The pole or pole position, also called poles [ pəʊ̯l pə ˌ zɪʃn ] ( engl. pole position, pole for stakes, bar), is Motorsports starting place in the front row on the so-called starting -Grid (English grid, in this context for German grid ), which is most beneficial for the participants. The pole position of each race is usually obtained through a qualification, for example, by driving the fastest training or qualification time.

Origin and general usage

The term itself comes from the British horse racing, where the oval racetrack is bounded inside with a wooden handrail poles ( poles ). Who ( ie from the pole position from ) can start off right next to this definition, has the shorter inside lane for themselves; the other starters need to overtake take a longer winger, making them easy disadvantaged. This pole was to be found in early auto racing, such as at Brooklands, and has kept in motorsport today.

The pole position is usually on the cleaner half of the road and allows the pole sitter better traction. Was established in earlier times in most racing sports the pole position (almost always on the inside track for the first curve ), the pole sitter can usually choose his poles even today.

In the German -speaking area is often the term pole - setter ( pole setter for engl. ) Used, but the internationally used term is pole-sitter ( for eng. Polesitter ). In common parlance, the term is also in a metaphorical sense for a advantage over the competitors in a competition for the same thing.

Practical significance

From the 50's to 1970's, started in Formula 1, depending on the race course with three to four cars on the front row, thereby reducing the advantage of the first row.

From the 1970s, the number of vehicles per row was limited to two, the result of the qualifying session was thus increasingly important, making a tire and engine arms race began. Some chassis were due to its center of gravity with more fuel on board sometimes better than - as it should be expected - with a small amount of fuel.

Until the early 1990s, also tires with special soft rubber compounds by the manufacturer Goodyear, Pirelli and Michelin were offered the "only" to use for a few rounds, but were sufficient for a single very fast lap. It was also normal use of specific stages of development of the motors in the qualifying rounds, which could be moved over the usual in racing speed limit, or not enough on the test bench tested units, which were substituted for the actual race again by more durable engines.

Given the small overtaking on many race courses of today's motorsport events, and here especially in sprint races over short distances, reaching the pole position, a high value is placed, as they like as " half the battle " for possible future victory is considered.