Formula 1: Top 10 drivers with most poles without winning Driver’s Championship

These racers made their mark in a very unique way.

It’s no secret that Formula 1 is an unforgiving sport, which often leaves drivers without a championship victory despite years of dedication. Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 drivers with the most poles without winning the driver’s championship.

10. Mark Webber: 13 Poles

Mark Webber is a very well-known name in Formula 1, having competed in the sport from 2002 to 2013. However, despite his long career and 42 podiums, he never won the world championship and finished third overall in 2010, 2011 and 2013. And although some tough luck in terms of reliability issues played a role in his career, his difficult relationship with teammate Sebastian Vettel and their clashes on the track were also one of the main reasons.

9. Juan-Pablo Montoya: 13 poles

The Colombian racing driver Juan-Pablo Montoya competed in Formula 1 from 2001 to 2006, first with Williams and then with McLaren. And although he won 7 races and scored 30 podiums, he never won the world championship and finished third overall in 2002 and 2003.

One of the major reasons behind his championship drought was his fierce rivalry with teammate Ralf Schumacher and the dominance of Michael Schumacher in the early 2000s era.

8. Jacky Ickx: 13 poles

Competing from 1967 to 1979 for both Ferrari and McLaren, the Belgian racing driver Jacky Ickx finished as a runner-up in 1969 and 1970. Despite racing for dominant teams, reliability issues and tough competition from drivers like Jackie Stewart, Jochen Rindt, and Emerson Fittipaldi denied him the world championships.

7. Rubens Barrichello: 14 poles

Racing for one of the longest times on the grid, Rubens Barrichello competed in Formula 1 from 1993 to 2011. However, despite this long and illustrious career, he only managed to win 11 races and finish runners-up in the championship twice, in 2002 and 2004.

Although some reliability issues were behind his lack of a world championship, Barrichello was mostly overshadowed by competitors by the likes of Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

6. Ronnie Peterson: 14 poles

Known as “SuperSwede,” Ronnie Peterson competed from 1970 to 1978, winning ten races during his time. Although he faced tough competition with the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda, his contractual disputes with his teams like March, Lotus and Tyrell were one of the significant reasons. However, all this came to an end when he was involved in a fatal accident in the 1978 Italian GP, where he was also in contention for the title.

5. Felipe Massa: 16 poles

Felipe Massa’s F1 journey from 2002 to 2017 was marred by bad luck, notably the pit stop error in the 2008 Singapore GP, which cost him the world championship. Although the Brazilian driver secured 11 wins, an injury in 2009 affected his performance and team dynamics, preventing him from securing the title.

4. Stirling Moss: 16 poles

Considered the “greatest driver to never win the world championship,” Stirling Moss enjoyed a decade-long F1 career from 1951 to 1961. However, despite 16 race victories and four runner-up finishes in the driver’s championship between 1955 and 1958, fierce competition from drivers like Juan Manuel Fangio and Jack Brabham prevented him from claiming the title. Moreover, his loyalty to British teams also played a significant role.

3. Renè Arnoux: 18 poles

The French driver, Renè Arnoux, competed in F1 from 1978 to 1989 with Ferrari and Renault. However, despite winning seven races and taking the pole position a staggering 18 times, he never won the championship and could only finish 3rd in the 1983 season for Ferrari.

2. Charles Leclerc: 20 poles

Driving for Ferrari at the moment, Charles Leclerc’s prowess in F1 is no exception. However, despite claiming three race victories and securing 20 pole positions, the championship remains out of his grasp due to Ferrari’s inability to match Red Bull’s race pace and Max Verstappen’s dominant performances.

Also Read:

1. Valtteri Bottas: 20 poles

Lewis Hamilton’s domination in the turbo hybrid era was nothing short of extraordinary. However, for his teammate Valtteri Bottas, this meant that even after winning ten races and finishing on the podium 67 times, he never won the world championship.

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