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Charles Leclerc

The data that shows Leclerc is the most consistent driver this season

Max Verstappen is still leading the world championship after a mediocre Monaco Grand Prix. But there is one driver who has performed more consistently than the reigning world champion this season.

Leclerc podium Monaco
Analysis
To news overview © XPBimages

If you look purely at the championship standings, Max Verstappen still has a considerable 31-point lead over the competition following the eighth round of the 2024 F1 season.

Diving deeper into the numbers, we see one driver performing remarkably consistently. It may not be the driver you immediately think of, because he has made a few mistakes in the past. That driver, is Charles Leclerc.

For example, in 2022 the Monegasque looked set to seriously challenge Verstappen for the world title. 

Leclerc was already suffering damage from stoppages in Spain and Azerbaijan, but threw his title aspirations away for good when he was leading the French Grand Prix. He lost control of his Ferrari and eventually went into the wall.

As fickle as Leclerc was before, he seems to be consistent this season. It may not be so noticeable because of the staggering rise of McLaren, for example, but Leclerc is making the most of every race, and that makes him very much in the running for the world title. In fact, he is currently Verstappen's closest rival.

Leclerc's deficit to Verstappen is 31 points at the moment, but the Monegasque dealt a serious blow to the Dutchman and Red Bull in Monaco. 

The Monegasque's victory last weekend at the Circuit de Monaco was his first since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, whilst Verstappen's finishing position in Monaco was his worst result since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen finishing sixth allowed Leclerc to take a sizeable 17-point chunk out of his advantage, ahead of the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix which is another venue which might not suit Red Bull.

Diving deeper into Leclerc's numbers, we see that his worst result so far has been a fourth-place finish.

At Ferrari, it was Carlos Sainz who drew all the attention to himself in the opening races after winning in Australia, however, that has since turned completely. Leclerc is simply performing better and more consistently than his team-mate.

Even Verstappen, despite his strong start, cannot match Leclerc's consistency. Of course, sixth place in Monaco plays a very big part in that. 

Even Sainz's worst result in 2024 is better than that sixth-place finish by Verstappen. The Spaniard finished fifth three times in a row, in China, Miami and Imola.

Text continues below the table. (retirements & sprint races are not included in the table)

Best vs. worst result in 2024

WC position Driver Best result Worst result
1. Max Verstappen P1 P6
2. Charles Leclerc P1 P4
3. Lando Norris P1 P8
4. Carlos Sainz P1 P5
5. Sergio Perez P2 P8
6. Oscar Piastri P2 P13
7. George Russell P5 P8
8. Lewis Hamilton P6 P9

What is particularly noticeable in the table is that a number of drivers have already had a hefty off-day, except for the men from Ferrari. 

That is also a big difference for the Scuderia compared to the past. Where the Italian team would previously suffer from constant strategic and driver errors, they now know how to recover well and get the maximum results.

Where Verstappen, for example, had a disappointing weekend in Monaco and Lando Norris saw an alternative strategy fail in Saudi Arabia, someone like Sergio Perez clearly has more problems. In Australia, he finished behind the Ferraris and McLarens, in Imola he had a poor qualifying session and in Monaco he was eliminated in Q1.

Leclerc has not suffered from any of this yet. No crashes and, most importantly, big points scoring. As a result, he has already been on the podium five times in eight races and finished second in the sprint race in Miami. 

The icing on the cake, he took victory in his home race. The big question for Leclerc and Ferrari will be: how long can they sustain this consistent run?

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