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Pole position doesn’t guarantee victory, but winning from outside the top 10 verges on miraculous. Euphoria after such a race victory must be as high as expectations were low on the starting grid. It has only happened 22 times in more than 900 GP races, about a 1 in 50 chance. Contrast that with the 2 in 3 chance of winning when starting from the front row. Exceptional events or conditions frequently played their part in the outcome of these extraordinary races, some may even call it lady luck, but you be the judge of that. Of late the ‘joker in the pack’ has been the intervention of the Safety Car, whereas in the past, when car reliability was poor, it was more a case of ‘last man standing’. And then as now, rain has influenced some of these remarkable ‘back to front’ victories. But this collection of races also contains some superlative drives that all came together on the day, when car and driver transcended their lowly grid spot, cutting a swath through the opposition to set up a famous victory.

85  Bruce McLaren was the first, from P13 in 1960
98  Baghetti’s famous rookie win started from P12
105 Clark’s first Lotus 25 victory was also from P12
206 From P11, caught the leaders with eight to go
223 Fiery multiple crash assisted P16 to P1 in 7 laps
254 From P11 in accident-blighted, red-flagged race
281 Survival of the fittest from P11; five cars finished
292 P2 from P14 by lap 16 to inherit well-earned win
300 From P12, led in last lap as others hit trouble
364 From P17 he simply flew, overtaking car after car
Race 375   AUTHOR’S PICK
478 By honing race-day set-up, he just flew from P12
490 Ten on-track passes from P13 for deserved win
575 From P16, supreme wet skills, if dubious tactics
587 Four finished, but he began P14, behind them all
644 P14 winner who timed the switch to wets
657 From P18, a fortuitous SC but risky tyre gamble
698 P11 winner kept his head while all about him…
749 Race-winning car in P17, but a momentous drive
763 P14 to P3 in 27 wet laps to pick up the pieces
800 This was no fairytale P15 win, this was fraud
866 Deserving winner, fast and assertive from P11


From P22 he simply flew, overtaking car after car

John Watson granted me an interview about his P22 record victory. Subject of a future blog maybe.