Masters Of Monaco: Monaco GP All-Time Leaderboard

Monaco, the crown jewel of Formula 1, the most famous race in the world, the race where legends are made. These are some descriptions that have been used for the street race in Monte Carlo, which has been a regular fixture in F1 since 1950 barring 1951, 1953, 1954 and 2020.

With the race being an integral part of Formula 1 history, we have replicated our ranking system that we used for street races, to determine the true “Masters Of Monaco”.

We analyzed the results of 68 Monaco Grands Prix - all that have been part of Formula 1 since the inaugural 1950 season - and the performances of 332 different drivers to create our leaderboard. Do note that there were no Monaco GPs in 1951, 1953, 1954 and 2020. 

The one in 1951 was not held due to budget constraints and lack of F1 regulations. 1953 and 1954 did not go through because of car regulations not being finalized at the time. The 2020 Monaco GP was cancelled because of COVID.

Points distribution methodology

We made the same adjustment as we did for the street race leaderboard - using the current points system in F1 to all Monaco Grands Prix. This is so that there is uniformity in points distribution as F1 has had different scoring systems.

To illustrate this, let’s take the 1991 Monaco GP. Ayrton Senna won it and earned 10 points as per the scoring system in place that season. Points in that year were awarded only to drivers who finished in the first six positions, with the division being, 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1. Now if we used this scoring system to make our all-time leaderboard, then the participants of the 1991 Monaco GP are at a disadvantage as the points system today gives 25 points to a race winner.

So, what we did is that we assigned points to drivers who finished in the top 10 in the 1991 Monaco GP and they were assigned as per today’s system - 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 1.

This was repeated for all race results which used a different scoring system to the one used today.

The masters of Monaco

Lewis Hamilton, with 199 points as per our methodology, is the ultimate Master Of Monaco. He edges out compatriot and the original Master Of Monaco, Graham Hill who had 189 points and edged out Michael Schumacher (188 points).

Ayrton Senna, who holds the record for most wins at Monaco, comes in at fifth followed by Alain Prost.

After Hamilton, the active driver with the highest position in this leaderboard is Fernando Alonso at seventh place. Daniel Ricciardo, who won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018 is 17th in the leaderboard.

2022 Monaco GP winner Sergio “Checo” Perez is 44th while his teammate and defending F1 World Champion, Max Verstappen is 34th. Perez has the same amount of points as Carlos Sainz and Verstappen is just a point behind Nigel Mansell.

Does pole position equal a win?

While Monaco has a lot of glitz and glamour associated with it, one could argue that the race itself doesn’t live up to the hype. Qualifying has always been key in Monte Carlo as having pole position increases the chances of a win.

We analyzed the pole-position to win ratio for drivers and the numbers are close. 30 out of 68 Monaco GP winners were on pole, i.e, 44.12 percent polesitters have converted it to a win and 55.88 percent winners of the GP were not polesitters.

The pole-to-win scenario was interesting in terms of the trends that emerged. From 2004 to 2014, all winners except for Lewis Hamilton in 2008, were in pole position. Hamilton started P3 that year and finished ahead of Robert Kubica (2nd) and polesitter Felipe Massa.

Then from 2015 to 2022, we’ve only had two winners who converted pole position to a win - Daniel Ricciardo in 2018 and Lewis Hamilton in 2019. All the other years, the polesitter has not won the Grand Prix.

Among the drivers with best pole-to-win conversions, you have Graham Hill in 1965 and 1968, with a 100 percent rate. His feat is matched by Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg.

Senna has a pole-to-win conversion rate of 60 percent, winning thrice from five pole positions. Niki Lauda has a 66.67 percent conversion rate, winning twice from three pole positions and Juan Manuel Fangio has a 50 percent conversion rate, winning twice from four pole positions.

The worst driver, when it comes to pole-to-win conversions, is Jim Clark who could never convert his four pole positions to a win. Nigel Mansell and Charles LeClerc are close with zero wins from two poles each.

Most wins and podium finishes

Senna is the most prolific driver in Monaco. He has the highest number of wins (6) and number of podiums (8).

What’s even more incredible is that he raced in Monaco 10 times and whenever he finished, he was on podium including his first one in 1984 when he finished second racing for Toleman-Hart. Only in 1985 and 1988 did Senna not finish on a podium spot - in fact he didn’t even finish the race.

Sebastian Vettel is the man with the most second-place finishes with five but he did win at Monaco twice compared to Rubens Barrichello who finished second four times in Monaco but never got the win.

Eddie Irvine and Gerhard Berger hold the record for most third-place finishes with three.

Fastest laps

When it comes to the highest number of fastest laps set by drivers, Schumacher leads the way, setting the fastest lap in five Monaco Grands Prix. He’s followed by Fangio, Senna and Prost with four each.

Two Finnish drivers - Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen - have set the fastest lap in three different Monaco GPs. Hamilton is in there with two alongside Sergio Perez.

Photo by Jannis Lucas