Max Verstappen won from seven different grid slots during the 2022 season alone. But who holds the record for the most grid positions from which a driver has won? We have the answer!
Who holds the record for most grid slots won from?
Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen share the record for the most different grid slots from which a driver has taken victory in their Formula 1 career. Their wins to date have come from nine different grid positions each.
14 of Alonso’s Grand Prix wins have been taken from pole position. Third is the next most common grid slot from which the Spaniard has won, having taken six wins when starting there. Meanwhile, second is the only other grid slot from which he has taken more than two wins.
Alonso has won from all of the top six grid slots, with his other wins coming from 8th (at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix), 11th (at the 2012 European Grand Prix) and 15th on the grid. Alonso’s furthest back victory, from 15th on the grid, came under controversial circumstances in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, a race in which Alonso’s team-mate Nelson Piquet Jnr was instructed to crash in order to aid the Renault team to victory.
Meanwhile, Verstappen has also won from nine different grid slots so far. As well as wins from all of the top four positions, Verstappen has taken single victories from 6th (at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix), 7th (at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix), 9th (at the 2023 Miami Grand Prix), 10th (at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix) and 14th (at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix).
Most different grid slots won from in Formula 1
Behind Alonso and Verstappen, there are six drivers who’ve won from eight different grid slots. Impressively, David Coulthard took wins from eight different grid positions despite winning only 13 Grands Prix in his career. The other drivers to have won from eight different grid positions are all World Champions. Seven-time champions Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are among those to have won from eight positions, as are Kimi Raikkonen, Nelson Piquet and Niki Lauda.
Of the current grid, Lewis Hamilton is closest to equalling Alonso and Verstappen at the top of the list. Hamilton has won from eight grid slots so far. He has recorded at least one win from all of the top six grid slots, plus a single win from 10th on the grid (at the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix) and from 14th on the grid (at the 2018 German Grand Prix).
Which team has won from the most different grid slots?
Having been in the sport almost since its inception, it’s no surprise that Ferrari are the team to have won from the most different grid slots in Formula 1. After Carlos Sainz’s victory in the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari have taken 243 wins. Those wins have come from 14 different grid slots. Ferrari drivers have won from all of the top 13 positions, while their furthest back win came at the 2000 German Grand Prix, when Rubens Barrichello won from 18th on the grid.
McLaren and Red Bull are the only other teams to have won from as many as ten different grid slots. McLaren have taken victory from 13 different positions – including 22nd for John Watson at the 1983 United States Grand Prix West, which remains the record for the furthest back grid position from which an F1 race has ever been won.
Red Bull became the third team to have won from ten different grid positions at the 2023 Miami Grand Prix. In that race, Max Verstappen became the first driver to win from ninth on the grid since Niki Lauda at the 1984 Dutch Grand Prix 39 years previously.
In which season were the most different grid slots won from?
The 1982 Formula 1 season holds the record for the year in which the most different grid slots recorded a Grand Prix victory. Ten different grid slots were won from that year. A win was taken from each of the top ten positions, except ninth, while John Watson won the 1982 Detroit Grand Prix from 17th on the grid. Strangely, in this season, the most victories were not recorded from either of the front row grid slots, but rather 4th and 5th, which took three wins each.
The 1975 season is the only other one in which as many as nine different grid slots took a victory. In all of the last three seasons (2020, 2021 and 2022), seven different grid positions have recorded a Grand Prix win.
In which seasons were the fewest different grid slots won from?
There have been eight Formula 1 seasons in which wins have been recorded from only three grid positions. Only six of those seasons (1965, 1988, 1994, 1998, 2007 and 2019) have seen wins taken exclusively from the top three grid slots.
Who won the most races without winning from pole position?
Denny Hulme and John Watson are the only drivers to have taken five or more F1 wins without ever winning from pole position.
Watson won only five times in his career, taking each win from a different grid position. For almost 40 years (almost to the exact day!) Watson was the only driver to have taken his first five Grand Prix victories from five different grid slots. He was joined in that club by Sergio Perez at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.