Five grid slots have previously won at Marina Bay Street Circuit, while sixth is the only one yet to record a retirement. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at the Singapore Grand Prix!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- Polesitter has won all but 5 races
- 6th has never retired
- 7th has scored once in last four races
- All top 8 grid slots have finished on podium
- 19th and 20th never scored
|Grid||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last DNF||Best Finish||Points %|
With the polesitter having won eight of the 13 Singapore Grands Prix held at the Marina Bay Circuit, it seems that it really does pay to be on pole here!
Lewis Hamilton’s retirement in 2012 and Sebastian Vettel’s first lap collision in 2017 are the only times that the polesitter has failed to finish the race here. Felipe Massa and Charles Leclerc are the only other Singapore polesitters to fail to win. Leclerc has failed to win from pole twice – in 2019 and 2022, finishing as runner-up twice. Despite being in control for the opening laps of the race in 2008, a pit-stop incident for Massa in which the Brazilian dragged the fuel hose down the pit-lane saw him finish the race in a lowly 13th place.
Strangely, the two years where the polesitter has retired are also the only two years where the driver starting from second on the grid has also failed to finish. In 2022, Sergio Perez became the first driver to start second and win the Singapore Grand Prix.
There have been a further five podium finishes from this grid slot. In addition to its two non-finishes, Nico Rosberg had to start from the pit lane after being scheduled to start from second in 2014. Every time the driver starting here has finished the race, they have scored.
In 2022, Lewis Hamilton finished only ninth having started third on the grid. It ended a streak of six consecutive Singapore Grands Prix in which the driver starting third finished in the top three.
Sebastian Vettel won from this grid slot in both 2012 and 2019. This grid slot has only one less podium finish than pole. As with all the top three grid slots, the driver starting third has failed to finish the race on two occasions.
The driver starting fourth has finished on the podium in each of the last two Singapore Grands Prix. In total, this grid position has finished on the podium four times in total, with a best result of second – in 2012 and 2014.
There have been three retirements from fourth on the grid, in 2009, 2013 and 2017. Robert Kubica’s 11th place finish in 2008 is the only other time that the driver starting here has failed to score.
Fifth on the grid has supplied points in the second-most Singapore Grands Prix, with the driver starting here only failing to score three times. The grid slot has given four podium finishes, including Lewis Hamilton’s 2017 win.
Hamilton is also one of only two drivers to have retired from this grid slot; his race ended prematurely in 2015 due to power unit issues. Fernando Alonso also retired having started fifth in 2022. Other than the two retirements, Heikki Kovalainen’s tenth place finish in 2008 is the only other time this grid slot has failed to pick up points.
Grid slot number six is the only position in the top 20 to have never retired at the Singapore Grand Prix. The position has given two podium finishes: a second place for Timo Glock in 2009, and third for Valtteri Bottas in 2017.
Sixth on the grid has scored points in all but one Singapore Grand Prix. The time it failed to do so was in 2016, when Carlos Sainz finished 14th having started from here, while Felipe Massa’s ninth place finish in 2011 is the only other time a driver starting here has lost positions during the race.
In 2022, Pierre Gasly became the first driver to score from seventh on the grid since 2016. The grid slot has had one podium finish, with second place for Fernando Alonso in 2013. The only retirement from this position so far was for Nico Hulkenberg in 2017.
The driver starting from eighth has retired from two of the last five Singapore Grands Prix. While Nico Rosberg finished as runner-up from this grid slot in 2008, such fortune hasn’t come this position’s way since, with seventh being its second-best result.
The driver starting here finished seventh in four of the five races here between 2009 and 2013, but since then the position has scored only three times.
The driver starting ninth has scored more often than not at the Singapore Grand Prix – but have been more retirements from this grid slot than from any other in top nine, with four non-finishes in total. The best result from here is sixth, recorded by Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello in the first two races at the circuit.
The driver starting tenth at the Singapore Grand Prix has scored in less than half of the 14 Marina Bay races so far. In 2017, Carlos Sainz recorded the best ever result from this grid slot with fourth place. There have been four retirements from this grid slot – the most recent being for Yuki Tsunoda in 2022.
11th on the grid has supplied points finishes in all of the last four Singapore Grands Prix. The best result from here is fifth, recorded by Jenson Button in 2009. There have been three retirements from 11th on the grid. In addition, Jaime Alguersuari was due to line up eleventh on the grid in 2010, but started from the pit lane following a coolant leak before the race.
In the last seven races at Marina Bay Street Circuit, the driver starting 12th at the Singapore Grand Prix has retired three times, scored three times and finished outside the points once. Those three points-scoring appearances include a best finish of fifth for Sergio Perez in 2017.
13th is one of only two positions outside of the top eight to have scored a podium finish at the Singapore Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen finished third having started here in 2013. Between 2012 and 2015 the driver lining up 13th never failed to score. Since then, Charles Leclerc’s ninth place in 2018 and Sebastian Vettel’s eighth place in 2022 are the only times that this grid slot has scored points. There have been three retirements from this grid slot; two in the first two races here and one for Daniil Kvyat in 2017.
The driver starting 14th has not scored in the Singapore Grand Prix since 2017. In total, 14th on the grid has finished in the top ten on five occasions at Marina Bay Circuit, with a best result of seventh for Timo Glock in the first race here. There have been three retirements from fourteenth on the grid, in 2010, 2014 and 2022.
The driver starting from 15th has scored points on seven occasions – that’s the joint-most times for any grid slot outside the top eight. The furthest back win at the circuit came from this position, somewhat controversially, as Fernando Alonso took victory in the first Singapore Grand Prix.
From the six occasions where the driver starting here has failed to score, three have been DNFs (for Adrian Sutil in 2009, Jenson Button in 2015 and Sergio Pere in 2019).
The 16th grid slot had the unluckiest start to life at the Singapore Grand Prix. In all of the first five races here, the driver starting 16th failed to finish the race. While the DNF rate hasn’t been quite that high since, with only one DNF in the last eight races, the 16th grid slot has only scored points twice at Marina Bay Street Circuit. Felipe Nasr finished tenth in 2015, while Daniel Ricciardo recorded the best-ever result from 16th with a fifth place finish in 2022.
The driver starting 17th has scored points at the Singapore Grand Prix twice. In 2010, Nico Hulkenberg finished tenth, while the 2016 race resulted in an eighth place finish for Sergio Perez.
Retirements from this grid slot are rare, with Adrian Sutil’s DNF in 2014 and Esteban Ocon’s 2022 retirement being the only times so far that the driver starting here has failed to see the chequered flag.
The last two Singapore Grands Prix have resulted in retirements for the driver starting 18th. Lance Stroll’s eighth place in 2017 is the only time so far that the driver starting 18th at the Singapore Grand Prix has scored points. All of the first three races here resulted in retirements from 18th on the grid.
19th on the grid at the Singapore Grand Prix has never resulted in a points-scoring finish. The best result from this position is Pascal Wehrlein’s 12th place for Sauber in 2017, though he finished last of the finishers on that day. ]
In more positive news for the driver starting from 19th, the position has only failed to finish the race twice. One of those times was all the way back in the first race at the track, in which Adrian Sutil crashed his Force India. The second retirement from this grid slot came in 2022, when Nicholas Latifi crashed out.
Just like 19th, the driver starting 20th is yet to score a point at the Singapore Grand Prix. Also just like the last grid slot, the best finish from here is also a twelfth place finish, for Timo Glock in 2012.
While there have been three DNFs from this slot, there have also been two occasions that the driver due to start from this position has failed to line up on the grid. Kamui Kobayashi failed to start after his Caterham came to a halt on the formation lap in 2014, while Romain Grosjean failed to even leave his garage as a result of brake problems in 2016.
The 20th grid slot was left clear in both 2008 and 2022.
There have been four pit lane starts at the Singapore Grand Prix. No one has scored points having started from the pit lane here, while Nico Rosberg in 2014 is the only driver to have failed to finish following a pit lane start at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
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.