20 facts on 2020: Telling stats on every F1 driver’s season

2020 F1 season review

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Which drivers truly impressed in 2020? Who got unlucky with their equipment, and who were the quickest off the line at the start?

These 20 telling stats – one for each full-time member of the field this year – shed some revealing insights into the how they performed this season.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2020
For the seventh year in a row since the V6 hybrid turbo era began, Hamilton won the most races of any driver. He equalled his personal best with 11 victories from the first 15 races, and might have matched the record of 13 in a season had he not caught Covid-19

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Imola, 2020
Bottas scored slightly more than half the maximum points available, 223, or 50.4%; in contrast Hamilton took 347, which was 78.5% for the whole season, or 83.4% for his reduced, 16-round campaign

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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Mugello, 2020
Verstappen completed the fewest racing laps of any driver, but was never out-qualified or beaten to the chequered flag by his team mate in a race where both finished

Alexander Albon

Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Istanbul Park, 2020
Out of the 756 laps the Red Bull pair raced on track together, Albon was only ahead of his team mate for 28 of them, the lowest of any driver. Of those, 26 came in Istanbul after Verstappen spun

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
Sainz was the only driver to lead a race for a team which did not win a race this year. He did so twice, at Monza and Algarve

Lando Norris

Lando Norris, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2020
While no driver finished every race this year, Norris completed the most racing laps of anyone, logging 1,015

Sergio Perez

Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2020
Perez was the worst starter, losing 31 places on lap one, an average of 2.07 per race. That included his 13-place loss in Sakhir, from which he remarkably bounced back to win

Lance Stroll

Stroll was the only driver to be out-qualified by a substitute team mate: Nico Hulkenberg beat him by more than three-tenths of a second in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Imola, 2020
Ricciardo finished ‘Best of the Rest’ behind the Mercedes and Red Bulls on four occasions, more than any other driver besides Charles Leclerc, who did the same

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon, Renault, Imola, 2020
Ocon had the most retirements of any driver who did not crash or spin out of a race. All four of his non-classifications were due to car problems, blamed on his Renault’s radiator, brakes, hydraulics and clutch.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Imola, 2020
Vettel ended the year with the worst full-season championship finishing position of his career: 13th. He finished one place lower in his debut season 13 years ago, when he started eight of the 17 races

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Leclerc scored the biggest share of a team’s points of any driver, taking 74.8% of Ferrari’s haul

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, , Monza, 2020
Gasly’s Italian Grand Prix victory for AlphaTauri was the first win for a driver not in a Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari since Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus won the 2013 Australian Grand Prix

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri, Yas Marina, 2020
“11th is the worst place to finish,” complained Kvyat at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix. It was the second of three occasions on which he finished one place outside of the points, the most of any driver, tied with Nicholas Latifi

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Silverstone, 2020
Raikkonen had the most non-scoring finishes of any driver, 14, also tied with Latifi

Antonio Giovinazzi

Stroll lost his 2018-19 crown of ‘best starter’ to Giovinazzi, who gained 48 places on lap one, an average of 2.82 per race

Romain Grosjean

The tightest battle between team mates in qualifying was found at Haas. In dry sessions, Grosjean edged Magnussen by just 0.02s on average

Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Silverstone, 2020
Magnussen had the most retirements of any driver, failing to reach the chequered flag six times

George Russell

George Russell, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020
Russell had the biggest performance advantage over his regular team mate in qualifying, beating Latifi by 0.563s on average in dry sessions

Nicholas Latifi

Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Silverstone, 2020
Latifi made the fewest appearances in Q2 of any driver who did the full season – he only got out of Q1 once, at the Hungarian Grand Prix

F1 statistics

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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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24 comments on “20 facts on 2020: Telling stats on every F1 driver’s season”

  1. Telling stats:
    more than any other driver besides Charles Leclerc, who did the same
    – the most of any driver, tied with Nicholas Latifi
    – the most of any driver, tied with Nicholas Latifi

    1. You must be fun at parties.

    2. Another stat:

      Geoff is 100% pedantic, the most of any RaceFan’s commenters.

      1. being pedantic is about unimportant details, here the stats are the core article, anyway it was just my viewpoint.

        sometimes i’m fun at parties, sometimes not…

    3. “The Car in front is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical” – Murray Walker

    4. I’ll join @jeff1s at the party ploppers table.

      Places lost and gained on lap 1 says almost nothing about the driver and everything about where they start on the grid. Hence Hamilton rarely gaining places and Latifi rarely losing them.

  2. Never knew that Max Verstappen did the least racing laps making his racing craft more efficent then i thought.

    1. @macleod Same here. Came as a surprise to me.

    2. @macleod Yeah that shocked me, I don’t know who I thought it’d be (someone in the midfield I’d have guessed). I wonder if it includes races missed by Covid tests? (i.e Perez).

      1. @bernasaurus I would expect so. Remember Perez finished every race he started in the points, except for Abu Dhabi, so while he missed two races (100 laps or so, given that they were both at Silverstone) he would still have had a bit in hand over Verstappen, who had two first-lap retirements as well as three other DNFs.

      2. According to statsf1, Stroll (who missed 1 race) completed 10 fewer laps than Verstappen.

        On a similar note, the team that completed the fewest racing laps in 2020 was Ferrari (due in part to the early double-DNF in Styria plus Leclerc’s lap 1 retirement in the 87-lap Sakhir GP).

        In terms of distance raced, Verstappen completed a greater distance than Grosjean (who missed 2 races) or Magnussen, and Ferrari completed more distance than either Racing Point or Haas.

      3. @bernasaurus as noted by @paulgilb the article is incorrect – Verstappen finished the season with 795 laps, but Stroll only completed 785 laps. Whilst statsf1 gives that figure, you can also double check it using this site’s own figures for the number of laps each driver spent in each position – which also confirms that the totals were 795 for Verstappen and 785 for Stroll. https://www.racefans.net/2020-f1-season/2020-f1-statistics/2020-f1-race-data/

        Of course, there is also the technicality that the article should specify that it was the fewest laps for a full-time driver – otherwise, you would have to note that Fittipaldi, Hulkenberg and Aitken also covered fewer laps than Verstappen did.

    3. I also feel that really reflects poorly on Bottas’ performance this year that he was almost beaten to second given that stat.

    4. This is the 2nd time he has ‘won’ this record after 2017 (considering drivers who entered all the races).
      In 2018, Daniel was also close to taking this ‘win’ (He was 16th out of the 20 drivers).
      It is also this unreliability which makes it very difficult to read and analyze the Max vs Daniel seasons (2017 and 2018).

      Red Bull’s unreliability is a recurring theme. The problem is not affecting too much right now as they are only losing P3 in individual races and no positions in the final WCC standings. But when the car becomes fast enough, losing 25 points and potential victories will hurt them in the WDC and WCC standings.

      1. Max completing the least amount of race laps and still in contention for 2nd place in the WDC is impressive.

        I also think that the boring argument of “put anyone in the Mercedes and they’ll match Lewis” argument is proven to be untrue by the fact that after securing the championship with several races to go, the 2nd place position was almost taken by Verstappen. Two drivers who seem to consistently make all the marginal gains required to dominate the track.

        If it was solely about the car – HAM and BOT would have been roughly equal on points and Max a distant third or fourth. I would have loved to have seen Max take second place in the WDC.

        I genuinely feel that F1 has some of the best talent it’s ever had on the track. I consider Lewis to be a godlike driver, Max is top tier as well. Leclerc is an absolute star – and there are so many others who impress race-after-race. Bring on 2021!

    5. Probably had a lot do with Sakhir having so many laps, which skews it.

  3. Thanks @red-andy I didn’t realise his season was that good, from a consistency perspective that’s impressive, if only he’d got that podium in Abu Dhabi. *I’m sure he’s not too worried about losing his job now

    1. Should have said “Bahrain and Abu Dhabi,” but the point stands.

  4. The Perez stat surprised me, I wasn’t aware of that one.

    1. @t1redmonkey as noted in the article, that result is very heavily skewed by the fact that he lost 13 places in Sakhir when he was spun round and ended up at the back of the field – that one race makes up about 42% of that total.

      In fact, that figure of “31 places lost” really comes down to two races where he was spun to the back of the field – Portugal, where he lost 15 places, and Sakhir’s outer loop, where he lost 13: between them, those two races account for 28 of the 31 places that he lost, or about 90%.

      If you excluded those two extreme results, you are left with an average loss of 3 places in the remaining 15 races, or 0.2 places lost per race for Perez. What it therefore means is that, in reality, Perez normally maintained his position at the start, with a handful of cases where he lost a place – his average is completely skewed out of all proportion by two extreme events.

      That might then suggest that Bottas might be the worst performing driver in that regard, but again, his figures are also quite heavily skewed by an extreme case – in his case, the 9 places he lost in the Turkish GP makes up 43% of his total and also heavily distorts his record to make it look a lot worse than it actually was.

      If you consider that the two lowest cases are both outliers due to extreme results, it looks like the driver who had the worst average starting performance was Albon – that might actually not be quite so much of a surprise, given that he did drop back into the midfield pack in quite a few races.

      In Albon’s case, he didn’t have a single extremely bad start that massively skewed his figures – so the average loss of 0.8 places per race is actually more representative of his average performance on the starting lap of a race.

  5. Latifi finished P21 in a 20 car grid

    bit disappointed I didn’t see that one to be honest

  6. Lovely work Keith – picking through these stats will keep me warm through the winter months!

  7. Lewis missed just one race, so no, he couldn’t have made it 13 wins this year. And since he has said that his performance in Abu Dhabi wasn’t affected by covid, who are we to presume otherwise?

  8. The author seems to have an anti-RP and anti-Perez agenda.

Comments are closed.