6 Top F1 Qualifiers

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Putting your car on the front row, P1, has never been harder in Formula One than today, but it’s always been a difficult undertaking. Here are the best qualifiers of all time, including a current driver who is vaulting rapidly into statistical history.
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Mercedes W05

Six Top Formula One Qualifiers
Rank Driver Poles-Races Percent
1 mapJuan Manuel Fangio 28-51 54.90%
2 mapJim Clark 33-72 45.83%
3 mapAyrton Senna 65-161 40.37%
4 mapSebastian Vettel 45-139 32.37%
5 mapLewis Hamilton 38-148 25.67%
6 mapStirling Moss 16-66 24.24%
Whether the format is one hour free-for-all sessions, single-lap or “knock out” qualifying, the art of posting the quickest lap of the entire Grand Prix field at just the right time is subtle and mysterious. Some of the greatest drivers in history, like Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, are well down the stat lists for the proportion of their races starting from pole. Michael Schumacher would be on the list if the grim numbers from his unsuccessful “comeback” seasons with Mercedes GP are excluded, and will Seb Vettel top them all, despite his recent difficulties?