Formula 1 is on vacation, but there are topics that always make people reflect, and one of these is Charles Leclerc’s pole-to-victory statistic, which becomes increasingly unfair to the Ferrari driver.
Charles Leclerc is one of the most beloved drivers in recent decades at Ferrari, even though, after 5 years with the Maranello team, he has only secured 5 victories. The statistic takes on even more ruthless tones when considering that the Monegasque has gathered 23 pole positions, the same as the legendary and late Niki Lauda.
During the last season alone, Ferrari’s number 16 has collected a remarkable 5 poles without converting a single one into a victory. Certainly, with the dominance of Red Bull, the task would have been practically impossible, yet his Maranello teammate Carlos Sainz managed to secure a victory in the year of the Austrian team’s dominance.
Failing to convert poles into victories can become very frustrating for a driver, to the point of making him feel like a failure. Charles Leclerc is undoubtedly the driver on the grid who most suffers from this syndrome. His 14th place in the all-time list of pole-sitters and 50th place in the list of winners perfectly reflects the Monegasque’s frustration but certainly does not relegate him to a failed driver.
Charles Leclerc’s ability to put together the perfect qualifying lap should be a reminder of the crystal-clear talent of the Ferrari driver. However, the characteristics of the Maranello car could not guarantee the number 16 the opportunity to compete for victory.
This limitation probably wasn’t just in 2023 but also in all the previous years, starting from 2019, the year of the Monegasque’s debut with his beloved Ferrari. Perhaps only the SF-75 could have allowed Charles Leclerc to secure a higher number of victories, but 2022 told a very different story.
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If one analyzes individually the 23 poles obtained by Charles Leclerc, it is easy to notice that they were almost always not converted into victories due to external factors. Only in two cases is the blame entirely on the Monegasque. In Monaco in 2021, after securing the pole, he did not take part in the race due to the accident at the end of Q3 that destroyed the car.
Then, the most emblematic one, at Le Castellet in 2022 when, while in the lead, he lost control of his car, crashing into the barriers. For the rest, however, Charles Leclerc has the “blame” of putting a car on the front row that, in the race, has always shown limits too significant to compete for a victory.
Therefore, it is fair to say that it is not right to stain Charles Leclerc’s career at Ferrari with the merciless pole-to-victory statistic. Even though it may be convenient for many to say that the Monegasque is the wizard of failed poles, it should not be forgotten that history always takes on unique shades. And above all, not always are the cold statistics a mirror of reality.