Jul 3, 2013
Jul 3, 2013

Formula One betting: drivers' pole conversion rates

Drivers' pole conversion rate

Formula 1 betting guide

Formula One betting: drivers' pole conversion rates
Securing pole position in qualifying gives a Formula One driver the best possible chance of winning the race. But how often do the best drivers’ convert, and who is the most successfully at converting pole positions into race wins?

Pole position drivers win 49% of races

Along with understanding the positive relationship between qualifying and final race position (click here), it is worth bettors noting which drivers have the highest pole position-to-race wins conversion rate.

Eight drivers – Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen – have secured 93% (109 pole positions) of pole positions in the last seven Grand Prix seasons.

From these 109 pole positions, the drivers’ converted their starting position into a race win 52% of the time. This is slightly higher than the overall ten-year average conversion rate of 49% across 142 races.

Drivers pole conversion table

DriverRacesNumber of Pole positionsPercentage of races driver secures pole (%)Pole to win conversion (%)
Fernando Alonso 189 22 11.64% 54.55%
Felipe Massa 166 15 9.04% 53.33%
Lewis Hamilton 118 27 22.88% 40.74%
Nico Rosberg 136 4 2.94% 50%
Sebastian Vettel 109 39 35.78% 53.85%
Mark Webber 189 11 5.82% 36.36%
Jenson Button 185 8 4.32% 62.50%
Kimi Raikkonen 151 16 10.60% 37.50%

Fab Four – Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen

Statistically, the four drivers – Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen – stand out from the other four drivers in the above sample.

These drivers have secured pole on 66% (78/118 races) of occasions over the past seven seasons.

Vettel alone has secured 39 pole positions – a remarkable 36% of all Grand Prix in the past seven years. Hamilton is the next closest with 27 poles in 118 races, which means between the two drivers they have secured pole position 59% of the time since the start of the 2007 Grand Prix season.

Spaniard Alonso may have only claimed pole position seven times since 2007, but he has converted five into victories, giving him the highest pole conversion rate of any of these top four. Raikkonen follows with a 60% conversion rate, while Vettel coverts just over half of his pole positions into wins, and Hamilton manages a lowly 40%.

Winning when not on pole separates the best from the rest

With nearly half of all pole positions converted into race victories over the last decade, we also looked at the ‘fab fours’ ability to win races when not starting from pole position compared to Button, Massa, Webber and Rosberg.

Hamilton and co. individually won 11.08% of the time when not starting on pole position, compared to just 2.64% for the rest – a huge decrease.


Intriguingly only slightly behind Vettel, Raikkonen has the 2nd highest average (11.11%) of race wins when not starting on pole. This may be reflective to the fewer number of pole positions (10.60%) he has secured compared to others.

All of the ‘fab four’ win on average more than 10.5% of their races when not starting from pole position, while the other four drivers are considerably lower – Button (5.56%), Massa (1.99%), Webber (2.25%) and Rosberg (0.76%).

Research is a Formula One bettors best friend

Looking at drivers’ pole conversion rates is not, on its own, sufficient enough to create an edge over the bookmaker. To be profitable in Formula One betting statistics should be gathered for track familiarity, weather, race strategy, tyre issues, car reliability and racing incidents, all of which would affect the likelihood of converting pole positions.

You will then be in a stronger position to make an informed decision about Formula One race winners.

Learn more about Formula 1 betting strategy

Betting Resources - Empowering your betting

Pinnacle’s Betting Resources is one of the most comprehensive collections of expert betting advice anywhere online. Catering to all experience levels our aim is simply to empower bettors to become more knowledgeable.