 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 has won three of the last five races at Silverstone – in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Second on the grid has scored on more occasions than the polesitter (41 times) and has had more podiums than the polesitter (34). 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 21 Silverstone races, there has been just one retirement from third on the grid at Silverstone. That was for Sebastian Vettel in 2013. 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. The driver starting fourth has finished on the podium at all of the last three Silverstone races – including victory for Max Verstappen at 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.
No driver has finished on the podium from fifth on the grid since 2010. Since then, the grid slot has supplied two DNFs and nine points-scoring races. Fourth places for Felipe Massa in 2012, Pierre Gasly in 2019 and Lando Norris in 2021 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 46 years, no victory at Silverstone has come from further back than sixth on the grid. The only win from outside the top five on the grid since 1975 came in 2014, when Lewis Hamilton started from sixth. In the eight 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 23 years – Ralf Schumacher in 2007 and Robert Kubica in 2010.
2020 was the first season in which the driver starting seventh did not score at Silverstone since 2014. In the last fourteen 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 24 non-finishes in total. Three of those have been in the past seven years, with Sebastian Vettel becoming the grid slot’s latest retiree in 2021. The position last supplied a podium finish in 2014 for Daniel Ricciardo. It was the fourth podium to be recorded from eighth on the grid at Silverstone.
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 nine 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.
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 five races at Silverstone.
In the last eight Silverstone races, the driver starting eleventh has scored four times, finished outside the points twice, 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 five 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 seven 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.
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 recorded nine 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. In the last two Silverstone races, the driver starting fourteenth has finished eighth.
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.
The driver starting sixteenth has scored in the last two Silverstone races, with tenth place finishes for Daniil Kvyat at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and for Yuki Tsunoda at the 2021 British Grand Prix. This grid slot 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.
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 30 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.
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 56-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 total, there have been fourteen top ten finishes from this grid slot – more than from eighteenth or nineteenth.
Five 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. 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 and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.