Posted 1 years ago

Auto Racing General

Pole Position in Formula 1

Pole Position in Formula 1
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While Ferrari has started eight of its fourteen races in 2022, from the pole position (i.e., the leading position), it has won only three of these. What, then, is the connection between starting at the pole position, and performance at the Formula 1?

 Since 2003, half of the winners in F1 races, have started at this position, with some dependance on the circuit and driver in question. The driver who starts at this position on a race on Sunday, is decided at a qualifying race on Saturday. For the past 19 seasons, 51% of the races have been won by the drivers who started at the pole position, and 24% of races were won by those who started second. Thus, about three-quarters of race winners have typically started at the pole or second position.

 However, this trend depends on the various circuits, with the leading driver winning the race,being less probably in 14 of F1’s 37 circuits. Moreover, some drivers can move through the back of the starting order, up to a victory. Notable among these is Fernando Alonso, who has won almost half his races while starting at position three or below. Max Verstappen also defies the trend, with three wins out of every five, since 2003, starting at positions other than the pole. Similarly, both Kimi Raikonnen and Jenson Button have won a larger number of races, with starting positions behind the pole.

 Finally, many wins starting at the pole position, are also aided by superior race cars, such as those driven by Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. With the extra edge that these cars lend, it is challenging to defeat the driver starting at the pole position.

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