Ferrari make their best start to a Formula 1 season since 2004

2022 Australian Grand Prix stats and facts

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With their second win from the first three races of the year, Ferrari have made their best start to a season since their dominant 2004 campaign.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr have racked up 104 points between them. That’s the most the team has scored since the current ’25 points for a win’ system was introduced in 2010.

In 2017 Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen scored 102 points over the opening trio of races. They also took one fastest lap during that time, which wasn’t worth a point that year, and would have put them on 103, still one less than they have today.

Looking back over past seasons and adjusting for the change in points system, Ferrari are off to a stronger start than they made in their most recent championship-winning campaigns in 2007 and 2008.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2022
Ferrari head home in strong shape
Not since their crushing 2004 season did they start a season so well. Michael Schumacher won all of the opening three rounds, while Rubens Barrichello took a pair of seconds and a fourth. Adding two more points for a pair of fastest laps would have put them on 125 today, instead of the 51 they actually had.

Comparing current points scores to past seasons will become trickier from the next round, as it is the first sprint event of the year, and teams could bag an extra 15 points each. That will be at the first of two home races for Ferrari this year, at Imola.

In a neat symmetry, Leclerc scored a ‘grand slam’ in Melbourne last weekend – taking pole position, leading every lap and setting fastest lap – just as Schumacher did when he kicked off Ferrari’s 2004 campaign at the same venue. Schumacher took his fifth and final grand slam later that year in Hungary, while this was Leclerc’s first.

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He is the 26th different driver in F1 history to achieve a grand slam. Out of the 1,060 world championship races held so far, 64 (6%) have witnessed such feats of dominance.

Rosberg swept the first three races of 2016 en route to the title
But he said he is “not really” excited by such details. “At the end what matters is that I crossed the finish line first at the end.

“Obviously it’s always nicer and it shows how good of a job we’ve done until now, especially this weekend, with a statistic like this. But it doesn’t matter to me that much.”

Leclerc may be more interested to learn he’s made the best start to a season for any driver since Nico Rosberg in 2016, both in terms of point scored (71) and the margin over his closest championship rival (34, to George Russell, the latest occupant of what was once Rosberg’s seat).

This was the fourth win of Leclerc’s career which puts him level with Eddie Irvine, who also scored all of his victories for Ferrari, plus Bruce McLaren and Dan Gurney. He took his seventh fastest lap, match Jacques Laffite’s career tally.

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Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Albert Park, 2022
Aston Martin are the only point-less team
But it was a miserable weekend for Leclerc’s team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr who showed promising pace but suffered technical problems in qualifying and the race and later spun into retirement. He failed to score for the first time in 18 races, ending the longest points-scoring streak of his career.

Two retirements from the first three races means Verstappen’s title defence has got off to a conspicuously poor start, certainly by modern standards, notwithstanding his Jeddah win. He lies sixth in the standings, which is far better than some champions managed in the seasons after they took the crown. The worst of which was Jody Scheckter, who quit the sport after sinking to 19th in 1980, the year after he won the title.

Alexander Albon picked up his first point as a Williams driver with a fine run to 10th. That capped a miserable weekend for Aston Martin, who failed to score again, and are now the only team still on zero.

Spotted any more noteworthy stats and facts from the Australian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments!

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2022 Australian Grand Prix

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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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40 comments on “Ferrari make their best start to a Formula 1 season since 2004”

  1. It’s honestly kind of weird seeing Ferrari not mess up for once.

    I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop, at this point.

    1. @sjaakfoo I mean, one can argue that they did mess up Sainz’s weekend somewhat with reliability niggles both in qualifying and in the race, so it’s not been perfect. I too, fully expect Ferrari to have a meltdown somewhere in the year, but the early signs are generally good.

    2. Every team is going to have some mistakes over the season, but I think Ferrari under Binotto has gotten a lot better with that. Maybe we didn’t notice as much the last two years since they weren’t at the top.

  2. I was worried that these stats articles were deprecated after not seeing them following the first two rounds. Or did I just miss them?

      1. @jerejj, okay, my bad then. Thanks for the links

        1. @leblep No worries & you’re welcome.

    1. Besides @jerejj’s helpful links, you can also click on the ‘F1 Statistics’ and ‘Stats & facts’ links below the article; all articles have these handy links.

  3. Bottas’ Q3 streak ended at 103.
    He would’ve needed this streak to continue until Montreal to pass Prost for top 10 appearances.

    Ferrari’s first Melbourne pole since 2007 & their first Grand Slam since 2010 Singapore GP.

    A 2nd consecutive Melbourne DNF for Sainz & consequently, his points (last season’s French GP) & finishing (2020 Russian GP) streaks, which were the longest active ones, ended.

    Leclerc is still the only driver who’s collected FLAP bonus points this season.

    Albon’s strategy was precisely like Seb’s in the 2010 Italian GP, i.e., pitting from the penultimate lap.
    Also similar to a certain infamous last-lap pit stop in the 1998 British GP.

    1. @jerejj Is that the record for consecutive top 10 appearances on the grid for Prost? Pretty impressive if so given that he only started 199 GPs altogether. Although more grid penalties get handed out these days which would presumably make it more difficult to get close to the record (and indeed Bottas has missed out on several top 10 starts due to penalties, for example in Italy and Russia last year).

      1. @red-andy I suppose. I got the Montreal reference from Bottas himself: “I was really hoping to get to Montreal, where I would have passed Prost for top 10 appearances. But yeah, it’s all good.”
        Prost ultimately managed 109 consecutive top 10 QLF appearances.

      2. José Lopes da Silva
        13th April 2022, 20:05

        Prost is one of the all-time very best. Almost 30 years after his and Senna’s career time, looking to 70+ years of championship, we can safely assume that. He kept himself more than a decade on the top of the sport, even not winning in 1991 and skipping 1992, and at the time that was a novel achievement (for some reason he kept the all-time wind record for 14 years).

  4. Apparently at around 419000-odd attendees, this was the largest crowd for a Melbourne GP. It certainly felt like it waiting in lines for trams and food. I’ve also read that it was the largest crowd for any sporting event in Australia (which I find surprising given the Syndey Olympics had 2 weeks with pretty decent crowds from memory).

    1. Yeah, there’s some weird info regarding this one. I saw a few mentions that Adelaide had a crowd of 500k in 1995 over the weekend (the race itself had 210k).

  5. Jonathan Parkin
    13th April 2022, 8:45

    Just curious, but have any Grand Slam holders also topped all the practice sessions too

    1. I would assume so, I guarantee either Lewis or Schumacher have done this before multiple times during their most dominant seasons. Particularly ’02 and ‘04 for Schumi because those Ferrari’s were just so dominant.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        13th April 2022, 14:25

        Michael was fastest through free practice in all four sessions (as it was in those days) for his 2004 Grand Slam in Melbourne. Where it gets sticky is qualifying. Yes he got the pole position at the end of the session but Montoya was quickest in Q1 or Q2.

    2. Hamilton Italy 2015.
      Top FP1
      Top FP2
      Top FP3
      Top Q1
      Top Q2
      Top Q3
      Leading every race lap
      Fastest lap

    3. I’m not sure but I think there also is a grand chelem for winning, getting pole, getting flap but not leading every lap.

      1. That’s not called grand chelem though, it’s hat trick.

      2. Schumacher was relatively better at getting hat tricks, clark at getting grand chelems.

        1. Pit stops hindered Schumacher Grand chelems, reliability hindered Clark on both

  6. Albon’s stint was the third longest distance covered on a set of Pirellis and 4th longest since refueling was banned in 2010
    1) Ocon in 2021 Turkish GP where he went the full race without a pitstop – 309.396 km
    2) Rosberg in 2014 Russian GP where he pit due to a flat spot on lap 1 and didn’t stop again – 303.897 km
    3) (Bridgestone) Vettel in 2010 Italian GP where he again pit on last lap – 300.927 km
    4) Albon in 2022 Australian GP – 300.846 km

    Of these, Vettel and Albon also did the 5+km warm-up lap on the same set of tyres (Rosberg didn’t) which would put them 2nd and 3rd in the above list ahead of Rosberg.

    1. @sumedhvidwans Vettel in 2010 Monza was even more crazy when you consider that not only did he do the 52-lap stint on soft tyres, he also had to qualify on that tyre because back then we had the Q3 tyre rule (which got changed to Q2 later) where you would have to start the race with tyres that you did your fastest Q3 lap with.

      1. aah yes. And that actually puts Vettel above Ocon on this list also.

        Important to note that a 11 year old soft tyre from Bridgestone is still more long-lasting than any Pirelli.

  7. Every grand chelem winner has gone on to win the WDC that year since 2011. 2018 and 2020 were 2 years where no one scored a grand chelem. The last grand chelem winner to not be WDC was also a Ferrari driver – Alonso who scored a grand chelem in 2010 Singapore

    1. I can’t tell if this statistic should be worrying or promising for Charles!

      1. Ahah, true, should be promising cause this ferrari is relatively better than 2010 vs the competition.

  8. Hamilton consecutive Melbourne-pole streak ended at 6, therefore the record of longest consecutive pole streak at a same circuit will still belong to Ayrton Senna (7 consecutives in Imola) for a long time.

    1. Awesome stat, thanks for sharing!

  9. I put this in the championship points article but will put it here too because it is an interesting stat showing how good the start of the season has been for Leclerc.

    Charles Leclerc now has more points than the drivers in second and third in the championship combined. The last time this happened was Malaysia 2011 (Vettel over Button and Hamilton), although Rosberg equalled the points total of second and third in China and Russia 2016. The only other time since 2003 that the championship leader has had more points than second and third combined was Fernando Alonso in 2005, after San Marino and Spain. Before 2003, the different points systems made this stat much easier to achieve, and was completed over a whole season by Michael Schumacher in 2002 and 2001, by Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 (with the help of Schumacher’s disqualification), by Jackie Stewart in 1971 (who also equalled second and third in 1969) and by Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955. The stat would also have been achieved by Alberto Ascari in 1952, Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and 1957 and Jim Clark in 1963 but for dropped scores.

    1. cool one

  10. Australian GP being a bogey circuit for Lewis continues:

    Qualifying: His qualifying record is favorable with just 3 defeats to his teammate (2007, 2009, 2010) out of 14 attempts. He also has 8 poles, compared to 0 for his team-mates!!

    Race: His race record however is less favorable with 8 defeats to his teammate (2007, 2009*, 2010, 2012, 2014*, 2016, 2019, 2022) out of 14 attempts. *2009, 2014 was DSQ and retirement. He has just 2 wins whereas his team-mates have got 5 wins at this circuit.

    1. True, he’s often been unlucky here, example in 2017 and 2018, being held behind verstappen and an unlucky VSC respectively.

  11. It would be stuff of Legend if the one to derail Ferrari’s championship hopes is Ferrari driver Academy Sergio Perez. 😁

    1. ryanoceros666
      13th April 2022, 19:32

      Why would it be Carlito tho? 2nd / 3rd / one bad race for 3rd in championship is a good start.

      1. But that’s not what he said, he mentioned perez, strange comment though cause ferrari driver academy?

        1. Yes Perez was part of the Ferrari driver Academy. Look it up.

  12. First driver to manage fastest lap 3 races in a row since Hamilton in Italy-Japan 2014.

    Russell has finished 3 places higher than he started in both the Australian GPs he has competed in.

    Both Bahrain and Australia saw Stroll start 19th and finish 12th.

    Mercedes are the only team to have got both cars to the end of all 3 races so far this season.

    Sainz’s first no-score since France 2021. Hamilton has the longest unbroken streak (11, last no-score was Italy 2021).

    Sainz’s first non-finish since Russia 2020. Leclerc and Norris now have the longest unbroken streaks (14, last non-finish was Hungary 2021).

    3 of the last 5 Australian GPs (2016, 2018, 2022) have seen Bottas finish 8th after starting outside the top 10.

    Leclerc’s 4 wins have all come from pole. None of the other drivers with exactly 4 wins won a race from pole (McLaren and Irvine never even managed a pole).

    Thanks to statsf1 and the official F1 site for some of these.

    1. So stroll is still a bad qualifier and a better racer and mercedes have been extremely reliable and avoided accidents.

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