Formula One: Is Charles Leclerc the unluckiest driver on the grid?

Charles Leclerc at the Belgian Grand Prix

Is Charles Leclerc the unluckiest driver on the Formula One grid? The stats would seem to suggest so…

While the grid currently enjoys a summer break in what is the most stacked Formula One calendar ever, AceOdds have crunched the numbers from the first 12 races of the season, and they don’t make for pleasant reading for Leclerc.

No driver has lost more grid places so far this season, and that’s no fault of his own. Scuderia Ferrari have been dogged by reliability issues throughout the season so far, and Leclerc’s retirement from the first race of the season in Bahrain was a sign of things to come.

Leclerc is guilty of six infringements so far this season. Nico Hulkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant are all guilty of more, but no one has lost as many grid positions due to these penalties as the Ferrari driver.

A disequilibrium within the Ferrari garage

So far this season, Leclerc has lost 51 grid positions, easily the most on the grid. Hulkenberg ranks second with 23 positions lost due to infringements. Despite the 51 positions lost, Leclerc has incurred no fines, and this due to the fact that the Monegasque’s penalties don’t issue from sloppy driving on-track, but due to improper parts and maintenance on his vehicle. Reliability really has been the Achilles heel of Leclerc’s season so far.

Across the garage, the same can’t be said for Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard has lost 15 seconds on track due to infringements and only three grid positions overall so far this season. He has incurred two penalty points as opposed to Leclerc’s 0. However, Sainz’s car hasn’t been plagued by the same reliability issues as Leclerc’s.

Unsurprisingly, despite the disequilibrium within the Ferrari garage, no team has lost more grid positions than the Italian manufacturer’s 54 this season. Haas are the next closest with 26.

The figures suggest therefore that, should Ferrari resolve their reliability issues, they could be in for a much more fruitful second half to the season. Leclerc, and the rest of the Ferrari team, will be hoping for just that.


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Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office