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.
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.
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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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
- Aston Martin’s porpoising “does not allow us to exploit the progress the guys have made”
- FIA responds to Verstappen’s criticism of Safety Car performance
- “So this is the end of our race, I guess?” How Alonso’s luckless Australian GP unfolded
- Two-degree temperature rise led to Hamilton’s “difficult position” radio message
- Matching Red Bull’s development rate will be “difficult”, warns Leclerc
40 comments on “Ferrari make their best start to a Formula 1 season since 2004”
13th April 2022, 7:40
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.
13th April 2022, 7:53
@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.
13th April 2022, 14:30
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.
13th April 2022, 8:08
I was worried that these stats articles were deprecated after not seeing them following the first two rounds. Or did I just miss them?
13th April 2022, 8:14
@leblep The opening two events equally had an equivalent stat post coming in the following three days:
13th April 2022, 8:28
@jerejj, okay, my bad then. Thanks for the links
13th April 2022, 8:40
@leblep No worries & you’re welcome.
13th April 2022, 9:19
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.
13th April 2022, 8:10
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.
Red Andy (@red-andy)
13th April 2022, 9:28
@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).
13th April 2022, 9:47
@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.
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).
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
13th April 2022, 8:31
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).
13th April 2022, 9:39
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).
13th April 2022, 8:45
Just curious, but have any Grand Slam holders also topped all the practice sessions too
13th April 2022, 13:51
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.
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.
13th April 2022, 22:47
Hamilton Italy 2015.
Leading every race lap
14th April 2022, 4:45
I’m not sure but I think there also is a grand chelem for winning, getting pole, getting flap but not leading every lap.
14th April 2022, 10:39
That’s not called grand chelem though, it’s hat trick.
14th April 2022, 10:40
Schumacher was relatively better at getting hat tricks, clark at getting grand chelems.
14th April 2022, 21:24
Pit stops hindered Schumacher Grand chelems, reliability hindered Clark on both
13th April 2022, 8:49
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.
13th April 2022, 9:32
@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.
13th April 2022, 10:01
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.
13th April 2022, 8:59
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
Tommy C (@tommy-c)
13th April 2022, 11:43
I can’t tell if this statistic should be worrying or promising for Charles!
14th April 2022, 10:44
Ahah, true, should be promising cause this ferrari is relatively better than 2010 vs the competition.
13th April 2022, 9:01
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.
14th April 2022, 20:29
Awesome stat, thanks for sharing!
F1 frog (@f1frog)
13th April 2022, 10:31
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.
13th April 2022, 11:07
13th April 2022, 12:49
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.
14th April 2022, 10:45
True, he’s often been unlucky here, example in 2017 and 2018, being held behind verstappen and an unlucky VSC respectively.
13th April 2022, 13:37
It would be stuff of Legend if the one to derail Ferrari’s championship hopes is Ferrari driver Academy Sergio Perez. 😁
13th April 2022, 19:32
Why would it be Carlito tho? 2nd / 3rd / one bad race for 3rd in championship is a good start.
14th April 2022, 10:46
But that’s not what he said, he mentioned perez, strange comment though cause ferrari driver academy?
14th April 2022, 23:16
Yes Perez was part of the Ferrari driver Academy. Look it up.
13th April 2022, 22:33
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.
14th April 2022, 10:50
So stroll is still a bad qualifier and a better racer and mercedes have been extremely reliable and avoided accidents.
Comments are closed.