Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Leclerc is only the sixth new F1 race winner in last 10 years

2019 Belgian Grand Prix stats and facts

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On Sunday Charles Leclerc became the 108th different driver to win a round of the world championship.

Leclerc made Monaco the 23rd different country to produce a race-winning driver. The other two countries to produce a winner of a single race are Poland (Robert Kubica) and Venezuela (Pastor Maldonado).

Ferrari has now won races with 39 different drivers. Leclerc’s first win came in his 34th start, coincidentally the same number of races contested by his late godfather Jules Bianchi.

The opportunities for new drivers to win races in F1 have become so scarce that only half a dozen first-time winners have appeared in the last 10 years. Leclerc joins Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado and Nico Rosberg as the only drivers to have scored a win during that time.

Unless the remaining eight races of the current 10-year period produce at least five new winners, the 2010s will have seen the fewest new drivers of the first seven decade-long periods since the world championship began. This is despite the number of races steadily increasing – the 2020 F1 calendar will feature a record 22 rounds:

*Eight races remaining in this period

Robert Doornbos, Red Bull, 2005
Doornbos drove for Minardi before joining Red Bull
Leclerc’s win brings him within 12 points of team mate Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship. Vettel has now gone 12 months since his last victory.

Vettel is 12 points behind Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver’s 21-race streak of consecutive top five finishes, which began at Spa last year, ended on lap one of this year’s race.

Perhaps his new team mate will pick up where he left off? Alexander Albon impressively rose to finish fifth on his debut for the team. With just 12 prior starts to his name, Albon is Red Bull’s least experienced new driver since Robert Doornbos joined them in 2006 with eight starts to his name (he only made a further three).

Mercedes may not have won, but Lewis Hamilton and Bottas filled the other rostrum places, meaning the team has now scored 200 podium finishes. Hamilton extended his championship lead to 65 points over Bottas, and with 208 points up for grads over the remaining races, only the top six drivers in the championship are still mathematically in contention

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Review the year so far in statistics here:

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Belgian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2019 Belgian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Leclerc is only the sixth new F1 race winner in last 10 years”

  1. While not exactly stats:
    – Lewis can finish all remaining GPs in second place and will still be the Champion, regardless of who wins and\or takes FLAPs
    – Mercedes can finish all remaining races 3-4 and will still be the Champions, regardless of who takes 1-2s and\or takes FLAPs

    1. @dallein Good calculations.

  2. Charles Leclerc […] also joins an illustrious group of drivers to take their first victory at Spa: Peter Collins (1956), Jim Clark (1962) and Michael Schumacher (1992) all broke their ducks here.

    @jerejj – very cool stat.

  3. There are 12 winners who had not debuted in F1 when there was a previous new winner. This excludes all Indy 500s which were part of the championship.

    Mike Hawthorn (Taruffi)
    Tony Brooks (Collins)
    Giancarlo Baghetti (von Trips)
    Jackie Stewart (Bandini)
    Jacky Ickx (Hulme)
    Clay Regazzoni (Rindt)
    Ayrton Senna (Alboreto)
    Michael Schumacher (Nannini)
    Jacques Villeneuve (Coulthard)
    Lewis Hamilton (Massa)
    Max Verstappen (Ricciardo)
    Charles Leclerc (Bottas)

    1. That’s an interesting stat @bleu – so this shows drivers who had their 1st GP win relatively early in their career, right? There’s quite a gap between Senna and Schumacher, and then Villeneuve and Hamilton, and again to Verstappen (my knowledge on the timing before that is vague), only Leclerc follows relatively quickly then; not much drivers entering F1 and getting a top car quickly.

  4. Am I right in thinking HAM cam now win the title with 2nd places (and 0 FLs)?

    1. @jb784 – yes, that is correct, look at @dallein ‘s comment above:

      – Lewis can finish all remaining GPs in second place and will still be the Champion, regardless of who wins and\or takes FLAPs
      – Mercedes can finish all remaining races 3-4 and will still be the Champions, regardless of who takes 1-2s and\or takes FLAPs

  5. Whilst albon is thriving at red bull, Gasly is technically doing better than albon did at toro Rosso, albon achieved an average of 1.8 points per face at toro, after the weekend, Gasly is currently on 2 points per race.

    1. @emu55 – ah, the wonders of a sample size of 1 ;)

    2. Time to switch back.

    3. Ricciardo and Kimi had very bad luck at race. Giovinazzi, Sainz, Verstappen and Norris too, all had very painful
      ruined race.
      All had the car and the ability to beat Gasly and Toro or at least be in par
      Likely at an average race half of them will beat him.
      So i guess he had good luck there.

    4. @emu55 @phylyp yeah, sample size of one, or does it show that Red Bull was correct to take the pressure off Gasly ;-)

  6. Another interesting fact is that Charles became the first driver to win his very first race while driving for Ferrari since Massa in 2006, and from those 39 winning Ferrari drivers, 24 won their first race while driving for the Scuderia.

    1. First race? Or season?

      1. I think @fer-no65 meant that other Ferrari race winners in recent years had won races with other teams before joining Ferrari (Alonso, Kimi, Vettel, etc.).

        The second part of his stat goes to show that that was a recent trend, and historically, it was Ferrari who enabled many of then to win their first race.

    2. This goes in line with the Commendatore view that the car was what mattered, not the driver. Ferrari cars enabled many rising stars to win their first races, like Lauda, Scheckter, Villeneuve, Ickx, etc.

  7. Here’s to another Merc-Ham championship.

    Bring on 2020!

  8. Would be interesting to see the number of new drivers per season in the same chart above.

  9. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    3rd September 2019, 8:24

    Most number of races between first time winners – 49 races between Russia 2017 (Bottas) and Belgium 2019 (Leclerc) beating the previous record of 48 races between Germany 2009 (Webber) and China 2012 (Rosberg).

    In number of days it is only the 5th longest period with 854 days – the record is 1,043 days between Alessandro Nannini win in Japan 1989 and Michael Schumacher win in Belgium 1992.

    Key question who is the next winner – if anyone before 2021 it must be who gets the Red Bull seat in 2020 – at the moment that looks to be Alexander Albon. The other 5 race winning sits are occupied by already race winners.

    Also probably a pretty telling stat that only 8 of the current 20 drivers have won a race.

    1. @jelle-van-der-meer – Regarding the 8 of 20, that’s more than I would have thought of off the top of my head. Of course even that number is embellished by having Kimi and Robert on the grid. The former is older than most drivers stay, and the latter is really only filling a seat this season, unfortunately.

      Outside of those, the only 6 drivers on the grid who have won a race are basically the six drivers in (or recently in) the top 3 teams—Ricciardo having moved. That’s problematic, I think.

  10. I can’t escape the feeling that Leclerc is doing what Bianchi was set to do.

  11. Er… Nico Rosberg, China 2012…

  12. This is the second time that Red Bull have done a mid-season driver swap – on both occasions, the race immediately after the swap saw the driver who finished 2nd in the previous race crash out on lap 1, and a driver become the first from his country to win a race.

    Biggest gap between 1st and 2nd in a dry Q3 since Azerbaijan 2016.

    Verstappen’s race ended at exactly the same place where Stefan Bellof was killed exactly 34 years to the day earlier.

    Thanks to for some of these.

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