From Alonso to Verstappen - current F1 drivers who secured wins from low starting positions

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  • Max Verstappen's Hungarian win came after starting the race in 10th place.
  • Of the current drivers, Fernando Alonso secured victory in 2008 after starting the Singapore GP in 15th place.
  • Other winners on the current grid include Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc.

The 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix was Ferrari's for the win, but old habits reared their heads, and the victory went to Red Bull's Max Verstappen. But what was more impressive about the Dutchman's success was that he claimed it after starting in tenth place.

The Hungaroring is notorious for not allowing overtakes, yet Verstappen managed to get the job done through brilliant driving and the Einstein-like mind of principal strategy engineer Hannah Schmitz. The win also put Verstappen 80 points clear of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the championship race and the team 97 points ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors' championship.

The win is Verstappen's from his lowest starting position yet, but it also opened the door to look at other current Formula 1 drivers and the victories they secured from their lowest starting positions.

Alonso for the win

The 2008 Singapore GP will always be remembered for Crash Gate: the race where Renault pitted Fernando Alonso and then orchestrated Nelson Piquet's crash on the next lap. The part of the track where Piquet crashed forced the safety car's deployment, directly handing Alonso the race's lead and, ultimately, the win.

The Spaniard rejoined Renault, with who he won two championships in 2005 and 2006, following a disastrous spell with McLaren-Mercedes in 2007. But the return did not conjure the successes of a few years before, prompting team boss Flavio Briatore to take drastic action and plan Piquet's crash.

Alonso's 2008 Singapore victory may have come after he started from a lowly 15th place, but it is also one of his most controversial. He has since claimed innocence in Crash Gate, saying that he knew nothing of the planned crash.

Alonso currently races for Alpine. The team has been rebranded from Renault.

READ: OPINION | Alpine dug its own hole... and neither Alonso nor Piastri are to blame

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 21: Third placed Fernando A
Fernando Alonso

Gasly takes full advantage

The 2020 Italian GP saw AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly take an unlikely victory after poor luck impacted the frontrunners' race. First, Mercedes-AMG's Lewis Hamilton was handed a stop-go penalty for pitting when the pitlane was closed, and then Ferrari's Charles Leclerc hit the barricades going into the final corner.

It was a turmoil of events which gifted Gasly the race's lead. Staving off a consistent charge from McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr, the Frenchman kept a cool head and secured his first and only F1 victory.

Gasly's win came almost a year after the Red Bull Racing team dropped him midway through the 2019 season. Sadly, despite the win, he was not promoted back to the A-team.

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Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly on the podium following his win at the F1 Grand Prix of Italy in 2020.


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