On the face of Charles Leclerc’s two podium finishes – a second and a third – constitute a meagre return for a Ferrari driver by their prior standards. But not by the standards of Ferrari in 2020, when they produced their worst car for decades.
How did Leclerc do it? First, with a conclusive superiority in qualifying which saw him beat Vettel 13-4 on Saturdays. Leclerc regularly qualified in excess of four-tenths of a second quicker in like-for-like sessions, discounting any track evolution advantage he may have gained by reaching Q3 on 11 occasions to Vettel’s three.
There were times when Leclerc qualified the Ferrari far in excess of where it belonged. He lined up fourth at Silverstone, the Nurburgring, Algarve and Bahrain. At times he even conspired to drag his Ferrari through Q2 on harder tyres while Vettel couldn’t do the same on softs.
The SF100 was never capable of finishing a race as high on merit. That meant Leclerc typically slipped back from these high starting positions. He bagged second place in the season-opening round – a result which looked more outstanding with every subsequent race – thanks to a well-timed Safety Car period, some great passes and other drivers running into trouble.
Third in the British Grand Prix also came courtesy of some good fortune, though he brilliantly reached Q3 on medium tyres, giving him a valuable strategic advantage. Silverstone was good to him: At the second race a week later he managed his tyres superbly and one-stopped to fourth.
This was followed by a three-race barren spell: His power unit failed in Spain, and Ferrari’s poor straight-line speed left them nowhere at Spa and Monza. After that he was never out of the points again until the final two races of the season.
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He was perhaps fortunate to come away with sixth at Sochi after dodging an investigation for knocking Lance Stroll out of the race on the first lap. But fourth place at Algarve came his way courtesy of what was arguably the qualifying lap of the year to reach Q3 again on medium tyres.
|Beat team mate in qualifying||13/17|
|Beat team mate in race||10/13|
|Laps spent ahead of team mate||585/800|
Leclerc finished in the top five again at the next two races, Imola and Istanbul. A better result was possible at the latter, where he ran wide on the final lap while trying to pass Sergio Perez for second place, and slipping to fourth as a result. Characteristically, notwithstanding his superior pace compared to Vettel up to that point, Leclerc was beside himself with rage at letting such an opportunity pass him by.
There were times when Leclerc let his desperation to bag a result get the better of him. By his own admission he took excessive risks at the start on occasions, notably in the penultimate round where he compromised Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen’s races, and most unfortunately in the second race where the victim was his own team mate.
But while on that single occasion Leclerc carried the can for ruining his team’s race, the rest of the time he was usually their only driver who was not only capable of scoring regularly, but finishing in the top half of the top 10. Under the circumstances, that was remarkable.
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2020 F1 season review
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #2: Max Verstappen
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #4: Carlos Sainz Jnr
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #5: Daniel Ricciardo
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #6: Pierre Gasly
84 comments on “2020 F1 driver rankings #3: Charles Leclerc”
3rd February 2021, 7:41
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Ferrari man and I support and will keep supporting Charles with all I have, but I just don’t feel this was his best year in F1. He did get out of the car things few others would have managed to get, but there were also mistakes. Sure, he was not fighting for the title, but these need to be cleared out before he becomes a true contender (once Ferrari gives him the machinery). Max did very well in that regard this year – realistically he wasn’t fighting for the title either, but he managed to eliminate these kind of mistakes and was consistently third which paid off with a second place at times.
3rd February 2021, 11:18
Hey, mate. Nice analysis. But remember to take into account the “midfield versus frontrunning” factor.
The top 4 (or 6, it depends) is, mathematically, a safer environment to be in. Less cars, less tangles, less acidents. Plus the fact that, if one is running in front, he is one of the title contenders or, at least, he’s close to them, who rather play safe to avoid losing everything at lap 1 and restarts. The midfield, on the other hand, is pure carnage, as we’ve seen in 2019 and 2020.
Do you remember the circumstances in which Leclerc crashed in 2019? Q2 in Baku (wall), Q1 in Hungary (wall), (wall) wet race in Germany (wall) and Monaco (tangle with Hulkenberg). In other words, when did he crashed into another driver? When he was in the midfield, after a bad quali. All blame on him, of course. But the “midfield environment” is ruthless. Time will tell.
But he’s still young and have only 3 full seasons. Remember of Verstappen in 2018, when he had 3 full seasons: Crashed into Vettel in China while Ricciardo won, crashed in Monaco FP3 while Ricciardo got pole and won, crashed with Ricciardo in Baku after moving under braking. Nickname? Crashtappen. And he improved.
3rd February 2021, 11:34
That’s well said @jjlehto, I do feel third in this ranking is a bit high and the article seems to somewhat play down his errors, which were quite notable errors that in a normal year for the team would probably have gathered a lot more negative attention. Still, can’t say it’s really wrong, because he did show a lot too. Let’s see if this year against Sainz he can learn from his teammate’s consistency and calm down a bit to iron out the negatives.
3rd February 2021, 14:38
THere were errors, but it’s easy not to make them when you have a good and stable car. It’s much more complicated when you have a bad one, and you basically have to go in “Beserk” mode all the time to have a chance to score well. This raking is subjective for sure, but I really don’t think we can fall on Leclerc for the mistakes looking at the context. He (barely) saved Ferrari’s honor single handled.
3rd February 2021, 15:03
@HAL Agree. Counting errors is unfair for the reasons you say.
4th February 2021, 7:37
“was consistently third which paid off with a second place at times.”
Max in fact finished withing the top 2 eight times and just three times in 3rd, once 6th.
He maximized the car’s potential the best of all drivers, including Hamilton.
Im Charles 2019 was as roughas his 2020 season, crashing a lot and crashing ito other’s a lot, yet stil I feel his 3rd place i the overall ranking is justified… He is fast, really fast.
4th April 2021, 12:54
How many years Verstappen in F1? 7 years! Since 2015 to 2018, he did several mistakes like Leclerc until he got special nickname from all of us ‘CRUSHTAPPEN’. WHY? Because he hit barrier and hit rivals cars often. People defend his silly mistakes by keep saying,”He is younger, less experience, let he learn from his mistakes.” And he got right car that made for him in 2019-2020, so his 2nd drivers always struggling because it wasn’t ‘their car’ and again fans who adore Car performance chanting in anywhere,”Max crushing them all.” Do you think Max will perform well if he drive SF1000? Vettel is 4th times Champion that Red Bull made and Leclerc beat him in inferior complicated car in 2020. If Red Bull champion found their hell in Ferrari car, i believe your Max will doing the same thing like Vettel. That is the reason he and his father want Mercedes, right? Because easily winning with GREAT CAR! If he perform well ONLY IF THE CAR is suitable with his driving style and great car, is that your great category, eh?
3rd February 2021, 7:52
Yes, he did make quite a lot of mistakes this year. But what this season showed me is that Leclerc is an absolute freak in how quick he is. One thing is for sure, once this Hamilton era ends, we’ll have no shortage of generational talents in F1 with Max and Charles. Once they both mature some more and gain some more experience, they’ll be among the best ever I predict.
3rd February 2021, 8:34
Agree on the talent part, but struggle to see his 2020 overall performance as 3rd best.
Also this article seems to hang the rating a lot on the quali results.
3rd February 2021, 8:54
If that was the case, then Norris should have been ranked ahead of Sainz. I fail to see any real pattern or solid logic in the ratings this year. I also agree that Leclerc is a little higher than he should be despite moments of brilliance. I would rate him at a generous #4 .. behind Ricciardo at #3.. but slightly ahead of Gasly at #5.
3rd February 2021, 15:22
@mashiat In theory yes I agree. But if Mercedes continue it will likely all be academic. It will then probably be Russell and talents of their generation Verstappen and Leclerc will stand with nothing.
3rd February 2021, 17:03
@balue Mercedes’ dominance will continue for the foreseeable future, but I doubt it will last forever. Both Leclerc and Max are 22, their time will come. Hamilton didn’t win his 2nd world title until he was 29, and he is now set to lift his 8th this season. They are unlikely to ever experience an era quite like the Hamilton-Mercedes era, but they’ll win multiple titles I’m certain. Let’s not forget that it’s not as if they have lifetime contracts with their teams either; the whoever the best teams are will snap them up.
3rd February 2021, 15:40
Max and Charles have already shown they can go wheel to wheel with Lewis and win. The bigger issue I think is getting cars under them that can challenge for the title.
4th February 2021, 2:20
Agree, it’s all about the car, give them an equal car and I wouldn’t bet against a verstappen, or in a while even a leclerc title.
The Edge (@the-edge)
3rd February 2021, 8:03
Umm… someone made a car go faster than it’s capable of? I don’t think so
3rd February 2021, 8:32
He did give his 200% though.
Jimmi Cynic (@jimmi-cynic)
3rd February 2021, 9:45
Not enough. 1000% is the new 100%
3rd February 2021, 10:21
He drove so fast that he dropped that last 0 on The SF100
3rd February 2021, 12:34
@the-edge You always get comments like this. People need to understand the speech is figurative, not literal. Saying someone outdrove the car means that they achieved more from that car than what you would expect the average driver would have done. Not that they quite literally drove a car beyond it’s physical limits and defied science as we know it.
4th February 2021, 2:06
Another possible sense of overdriving a car is driving it too fast to be able to control it. Which is perfectly possible, but usually ends badly
3rd February 2021, 8:13
A tad generous.
But thanks for reminding that several of his Q1 and Q2 qualifyings were on harder tyres than Seb. Makes his qualifying performance look even more remarkable.
3rd February 2021, 8:19
There is no doubt that Charles Leclerc is an extremely quick driver, he has proved it in different occasions/machineries in his short F1 career and in 2020, he showcased his talent under difficult circumstances.
Being ranked in the top 3 is slightly overvaluing his 2020 campaign,as there wasn’t aby benchmark inside the team. Sebastian Vettel appeared demotivated, having lost a lot of confidence in the team after the end of 2019 and the contract situation,plus never managed to alter his driving style to the SF1000 characteristics.
Ferrari had a similar situation again in the past, notably in 2012, when Massa was nowhere in the first half of the season and Alonso was thriving. Massa managed to sort himself in the second half and match Alonso in a lot of races, something that Vettel didn’t manage to do.
Leclerc had some amazing weekends,like in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix & Portimao, when he managed to outpace every opponent with ease,but the costly mistakes he did in Styria, Bahrain Outer, Monza are way too important to be ignored. He didn’t just take himself out of the race,he caused a big crash for another competitor as well( Vettel and Verstappen-Perez).
Jelle van der Meer (@)
3rd February 2021, 8:31
Leclerc gets far too much credit for a not so bad Ferrari – yes he did far better than Vettel but that says more about Vettel than about Leclerc.
If you look at the number of (foolish) mistakes made he certainly doesn’t deserve top 3 nor even top 5.
3rd February 2021, 14:46
Well this ranking is subjective, for sure. But it’s always easy to look good when all is fine, much more complicated when nothing goes well. In that aspect, Leclerc was amazing ; he kept coming with strong result the whole year and was the only Ferrari-powered car to do so. Sure the Haas and Sauber were bad car too, but just looking at the super weak straighline of all Ferrari-powered cars, Leclerc really had to go super aggressive to qualify so well. I races he felt back often, but was still much faster and was able to manage the tire quite well…
There were some mistake, but when you are pushing everything 100% and have to go Beserk all the time to score, that logical. I’m however with you on the fact that clearly Vettel had a bad year and that helped a bit Charles to look the hero
So I don’t think the top 3 is wrong, albeit debatable. Not even a top 5 ? I disagree…
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
3rd February 2021, 8:36
The overachieving results he got from that car often reminded me of 2010/2012 Fernando at times. Particularly the first half of the season. Then there were a few mistakes that crept in, still young and easily done when pushing a car so far beyond its natural position on the grid. I’ll agree with third for Charles.
3rd February 2021, 8:38
I never doubted Leclerc’s speed, as he’s showed time and time again in junior categories and in earlier season in F1, but this season we’re placing him so high just because the car seemed horrible. But we actually don’t know if the car was that bad. We can only say the car was atrocious because of Vettel’s performance.
But that could also be said of RedBull: was the RBR 2020 a dismal car because Albon couldn’t drive it? What if the Ferrari was actually a decent racecar but didn’t suit Vettel at all? Would we still place Charles so high on the scale, given how many errors he made this season, if he had a teammate extracting similar performance to him?
3rd February 2021, 8:53
I suggest you check out The Race’s channel for a good video on Verstappen and why this argument holds so little weight.
Yes, Leclerc is better at adapting to poor machinery. Yes, the Ferrari was a steaming pile of you-know-what. And yes, Leclerc showed some absolute brilliance this season and elevated a lower midfield car to the top of said midfield. Yes, the RBR was a really poor handling car for a lot of the first half of the season, they ultimately fixed it, but that doesn’t change that it was a botched design for a good while there.
Now as for Leclerc’s errors, I think people are way harsher on him than they have to be. We saw it in years prior with Verstappen, too. Young drivers sometimes make bad calls, this is a thing that happens and will happen next year when Russell gets the call up as well (as we saw this year when he wrecked his Williams behind the SC, I suppose). Does that mean they aren’t brilliant? Of course not, it just means they lack experience and with that: patience and insight. That kind of stuff will ultimately correct itself and is, I’d say, a necessary evil. It doesn’t take away from the, quite frankly, astonishing drives and pace Leclerc extracted from that car this season, imo.
3rd February 2021, 11:30
We’re not ranking talent or (mere) brilliance though, but how well the driver performed.
3rd February 2021, 11:38
Indeed @aapje, @aiii, as with Verstappen who’s talent also never was in doubt, and who showed plenty of it in his first years, but also some notable errors, Leclerc did make several costly errors, not just to him, but to others, and that does make 3rd in the ranking look generous.
I do think Leclerc can iron out those mistakes (maybe learn from Sainz’ consistency this season?), just like Verstappen got better with experience, and then we can hopefully some time see those two fight it on the edge for wins and a championship, but Leclerc is not yet there (though neither is Red Bull, nor Ferrari, I suspect).
3rd February 2021, 13:31
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. My point was that Leclerc is so high on the list (despite his costly mistakes) solely because everyone thinks the Ferrari was abysmal and they compare Leclerc’s performance too much to Vettel’s. I know we can not rate a driver in a vacuum, but when the other driver has an atrocious season, the other one might be praised too much in my opinion.
Let’s say, hypotethically, that Max couldn’t drive for RedBull this last season, and their lineup would be Gasly + Albon. Neither of them probably couldn’t get the car comfortably in the top 6, with the rare exception when Gasly, let’s say, finished on the podium. Would Gasly be ranked 3rd on this list solely because the car was considered abysmal? How would he fared given the same performances if Max was his teammate and proved the car was actually second-best?
4th February 2021, 2:27
You’re making a good point, which explains why no one is answering it directly…
Indeed, I think the ferrari wasn’t so bad and that might’ve overrated leclerc’s performance, cause even as a non-vettel fan at all I can see clearly this can’t be the level of performance he had in his red bull years, he was always mistake prone but was fast, which he completely lacked this season.
Even so I would think leclerc should be in the top 5, but indeed, besides vettel it’s hard to compare with other drivers.
3rd February 2021, 8:48
I bet he’s still obsessed with giving Max “Karma for Austria”. Just look at Japan 2019 and Sakhir 2020 all over again.
3rd February 2021, 9:01
Sainz will get smashed by Leclerc.
We know Hamilton will be number one despite the substitute driver beating his teammate, and Verstappen many times beating said teammate despite a massive car disadvantage.
As seen with Bottas ahead of Russell, Hamilton ahead of Verstappen, too much weighting given to winning races in one of the most dominant cars of all time.
Russell would have won a dozen races this year in the Merc.
3rd February 2021, 9:40
What is wrong with you? Why must everything devolve into ‘I hate Hamilton’ when nobody was talking about him? What is with the disturbing obsession you have with hating him?
What really motivated your hatred? Nationalistic hatred – you have previously put it on record that you dislike British people? Or is it something else?
3rd February 2021, 10:35
You’re unbelievable just making things up about me again.
7th February 2021, 9:36
You’re behaving like you’re an Impostor. I’m voting you off.
Tony Mansell (@tonymansell)
3rd February 2021, 9:46
NO come on there were 18 races, Russell would have beaten Lewis every time and Lewis would’ve come out and said, listen to Dean F, for he is right, I am lucky and rubbish. I owe everything to pure chance and I am now going to hand over my car to Lance Stroll, who is equally lucky and will accidentally win 8 WDC’s, so better than me also.
3rd February 2021, 12:59
The article is about Leclerc numbnuts.
Cute how Hamilton lives in your thick head rent free though.
He made no mistakes, of course he will be number one. Verstappen made a fair few, funniest was booting it directly into a tyre barrier instead of lifting at the start one time.
3rd February 2021, 16:17
You’re gonna be “Going, going, gone” by now!
3rd February 2021, 9:08
Last year we knew Leclerc was fast in a good car, but now we know he’s fast in a bad car, so I feel his 2020 campaign has demonstrated he is truly elite. Of the current grid only Alonso and Verstappen have shown they can get amazing results in awful cars. (Assuming that the 2020 RB being very difficult to drive is what caused Albon such grief, which is probably not the whole story.) Even Hamilton hasn’t shown he can do this – not knocking Lewis, he likely could, but hasn’t been in such a bad car ever.
4th February 2021, 2:31
Yes, it’d be interesting to see if hamilton can do it, I feel like when in the early part of 2009 he was given a subpar mclaren he did good things, but half a season is nothing compared to other great drivers, who had to deal with a bad car for several years. Schumacher was also notable in this category, one of the best features alonso has in common with schumacher is indeed the ability to extract the most from a bad car.
Luke S (@joeypropane)
3rd February 2021, 9:11
I think Charles’ performance has been flattered considerably by Seb’s – A driver we’ve all seen struggle in a car that isn’t to his liking (he’s a Button/Kimi kinda driver, rather than a Lewis/Alonso who can adapt quickly), compounded by just being a BAD year generally for his headspace and motivation.
Look at the 2019 results – both regularly on the podium, both got wins, both were well clear of the mid-field… Heck, Seb actually had more 2nd places. You don’t go from that level of competition to finishing 5 places apart in the WDC in the space of a year without there being both internal and external circumstances…
3rd February 2021, 9:47
@joeypropane – Everyone seems to have accepted that a driver who won multiple championships is suddenly one of the slowest on the grid…. I’m not convinced the Ferrari this year wasn’t just a terrible car and that a midfield driver would have had similar results to Vettel. Perhaps Leclerc was only miles ahead because he put in a Verstappen-level performance?
3rd February 2021, 11:44
It’s just not realistic to think that any driver is that much better than a top-level Vettel. Also, we’ve seen slumps from Vettel in the past.
3rd February 2021, 12:50
@aapje Oh it’s definitely a slump from Vettel – no doubt about it. I just don’t think he’s slumped as far as some seem to think. I think he’s gone from being just outside of the top tier of drivers (4th or 5th fastest) to somewhere in the middle.
The rankings this year have him 19th which doesn’t make a lot of sense in conjunction with Leclerc being 3rd. Either the car is really bad which justifies Leclerc being in 3rd but gives a reason for Vettel (a slower driver this year than Leclerc) finishing behind him or the car was actually pretty good in which case Vettel’s finishing positions mean the 19th is deserved but Leclerc should have got more out of the car whilst making fewer mistakes and 3rd is a bit OTT.
I personally believe the car wasn’t very good and that Leclerc had to drive the car right at it’s limit to get the results he did which explains the mistakes. If you’re going at 80% like Hamilton (not a dig – why push harder if you win easily anyway), you’ll sometimes accidentally push too hard and take 82% out of the car but it makes little difference. If you’re pushing the car to 100% and accidentally push a bit harder, you’ll push the car past it’s limit and go off.
3rd February 2021, 19:48
I lean more to considering 3rd for Leclerc to be over the top. I think that Ricciardo should be ahead, at least.
F1 in Figures (@f1infigures)
4th February 2021, 17:24
@petebaldwin True. I think Leclerc had an incredibly strong season. That Ferrari was hard to drive (it was a little unpredictable) and under-powered, no wonder even a 4-times world champion struggled to even score points with it in most races. Yet Leclerc scored two podiums and three fourth places. This year will be interesting, when Leclerc is paired with Sainz. If they’re evenly matched, then Vettel’s 2020 season was just horrible. If Leclerc comes out on top, then we know he indeed is incredibly good.
Tony Mansell (@tonymansell)
3rd February 2021, 9:23
That Algarve qually lap was probably up there with Lewis’ in Singapore 2018. Just an impossible result. Maybe if he’d won the last race but done little before, some people would be arguing he should be top, see Perez. But on the season as a whole if you think dispassionately he dragged that Ferrari to places it had no right to be. He is super hard on himself when he makes an error but he is the real deal and Sainz is going to find him a handful at best.
Id love to see him Max and Lewis have competitive machinery to fight each other. We got a glimpse of his superb racecraft vs Max at Silverstone but everyone, particularly the ‘lucky Lewis’ brigade, would like to see the 3 of them properly go toe to toe.
4th February 2021, 2:36
Yes, we got some glimpse of it in 2019 as well, when verstappen had a good car he fought or beat hamilton, and when leclerc had one the same, unfortunately leclerc couldn’t join ferrari in 2018, that was a good car, he’d have won the title provided he didn’t make several mistakes, which he might’ve made considering the limited experience.
3rd February 2021, 9:37
I would probably put Leclerc 4th behind Ricciardo, but I’m flabbergasted at those who say he should be as low as 7th or even 8th. Wrt his mistakes, only Styria was a massive misjudgement, Sakhir was a smaller one in that he expected Perez to drive round the outside of Bottas rather than doing a switchback on lap 1, which is a risky move when there are cars behind.
Leclerc’s mistakes at Sochi and Istanbul were also borne of small errors that had far larger consequences. His Monza error was probably a question of if rather than when…if you saw how the Ferraris were handling all weekend you’d’ve known that.
Still a mistake, but it’s easy to see why they happened…at 22/23 this 3rd year driver is being tasked with overcompensating for a horrible car in a team where the pressure on any driver is tremendous. Verstappen was making glaring misjudgements well into his fourth year and really the only pressure he was under at the time was beating a very fancied teammate.
Hamilton’s list of mistakes from 2008: impeding a driver at Sepang, clobbering the wall in Monaco, rear-ending Kimi in the pitlane in Canada, passing Vettel off-track in France, spinning at La Source in the lead in Belgium, pushing Glock off the track at Monza, pushing Kimi off the track in Japan turn 1…and yet he was widely considered to be equal-best driver of the year with Kubica. Mistakes are to be expected from inexperienced drivers, as long as they’re not smug about it and don’t become slow while trying to iron them out we shouldn’t crucify them for it.
3rd February 2021, 10:24
Yeah Leclerc in the top 4 seems like a no brainer: who was better than him except Hamilton and Verstappen? He’s beaten a 4 times world champ consistently for to years straight. This kid is the real deal.
Some people seem to see him as a diva and that impacts their judgement, no idea where that comes from.
David BR (@david-br)
3rd February 2021, 15:48
@wsrgo Hamilton in 2008 also happened to win a championship against two equally competitive Ferraris, which may explain why he was considered equal best driver of the year. Including some truly outstanding races. The mistakes were there but he was also the victim of a few (including from race stewards). More reminiscent of Verstappen’s first year or two at Red Bull, I think, brilliant but sometimes wild. Leclerc is something else. He always struck me as a very level-headed rookie and he didn’t really switch to an aggressive style until bettered (bumped off track) by Verstappen. Since then, similarly overambitious/aggressive moves have become more a part of his racing. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, for him, but it’s different since it’s a style he adopted, not one he began with and, like Hamilton and Verstappen, could maybe tame with more experience. Overall I’d put Leclerc after Ricciardo, Gasly and even Sainz maybe. Definitely not third.
3rd February 2021, 16:37
@david-br Leclerc’s driving at Monaco 2019 was definitely aggressive, and that was before Austria. If you’ve seen him in junior formulae, he was always aggressive, take a look at his battle with Albon in Abu Dhabi in 2017, or his drives in Monaco, Hungary and Jerez, or his many drives in GP3, European F3, FR2.0 and even KZ karting.
The point I made about Hamilton in 2008 stands, he made several errors, but he had two all-time great drives in Britain and Germany, and many other very strong ones. Leclerc’s Turkish GP drive was arguably one of the best examples of race-long midfield brilliance I’ve seen all year, until the last braking zone. His race performances at Portimao and Silverstone-2 were also amazing, and in Austria he overtook a faster car on equal tyres to secure 2nd.
David BR (@david-br)
3rd February 2021, 18:54
@wsrgo True about Monaco 2019, but I thought that was more circumstantial and one-off, at least in his early F1 career. I still think he switched approach when stewards OK-ed Verstappen’s aggression and green flagged more ‘robust’ driving. And like I said, I don’t remember the kind of clumsy lunges he’s been making more lately. I get your point that he had some real highs in 2020. I guess we’re arguing about where he comes between 3rd and 6th.
Aussie Rod (@aussierod)
3rd February 2021, 10:22
IMO Leclerc has proven over the past two seasons that he is the real deal and just as quick as Verstappen and Hamilton. The three of them going head to head in equal(ish) equipment would be a mouth-watering prospect.
I’m a bit surprised at him rating third but the whole point of this list is to factor in car performance and the Ferrari was a dog. Leclerc, Ricciardo, Sainz, Perez, Gasly and Norris were all impressive which made for a sensational midfield battle that was a pleasure to watch.