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British Grand Prix: Where the stats don’t support a winner from pole position…sorry Lewis

by Rob Dore | June 29, 2013


Home hopes will be high after Lewis Hamilton put in a superb lap late in qualifying to take pole by almost half a second from his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. The British driver won on this track back in 2008 and if he is to keep his slim title hopes alive he’ll need to repeat that feat. Starting on pole he should have a big advantage but the statistics suggest otherwise.

Despite starting on the second row of the grid, Sebastien Vettel remains the favourite to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this Sunday and with good reason. Not only has he been the best driver in the best car this season but the British Grand Prix, fittingly, has developed a penchant for the underdogs. Though it was not always so.

In the post-WWII era,  14 of the first 20 British GP races were won from pole.

That’s a 70% strike rate for the fastest qualifier.

Since 1968 only 11 of  45 British GP races have been won from pole position.

A mere 24% success rate for the man on pole.

Four of last fifteen British GP races have been won from fourth position.

This is more than have been one from pole position over the same period. Three of fifteen. Which could mean Paul di Resta, who qualified in fifth, has a better chance of winning than Hamilton. At 50/1 he could be worth an each-way punt.


31.34% of all British GPs have been won by British drivers.

With Jenson Button admitting it would take a “miracle” for him to get his McClaren on to the podium the home hopes rest with Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta

Only one British winner in the last 12 years.

This was of course Lewis Hamilton in 2008. Ross Brawn suggested that Hamilton’s pole winning effort was his best lap of what has been a less than satisfactory 2013 season. If the car can stay healthy and Hamilton maintains his focus then he could win this race from pole position.

Let’s not forget Mark Webber either. The Australian announced his intention to retire from Formula One at the end of the season. With the pressure off he’s primed to put in some good performances between now and the Brazilian Grand Prix in December. He’s won two of the last three races at Silverstone and on neither occasion did he start from pole. He’s the 7/1 third favourite but with team-orders unlikely to mean too much to him now, we may see him going all out for the win.

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