F1: Most pole positions of all-time
Formula One is the premier single-seater automobile racing event in the world. The first F1 season was held in 1950 and all 6 races in the inaugural season were held in Europe. Italian Giuseppe Farina of Alfa Romeo team was the first ever Drivers' Champion. Of the 993 races held till the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix, 415 of them have been won by drivers who qualified to start in pole yielding an impressive conversion rate of 42% underscoring the importance of qualifying in the top row. In the early days, every driver was given only a single lap to set the qualifying time.
Today the qualifying rounds are divided into Q1, Q2 and Q3 each timed for 18, 15 and 12 minutes respectively. 5 slowest drivers out of 20 are eliminated in Q1 and 5 slowest drivers are again eliminated in Q2 leaving 10 drivers to battle it out for pole position in Q3. Of the 993 races held so far, 98 drivers have taken pole position. We take a look at 5 drivers with the most pole position starts :
#5 Alain Prost
Frenchman Alain Prost made his F1 debut in 1980 racing for McLaren. In a storied 13 year career, he would also drive for Renault, Scuderia Ferrari and Williams. His on-track duels with Brazilian Ayrton Senna is well-documented in the annals of motorsport history. After 4 barren seasons, Prost won the Drivers' Championship in 1985 and 1986. He won two more Championships in 1989 and 1993. In 202 starts, he took pole on 33 occasions.
=5 Jim Clark
Double world champion, Scotsman Jim Clark was one of the greatest talents that Formula 1 ever produced. Jim was fatally killed in a tragic racing accident at the Hockenheimring Circuit in 1968 but his legacy lives on in the hearts of Motorsports fans across the globe. Jim Clark who also won the Indy 500 race had a remarkable pole conversion rate of 45%. He started on pole position in 33 of 73 races that he took part in.