Leclerc could win every remaining race but still lose the title to Verstappen

2022 French Grand Prix stats and facts

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Charles Leclerc has fallen so far behind in the title fight he could win all of the remaining races – including the sprint event in Brazil – yet still lose the championship.

Even with 10 rounds still remaining, Leclerc’s 63-point deficit means he can’t rely on winning every time to beat Verstappen. If the Red Bull driver takes second in all the remaining races, including the Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race, and nabs the bonus points for fastest lap, even a Leclerc clean sweep won’t make the Ferrari driver champion.

This may not be a realistic scenario, but it illustrates how far Leclerc has fallen behind in a championship since his lead over Verstappen peaked at 46 points three races in. In the nine races since, the points swing against Leclerc has been a whopping 109 – he’s lost over 12 points to Verstappen on average each time out.

Points projection based on Leclerc winning all remaining grands prix and sprint races, and Verstappen finishing second and taking all fastest lap bonus points

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The weekend began promisingly for Leclerc: The driver of car number 16 took the 16th pole position of his career, giving him as many as Stirling Moss, Felipe Massa and Verstappen.

Verstappen now has as many wins as thrice-champion Stewart
It was Ferrari’s first pole position in the French Grand Prix since Kimi Raikkonen’s in the 2008 event at Magny-Cours. Ferrari’s last pole position at Paul Ricard was scored by Nigel Mansell in 1990, the last grand prix at the track before it returned to the schedule in 2018.

Verstappen scored his second consecutive French Grand Prix win. It was the 27th victory of his career, giving him the same number as Jackie Stewart, a previous holder of the record for most grand prix wins.

This is the sixth time Verstappen won a race that Leclerc start on pole position. While Verstappen has converted 11 of his 16 pole positions into victories Leclerc, has taken just four from the same number of poles. Remarkably, of the races where Leclerc took pole position, he has won less often than Verstappen:

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2022
Hamilton marked 300 starts with his fourth podium finish in a row
Lewis Hamilton (remember when it felt like every instalment of Stats and Facts began with six paragraphs on him?) achieved his best result of the season so far with second place, and took his fourth consecutive podium finish. It was a decent way to mark his 300th career start.

He is the sixth driver to reach that milestone. Rubens Barrichello was the first, joined later by Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Raikkonen. The latter’s record for starting the most races – 349 – should fall to Alonso at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Hamilton is unique among his fellow ‘300 club’ members in having started the race in every grand prix weekend he has participated in. At least, as far as anyone can be said to have ‘raced’ at Spa last year…

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

2022 French Grand Prix

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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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77 comments on “Leclerc could win every remaining race but still lose the title to Verstappen”

  1. Verstappen also took the 19th fastest lap of his career

    What did I miss?

    1. That he had already scored the fastest lap 18 times?

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        26th July 2022, 18:03

        Well I think jff refers more to the fact that Carlos Sainz scored the fastest lap and not Max

        1. Perhaps it means VER only clocked a lap time faster than 1:37.491 18 other times in his career? I don’t know, doesn’t sound too plausible either 🤪

  2. This was only a second occasion that driver with 300 or more Grands Prix got a podium. The first one was Alonso at Qatar last year.

    1. It’s also quite special to score a podium on the first and (so far) last occasion.
      Not many achieved that I guess: a quick search only gave me Fagioli and Serafini (but they needed a teammate to help them).

    2. Lewis is the only driver with 300 or more Grands Prix and got a 2nd place finsh and consecutive podiums.

    3. I went to check on Barrichello, who had 322 starts.
      His last podium happened when he was aroubr 270-280 starts.

  3. The first stat indeed illustrates how bad Leclerc’s situation has become championship hope-wise.
    For reference, in the above theoretical scenario, he’d finish the season still two points behind.

    Alonso got a new record by completing lap 3, 18.672 laps completed in F1, the most ever.

    The 50th occasion with VER-HAM among the podium trio.

    Max has led 1500-something (I don’t recall the precise figure anymore) laps.
    He’s closing on Nelson Piquet at 1600 in P10 on the most laps list.

    Hamilton & Stroll are still the only drivers who’ve finished each race this season.

    Zhou’s fifth non-finish, the most among all regular drivers thus far.

    1. Finished is a generous term for Stroll. He was classified in Azerbaijan, but did retire with a few laps to go. Lewis has completed all but 1 lap (he was lapped at Imola) this season.

      1. @chrischrill so Lewis is the only driver to bring the car home every race this season…Mercedes superior reliability shows because RUS would be there also if not for the Silverstone start carnage.

      2. @chrischrill @ccpbioweapon
        My bad, I simply forgot he retired close to the end in Baku.

    2. True, but on the other hand, one DNF from Max cuts the gap in half, if LeClerc wins.

      It’s a fun exercise, but it’s really just fan fiction at the moment. Too many things can change.

    3. I Love all these statistics! Thanks and keep them coming please.

  4. This will go down as a season of what might have been.
    Ferrari mistakes (and Mercs flawed car design) has taken all the intensity out of the season

    1. Indeed, had high hopes for this season.
      It’s for sure not as bad as with the Mercedes domination years, but the errors of Ferrari do make it more boring.

      1. I disagree with both of you.
        The championship(s) is probably not that exciting anymore, but the racing is way better than I’ve seen for many many years. Not just the fights at the front, but also the close following and many fights throughout the field.

    2. At least the Ferrari is still a quick car so a red bull win isn’t guaranteed at each round based on pace. Red Bull might end up effectively romping to the championship but it’s not a 2014-16 scenario where no one has a chance barring disaster. And who knows, a Bahrain/Australia repeat could be just around the corner which would put Charlie right back in the hunt.

    3. That is the sad part. We could have legit 5-6 drivers fighting for a win. The mercedes misstep left the races open to RB and Ferrari and Ferrari mistakes left the door open for a “easy” VER season.

      1. This never happens though. We had a once in a decade season and now we are back to normal.

        1. Drivers from three teams or more being in the hunt for the WDC is more than a once in a decade thing and so is 5+ drivers with a shot of winning each weekend.

  5. This was Sainz’s 2nd Fastest Lap since joining Ferrari, and 3rd of his career.

    Charles Leclerc now has as many retirements as he has race wins this season (which was also true before winning in Austria). All his retirements have been from the lead or from P2, setting him back at least 68 points which is significant seeing he’s 63 points behind Verstappen.

    Lance Stroll finished 10th for a 4th time this season, it also equals his season best result.

    This was the first double Mercedes podium since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP, but also the second time Lewis Hamilton shared the podium with George Russell (that horrid 2021 Belgian “Grand Prix” being the other instance).

    Gasly has been in the points only once in his last 9 races. If he fails to score points in Hungary, it will equal his longest dry spell of non-points finishes of 5 consecutive Grand Prix weekends. He achieved this twice in 2018 (and also in 2017 if you ignore the key word consecutive, he missed the 2017 US GP when Hartley took his seat as Gasly competed in Super Formula).

    1. I think the 68 vs 63 stat doesn’t say much because leclerc and verstappen both had 2 retirements due to unreliability, and while verstappen lost less points through that, if we gave leclerc the points lost through reliability, we’d have to do the same with verstappen, the end result would still be verstappen way ahead.

      1. True, and that could also swing both ways. “If Verstappen hadn’t retired, he could have another 50 points and lead the championship by close to 130 points”.

        1. 36 maybe, not 50 for sure. VER retired in Bahrain and Australia while in P2, and it didn’t look like he was going to win any of those 2 races.

      2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        26th July 2022, 18:27

        Leclerc was effective no longer in the lead as his lead over the already stopped Verstappen was less than the pitstop delta so you could easily argue that Leclerc only threw away a chance for race win or a very likely 2nd place.
        Same applies for the other races, it happened so early in the race that the race win was not even close to guaranteed.

        So far both drivers had 2 mechanical failures – if you exclude those 4 races Max has 183 and Leclerc 118 so still 65 points difference.

        The biggest gaps are Imola (+19 Max, Leclerc error), Canada (+15 Max , Leclerc engine replacement) and France (+25 Max, Leclerc error) – so from the 63 points lead more than half are caused by Leclerc’s own errors.

        Leclerc only outscored Max twice this season in the 8 races they finished both, that was British GP (+6 Leclerc) where Max picked up damage from debris and Austria GP where Leclerc won main race but Max won sprint and had FLAP (+5 Leclerc) so twice from 8 races and both gains were less than points difference between 1st and 2nd finish.

        It becomes more interesting if Mercedes can get into the mix, that is a bigger threat to Max than Leclerc given Ferrari advantage in qualifying will make it more likely Lewis/Russell attacking Max than Leclerc.

        Key question is if/when Ferrari will prioritize Leclerc’s championships chances over Sainz happiness, Sainz being only 26 points behind is not making that decision easier. Perez is now 70 points behind so if he was not already made the support driver he certainly will be now after his crappy France performance but he needs to improve to be able to take points away from Leclerc, which he did 3 times so far this season versus Sainz twice finishing ahead of Max.

    2. “Lance Stroll finished 10th for a 4th time this season, it also equals his season best result.” – proves how rubbish he is considering the midfield to upper midfield cars he has driven for most of his F1 racing life

      1. Well, the cars from “most of his F1 racing life” aren’t in use this year. Vettel has finished higher than 10th on three races this year, so that’s the stat you can use to highlight Stroll’s poorer season. Stroll has 1 pole position and 3 podium finishes to his name though, he isn’t as rubbish as some make him out to be.

        1. José Lopes da Silva
          26th July 2022, 19:38

          Yes, he is.
          H’es not as bad as Ide or Lavaggi, but he’s not F1 level.
          A pole and 3 podiums mean nothing if you out-perform consistently. Just like race-winner Maldonado. A team cannot rely on a driver who get’s a brilliant result per season and is rubbish the rest of the year.

          By the way, Andrea de Cesaris would never get such a long career today.

    3. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      26th July 2022, 18:06

      “but also the second time Lewis Hamilton shared the podium with George Russell (that horrid 2021 Belgian “Grand Prix” being the other instance).”
      Also on that Podium Max was the winner only Russell was 2nd and Hamilton 3rd.

  6. Hamilton is currently enduring the longest win-less streak of his career with 13 Grand Prix without a win (Abu Dhabi 2021 – France 2022).

    Before this he’s had three 10 race droughts.
    Belgium 2013 – Australia 2014
    Brazil 2012 – Germany 2013
    Brazil 2008 – Germany 2009

    1. I think in 2013 has won only in Hungary and not in Germany.

      1. Yes, he won the 2012 US GP and then went without a win for 10 races, including Germany 2013. His win-less streak ended at the next race in Hungary.

  7. How many races it took for Hamilton to get his first win in each season

    2007 – 6
    2008 – 1
    2009 – 10
    2010 – 7
    2011 – 3
    2012 – 7
    2013 – 10
    2014 – 2
    2015 – 1
    2016 – 6
    2017 – 2
    2018 – 4
    2019 – 2
    2020 – 2
    2021 – 1
    and hungary is 13th race of the season.

  8. Leclerc can still win the championship by 195 points.

    It was Hamilton’s 49th 2nd place. (Only Prost, Vettel, Schumacer and himself has more wins than he has 2nd places)

    1. @qeki

      Leclerc can still win the championship by 195 points.

      He’s now at minus 63 points.

      Supposed he scores 100% of points on offer:
      10 race wins = 250
      1 sprint session win = 8
      10 fastest laps = 10
      Total on offer: 268 points

      268-63 => he can still win by 205 points.

      1. And Alonso can win by 9 points to get his 3rd championship!

        1. At this point this seems more likely than Leclerc winning it by the smallest of margin

      2. @mattds I totally forgot FLAPS

      3. Total on offer: 268 points

        So you’re saying that Hulkenberg can still win the championship ;)

  9. Drivers crashing out of lead (driver error) after about 3.5 seasons with a particular team happens quite often:
    1) Vettel crashed out of the lead in 2018 Germany in what was his 71st race with Ferrari
    2) Schumacher crashed out of Canada 1999 in his 55th race with Ferrari (~3.5 seasons considering a typical 16-race season)
    3) Schumacher crashed out of Imola 1995 in his 56th race with Benetton
    4) Leclerc crashing out of 2022 France in his 72nd race with Ferrari

    One near-miss mention is Nigel Mansell who stalled after the final corner of Canada 1991 in what was his 66th race with Williams. While he did do 1 season more than the 3.5’ers above, one can also discount 1988 where he finished just 2 out of 16 races.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      26th July 2022, 19:19

      Don’t you mean 2 out of 14. He had chicken pox for two races

  10. And if I computed it correctly, with two more wins, VER would need only P3 finishes and, even if LEC wins the other 8 races, still gets the WDC. The scenarios that allow for a WDC different from VER involves 3-4 DNFs.

    1. @Gusmaia that doesn’t sound right… Given Verstappen wins two more times with fastest lap he’ll be 79 ahead.
      8 more race wins for Leclerc with Verstappen in P3 gives him (fastest laps not counting) 80 points gain on Max. So in that case it hinges on fastest laps.

      1. It is a quantic calculation: it is right and wrong at the same time. It only does not sound right if you consider reasonable to expect 8 LEC wins in 10 races.
        When one aggregates the scenarios, the most probable ones do not point to that.
        While is possible to see 1 or 2 VER DNFs, it is almost improbable that LEC will finish every race.
        So, give me 2 VER wins and I bet the house.

        1. Yeah but you literally said if Max wins 2 and finishes P3 in the others while Leclerc wins all those 8 races, Max is champion.

          Of course that isn’t going to happen, but you did state it like that ;)

    2. @Gusmaia also I forgot the sprint we will still get, where there are also 8 points on offer…

  11. Electroball76
    26th July 2022, 13:42

    Looking like Alonso will soon have company in the Double WDC club

  12. Alonso has no asterisks next to his two championships.

    1. (Meant to be a reply to Electroball78.)

    2. I’ve just checked the official results again.
      I still don’t see any asterisk.

      Maybe you should stop imagining it.

      1. No Masi, no title. I know it, you know it.

        1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
          26th July 2022, 18:35

          I can add a few more examples of WDC that never would have been IF

          Max won the WDC on the track by overtaking Hamilton on the final lap under green flag, following a safety car that was not caused by a Red Bull team and whereby the first mistake made by race control was the message “lapped drivers may NOT overtake”.

          The delay in having lapped cars unlap themselves was rectified (not in the prettiest way) by shortening the procedure and not letting all cars unlap themselves).
          Without that initial delay (which was an error on its own) the race would have been green flagged at the same time it did and Lewis would still have lost the race – only difference is that you wouldn’t be complaining about it 9 months later.

        2. No dominant car, no 8 titles. Someone fetch me an asterisk! Same for Vettel – asterisk please. Button? Would he have won without the double diffuser? Unlikely! Hmmm…. We’re going to run out of asterisks!

          Of course, that’s not how things work. There’s no asterisk in any of them. Unfortunately your guy didn’t win and Max did. You do t have to get over it – you can just keep whinging about it for eternity but it doesn’t change the fact Max is looking good for a 2nd world title this year.

          1. Hamilton didn’t have a dominant car 2008, 2017 or 2018—the Ferrari was just as good.

            I think some will never get over 2021–don’t think there’s ever been a championship won/lost due to the blatant rule bending of the race director who then gets sacked for it

          2. All great drivers get and deserve dominant cars. If Max wins this year in the dominant RB, good for him, he earned it and deserves it. That’s very different from what happened in AD last year. Had Masi kept to the rules which all teams knew and understood, including MB, the race would have ended under yellow, with Lewis the winner. Had MB been advised prior to the race that Masi would be altering the rules they would have executed a different strategy when Latifi crashed, one which allowed Lewis to defend his lead on equal tyres to Verstappen.

      1. Nah–simply because it was Ferrari themselves that messed up their fuel hose pitstop—not the race director. Also, considering Lewis was robbed in Spa by the FIA making up rules (as Masi did in AD), Massa shoould never have been that close to Lewis

    3. Max would soon be the youngest driver to win back to back championship not in the fastest car.

      1. I have an opinion
        27th July 2022, 7:58

        Given that Red Bull Racing have the most constructors’ points, I would say they do have the fastest car this year.

        1. even RB says they dont have a good pace for 1 lap. their win steams from a good reliability which they didnt even have at the beginning of 2022 lol

      2. Adrian Newey and some analysts rated RB the fastest car of 2021.

  13. Even if i call Leclerc sort of Alesi-like driver this season somehow reminds me of Schumacher vs. Hill 94-95 rivalry… Still don’t know who has to be the next Hakkinen, maybe Norris, Russell?

  14. Never say never I guess. You never know Mercedes could be on par soon and taking points away from Red Bull too. And there’s always the chance of random DNFs whether reliability or silly crashes at the start etc. it’s not over until it is actually over.

  15. Good thing Leclerc crashed out because I think he had a real chance of winning the championship before his crash.
    I’m saying this because I was rooting against him.

    1. Because Ferrari was looking really fast. If they brought upgrades that made their car genuinely faster and Red Bull couldn’t bring something that could bring them level with Ferrari, then Leclerc could have been champion with some luck and reliability from 30 points back.

  16. It’s amazing that Ricciardo and LeClerc have won the same share of races where Verstappen won pole. Ricciardo’s glory days seem so far in the past now but it’s a reminder of what he has been able to do.

    1. Although that one Ricciardo win from a Verstappen pole was last year.

      1. Bottas was actually the pole sitter in Monza 2021, but had to take a grid penalty.

  17. 2nd consecutive year that Schumacher has set a time fast enough for Q2 in France but not been able to take part in Q2.

    The 4 non-classified drivers all represent countries whose flags only contain red and white.

    Ocon is the first driver to finish 8th more than once this year.

    3rd consecutive race weekend in which McLaren have scored exactly 8 points.

    Thanks to statsf1 and Wikipedia for a couple of these.

  18. Mark in Florida
    26th July 2022, 18:51

    Even if Leclerc could win all the races and Max didn’t finish or crashed out on of two races Ferrari would still figure out a way to lose the driver championship for him. They would come up with a race strategy that somehow favored Carlos again or would put Charles on the wrong pit strategy or tires so that he had to pit out of sequence with the top 5. I don’t know, Ferrari does the opposite of common sense and they call it calculated by the numbers strategy. I don’t think anyone knows how to read a race there anymore. They absolutely have no race feel going on. Mattias gotta go!

  19. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    26th July 2022, 19:55

    * Lewis has started 300 races, all of which with a Mercedes engine and 190 with Mercedes team – both are records.
    * Max scored his 69th podium moving him 1 clear of Barrichello, Max is now 8th of list of most podiums.
    * It was the 50th podium with both Max and Lewis, all time record for 2 drivers is 56 podiums (Lewis & Vettel). In 3rd place is Hamilton-Rosberg with 45 and in 4th is Senna-Prost with 41 shared podiums
    * Max made his 130th race start for Red Bull overtaking Mark Webber who had the record with 129 starts for Red Bull.
    * Leclerc made his 20th front row start, for Max was it is his 37th putting him on par with Stirling Moss, Mark Webber and David Coulthard
    * First time since 1990 that the race of Paul Ricard was not won from pole position, in 1990 Mansell was on pole but Alain Prost won the race.
    * Max has now lead more than 1,500 laps (1,527) putting him only 13th in the all time ranking.
    * Mercedes has outscored Ferrari over the last 5 races with Mercedes scoring 136 points and Ferrari only 115 (despite 2 race wins), Red Bull scored 161 points.
    * Despite Red Bull scoring the most points over the last 5 races, Perez has scored the least points of the top 3 teams with just 53, Leclerc scored 1 point more than Perez, Russell comes next with 59, Sainz then with 61, Lewis scored 77 points and Max scored 108.
    *

    1. I’ve seen it unfold with my own eyes but shocking to see Mercedes outscore Ferrari by 21 points over five races. It’s a big enough sample size. Mercedes is at least 30-40 seconds behind Ferrari in raw net race-time. Almost two pit stops.

  20. BTW, my comment higher up is for Green Flag (@greenflag)

  21. When making these scenarios, it is worth restricting to “best possible outcome” for Leclerc, followed by “best possible remaining outcome” for Verstappen: neither is likely to happen, but Leclerc still has 259 points possible with all P1 and Fastest Laps. That would leave Verstappen with 187 points possible with all second place finishes. Of course there are hundreds of permutations of possible results that leave Leclerc as WDC, but the window where Leclerc and Ferrari can still control their destiny regardless of Verstappen’s performance as “best of rest” is closing fast. If Verstappen wins one more race, Leclerc will no longer be solely in control of the outcome and will then need a slip up by RB/Verstappen to win.

    Since both teams will have victories and DNF’s this maths test is practically moot.

  22. CaliF1fanatic
    27th July 2022, 18:47

    Simplify the maths:
    258 P1 points available
    10 Fastest Lap points available
    187 P2 points available
    Leclerc currently at 170 points
    Verstappen currently at 233 points

    Scenario 1:
    Leclerc collects all P1 and Fatest Lap points available: 170 + 258 + 10 = 438 points
    Verstappen collects all P2 points available: 233 + 187 = 420 points
    Leclerc wins WDC

    Scenario 2:
    Leclerc collects all P1 points available: 170 + 258 = 428 points
    Verstappen collects all P2 points and all Fastest Lap points available: 233 + 187 + 10 = 430 points
    Leclerc wins all of the races, burt still loses the WDC to Verstappen

    Ferrari and Leclerc still control their own destiny and could win the WDC regardless of how Verstappen performs. If, though, Verstappen were to take P1 in two more races, Leclerc will no longer be solely in control of being able to win the WDC.

    Of course neither Scenario 1 nor Scenario 2 reflect even the probability of outcomes, but the maths right now reveal an unusual potential outcome in Scenario 2.

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