Last year, with only drivers from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull finishing on the podium, Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished 7th and 8th in the championship with no podium finishes, but only having 3 and 2 non-points finishes, respectively.

Throughout F1 history, which driver has the highest finishing position in the drivers championship without a podium finish?

2 Answers 2


Two drivers have finished a season on rank 6 without a single podium finish throughout the respective season:

Several drivers finished a season on rank 7 without a podium position: Wolfgang von Trips (1960), Jacques Villeneuve (2000), Jenson Button (2002), Rubens Barichello (2006), Nico Rosberg (2009) and Sergio Pérez (2017).


Looking at the past season, I will focus on post-2003 seasons since points were awarded for lower finishing positions from 2003 onwards, meaning more drivers could score points and therefore rank higher in the standings by scoring points more often by simply being consistent:

  • 2010-present: points for top 10 finishers

  • 2003-2009: points for top 8 finishers

  • 1960-2003: points for top 6

  • pre-1960: points for top 5

Checking the season summaries (since 2003) on Wikipedia, I found that Massa and Kubica hold the record for highest WDC position without scoring any podiums:

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