Lewis Hamilton Has Nearly Nine Percent Of All Formula One Pole Positions Ever

Illustration for article titled Lewis Hamilton Has Nearly Nine Percent Of All Formula One Pole Positions Ever
Photo: Joao Beato (Getty Images)

It’s obvious that Lewis Hamilton is one of the best Formula One drivers who have ever competed in the sport. And having secured his 92nd pole position ahead of the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton has proved his dominance yet again by taking possession of 8.95 percent of all F1 pole positions ever.

Yep. The Spanish Grand Prix is the 1,027th F1 race. Hamilton’s 92 poles are record breaking in a lot of ways, but it’s wild to see those numbers turned into a nearly double-digits percentage.

To put it into a little perspective, Michael Schumacher’s 68 poles sits him at 6.6 percent. Juan Manuel Fangio’s 29 poles is 2.82 percent of the total poles.


Now, before you start having a go at me in the comments, stats like these are incredibly relative. F1 hosts far more races in a season now than it did in Fangio’s day. Racing was also incredibly dangerous back then, which made it difficult for a driver to rack up tons of pole positions without, y’know, dying or becoming grievously injured. Fangio also scored poles in 54.71 percent of the races he started, whereas Hamilton’s percentage is 35.93 percent.

It’s hard to compare drivers from different generations on a one-to-one basis. Cars, tracks, and drivers are wholly different from one era to the next. But there’s a reason why the best driver of an era excels, and Hamilton has what it takes in the contemporary era that prides consistent skill and near perfection in top-tier equipment.

And he’s still in his prime. There’s a good chance we not only see Hamilton hit 100 poles by the end of the 2020 season but also secure a solid 10% of all pole positions ever.

H/T to Josh Wilcock!

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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Oddest Artist

There are lots of meaningless stats in F1. This is just one of them.

It is impractical to think there is a metric that can reasonable compare drivers across different eras. Hamilton may end up being the driver with the most championships, but will that truly make him the GOAT? That’s a conversation more suited for the pub.