Who would have won the ‘FIA pole award’ 1950-2013

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2013The FIA has proposed giving a special award to the driver who sets the most pole positions during a grand prix season.

An award is already presented to the driver who achieves the most fastest laps during races and this year it was won by Sebastian Vettel (pictured).

For obvious reasons, the driver who sets the most pole positions in a season has often been the driver who went on to win the world championship. But as the table below shows there are some interesting exceptions.

In 1968 Chris Amon’s three pole positions for Ferrari would have been enough to give him the award. But the famously luckless Amon never won a race in his career. He came close that year at Brands Hatch, finishing second to Jo Siffert, but he ended that year tenth in the points standings.

Other drivers who did not win a world championship but did set the most pole positions in a season include Stirling Moss, Jacky Ickx, Ronnie Peterson, Rene Arnoux and – most recently – Patrick Tambay in 1983.

On the other side of the coins world champions such as Kimi Raikkonen and Keke Rosberg have never set the most pole positions in a season.

Here’s a look at who would have won the FIA’s proposed pole position trophy had it been introduced when the world championship begain in 1950.

Most pole positions per season: 1950-2013

Year Most poles Poles Races % Notes
1950 Juan Manuel Fangio 4 7 57.14%
1951 Juan Manuel Fangio 4 8 50.00%
1952 Alberto Ascari 5 8 62.50%
1953 Alberto Ascari 6 9 66.67%
1954 Juan Manuel Fangio 5 9 55.56%
1955 Juan Manuel Fangio 3 7 42.86%
1956 Juan Manuel Fangio 6 8 75.00%
1957 Juan Manuel Fangio 4 8 50.00%
1958 Mike Hawthorn 4 11 36.36%
1959 Stirling Moss 4 9 44.44%
1960 Stirling Moss 4 10 40.00%
1961 Phil Hill 5 8 62.50%
1962 Jim Clark 6 9 66.67%
1963 Jim Clark 7 10 70.00%
1964 Jim Clark 5 10 50.00%
1965 Jim Clark 6 10 60.00%
1966 Jack Brabham 3 9 33.33%
1967 Jim Clark 6 11 54.55%
1968 Chris Amon 3 12 25.00%
1969 Jochen Rindt 5 11 45.45%
1970 Jackie Stewart 4 13 30.77% Same number of poles as Jacky Ickx but more second places.
1971 Jackie Stewart 6 11 54.55%
1972 Jacky Ickx 4 12 33.33%
1973 Ronnie Peterson 9 15 60.00%
1974 Niki Lauda 9 15 60.00%
1975 Niki Lauda 9 14 64.29%
1976 James Hunt 8 16 50.00%
1977 Mario Andretti 7 17 41.18%
1978 Mario Andretti 8 16 50.00%
1979 Jean-Pierre Jabouille 4 15 26.67% Same number of poles as Jacques Laffite but more second places.
1980 Rene Arnoux 3 14 21.43% Same number of poles as Nelson Piquet but more second places.
1981 Rene Arnoux 4 15 26.67% Same number of poles as Alan Jones but more second places.
1982 Alain Prost 5 16 31.25% Same number of poles, seconds and thirds as Rene Arnoux, but more fourths.
1983 Patrick Tambay 4 15 26.67% Same number of poles and seconds as Rene Arnoux, but more thirds.
1984 Nelson Piquet 9 16 56.25%
1985 Ayrton Senna 7 16 43.75%
1986 Ayrton Senna 8 16 50.00%
1987 Nigel Mansell 8 16 50.00%
1988 Ayrton Senna 13 16 81.25%
1989 Ayrton Senna 13 16 81.25%
1990 Ayrton Senna 10 16 62.50%
1991 Ayrton Senna 8 16 50.00%
1992 Nigel Mansell 14 16 87.50%
1993 Alain Prost 13 16 81.25%
1994 Michael Schumacher 6 16 37.50%
1995 Damon Hill 7 17 41.18%
1996 Damon Hill 9 16 56.25%
1997 Jacques Villeneuve 10 17 58.82%
1998 Mika Hakkinen 9 16 56.25%
1999 Mika Hakkinen 11 16 68.75%
2000 Michael Schumacher 9 17 52.94%
2001 Michael Schumacher 11 17 64.71%
2002 Michael Schumacher 7 17 41.18% Same number of poles as Juan Pablo Montoya but more second places.
2003 Michael Schumacher 5 16 31.25%
2004 Michael Schumacher 8 18 44.44%
2005 Fernando Alonso 6 19 31.58%
2006 Fernando Alonso 6 18 33.33%
2007 Lewis Hamilton 6 17 35.29% Same number of poles as Felipe Massa but more second places.
2008 Lewis Hamilton 7 18 38.89%
2009 Sebastian Vettel 4 17 23.53% Same number of poles as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button but more second places.
2010 Sebastian Vettel 10 19 52.63%
2011 Sebastian Vettel 15 19 78.95%
2012 Lewis Hamilton 7 20 35.00%
2013 Sebastian Vettel 9 19 47.37%

NB. Where two drivers had the same number of pole positions the number of second places has been used as a tie breaker, and so on.

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67 comments on Who would have won the ‘FIA pole award’ 1950-2013

  1. All this will mean is another trophy to hand out, I can’t see fans being that bothered and the drivers main priority will still be the championship then race wins, other achievements are nice but not the main objective.

    I don’t think this will change anything, drivers will still try as hard to get pole because it gives them the best chance in the race. If there was such a scenario whereby a driver could choose between a pole and winning this trophy or the race win I don’t think anyone would turn down the win.

    To be honest I wasn’t even aware that there was already an award for the most fastest laps achieved and not for the most poles in a season, I can’t recall it being mentioned during coverage at all.

  2. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 30th November 2013, 2:36

    It’s great to see Chris Amon there. He was on the front row for most of that season as well, so it’s not like he lucked in for 3 poles in an year with multiple pole sitters.

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