Charles Leclerc made the most of his underwhelming machinery in 2020 to record two unlikely podium finishes. Here are the facts and statistics from Leclerc’s 2020 F1 season!
In his second season at Ferrari, Charles Leclerc had the upper hand on team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Their qualifying battle ended 13-4 in Leclerc’s favour, and the Monegasque driver was the faster of the Ferrari pair in all but eleven of the 51 track sectors in 2020. In the races, Leclerc scored three quarters of Ferrari’s points.
Ferrari’s SF1000 was not a race winner, but Leclerc found himself in big points-paying positions on a number of occasions. He had six top five results over the season, including two unlikely podiums at the Austrian and British Grands Prix. In qualifying, he was able to qualify fourth on four occasions, while his team-mate qualified in the top five only once this year. 2020 was not the perfect season for Leclerc. Most notably, he collided with his team-mate at the Styrian Grand Prix, brought out the red flags with a heavy crash in the Italian Grand Prix and was eliminated on the first lap in an over-ambitious move at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Leclerc has committed to Ferrari for the long term future, with his current deal not ending until 2024. Next year, as Vettel moves on to Aston Martin, Leclerc will be joined by Carlos Sainz. Will the Spaniard prove more of a challenge to Leclerc than Vettel was in 2020 – and will Ferrari give Leclerc the machinery to battle for wins once more in 2021?
- Championship Position: 8th
- Total Points: 98
- % of teams’ points scored: 75%
- Points Scoring Races: 10
- Best finish: 2nd (Austria)
- Number of starts: 17
- Number of non-finishes: 4
- Number of finishes: 13
- Laps Led: 0
- Laps Complete: 822
- % of Laps Complete: 79.27%
- Distance Covered: 4314.344km
- Laps Raced in the Top 10: 616
- Laps Raced in the Top 5: 232
- Laps Raced in the Top 3: 64
- Races gained positions in: 7
- Races lost positions in: 5
- Finished where started: 1
- Q3 Appearances: 11
- Q2 Exits: 6
- Q1 Exits: 0
- Best Qualifying Position: 4th (x4)
- Worst Qualifying Position: 14th (Turkey)
- Average Qualifying Position: 8.29
- Average Grid Position: 8.47
- Average Gap to own potential qualifying pace: +0.060s
- Achieved own ultimate pace: 6
- Beat team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 40
- Beaten by team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 11
- Average gap to team-mate per sector in qualifying: -0.092s
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: Charles Leclerc finished in second place at the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix. He recorded his eleventh career podium, equalling the tallies of Chris Amon, Patrick Tambay and Jarno Trulli. It was the second consecutive year that Leclerc has finished as runner-up at the Red Bull Ring. He became the 24th driver to take multiple podium finishes at his track.
Styria: After colliding with his team-mate, the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix became Charles Leclerc’s first appearance in Austria on which in he failed to score. On Saturday, Leclerc was eliminated in Q2, marking only the second time – after the 2019 Monaco Grand Prix – that he failed to reach Q3 in his Ferrari career.
Hungary: For the first time since the 2018 Japanese and United States Grands Prix, Charles Leclerc failed to score at two consecutive races. Leclerc finished eleventh in the Hungarian Grand Prix and became the first Ferrari driver to finish outside of the points – without retiring – at the Hungaroring since Felipe Massa, who finished thirteenth in 2007.
Britain: Charles Leclerc finished in third place at the 2020 British Grand Prix, recording his twelfth visit to the podium. He tied with the career podium tallies of Stefan Johansson and Robert Kubica. It was Ferrari’s 45th podium finish at the Silverstone circuit.
70th Anniversary: With fourth place at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc recorded a third top five finish in the first five races of the 2020 season. Leclerc and Lance Stroll are the only drivers who did not recorded a repeat result in the opening five races of the year.
Spain: Charles Leclerc was the only retirement from the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, recording Ferrari’s third retirement from the event in the last four years. Leclerc was the first driver to retire having started from ninth on the grid at Catalunya since Ralf Schumacher all the way back in 1997.
Belgium: Charles Leclerc, the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix polesitter, was the only driver to lap slower in qualifying in 2020 than he did in the 2019 session. His 2020 qualifying time was 0.477 seconds slower than his 2019 pole lap.
Italy: Charles Leclerc crashed out of the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, bringing out the red flags for the first time at Monza since 1995 – a race in which both Ferrari drivers similarly retired. It marked the first time since his maiden season that Leclerc has failed to score at the circuit.
Tuscany: Charles Leclerc was the only driver who completed the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix to finish in a worse position than where he started. Having started fifth, he finished in eighth place.
Russia: Charles Leclerc lost his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Sochi Autodrom in qualifying for the 2020 Russian Grand Prix. Starting eleventh, Leclerc went on to finish the race in sixth place – his best result from the last five races.
Eifel: After equalling his best qualifying result of the 2020 season, Charles Leclerc finished seventh in the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. The last time that no Ferrari drivers finished in the top six at the Nurburgring was in 1999, when Eddie Irvine finished seventh and Mika Salo retired.
Portugal: After equalling his best qualifying result of the season, Charles Leclerc finished fourth in the Portuguese Grand Prix, recording his best result since also finishing fourth in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Emilia Romagna: On Saturday at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc became the first Ferrari driver to qualify in seventh place for an F1 race at Imola since Jean Alesi at the 1992 San Marino Grand Prix. Leclerc was the best-placed Ferrari finisher, in fifth place. This was the first F1 race at Imola in which Ferrari failed to finish on the podium since the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix.
Turkey: Charles Leclerc recorded his worst qualifying result of the 2020 season with fourteenth place. He was out-qualified by team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix. Leclerc was set to record his third podium finish of the season, but ran wide at the final corner and finished fourth. This was the first race in which both Ferrari drivers finished in the top four since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Bahrain: Charles Leclerc scored Ferrari’s only point in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing in tenth place. This was the first time Ferrari have picked up fewer than three points in Bahrain since 2005, when neither driver scored.
Sakhir: Charles Leclerc equalled his best qualifying result of the year with fourth place. It was the fourth time Leclerc has qualified fourth in 2020, having also done so at the British, Eifel and Portuguese Grands Prix. In the race, Leclerc was out on the first lap, bringing to an end his 100% finish rate in Bahrain. Leclerc is only the third Ferrari driver to record a retirement in Bahrain. Michael Schumacher failed to finish in 2005, while Kimi Raikkonen was out in 2018.
Abu Dhabi: Although Charles Leclerc maintained his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he failed to maintain his 100% points finishing rate at the event. His thirteenth place was the first time that he has finished outside of the top seven at the Yas Marina Circuit.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.