The headline numbers came from Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes this year, with a record-equalling seventh drivers’ title, record-breaking 92nd, 93rd, 94th and 95th wins and an unprecedented seventh consecutive constructors’ crown.
But there were plenty of other fascinating figures that tell the story of this very bizarre season. Here are a few of those stats behind the stories of 2020.
613 laps led
Lewis Hamilton was out in front for an astonishing 64.53 per cent of the 950 laps he drove in his 16 races this year, more than three times the number of the next regular leader in his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas on 188.
To make up positions you have to start at the back, but it helps to be a fast starter and Antonio Giovinazzi proved he was a master of that, advancing 2.82 places on average in his Alfa Romeo each race. That’s 48 grid gains across the season.
The driver that went the opposite way more than anyone, however, is surprising. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez dropped the most, 31 places in total [an average of 2 places in his 15 races - he missed two through Covid-19]. Next was Bottas, with 21 places lost, averaging 1.24.
Racing Point was found guilty of copying the brake ducts from the 2019 title-winning Mercedes F1 W10 car early in the season, and was subsequently handed a fine and penalised 15 constructors' championship points.
While the fine was relatively minor, given the size of the team’s overall budget, the 15 points proved more costly, as the team missed out on third place in the constructors’ title [and the extra £4million associated prize purse] by seven points.
11 fastest pit stops
Red Bull proved to be kings of the pit stop time again, and it is no surprise the team clocked the fastest in-out times in 11 of the 17 races. Interestingly, Mercedes was never quickest, but then it usually had enough of an advantage to take its time.
The only full-time debutant at the start of the year was Nicolas Latifi at Williams, but two other drivers also made their race debuts, with Pietro Fittipaldi subbing for Romain Grosjean at Haas in two races and Jack Aitken joining Latifi in one.
Aitken had previously made his race weekend debut in Styria while Roy Nissany also appeared in practice for Williams in Spain, Italy and Bahrain and Mick Schumacher joined Haas for the season-ending FP1 in Abu Dhabi.
6 fastest laps
Despite being comfortably in the lead for most of his races, Hamilton still managed to achieve twice the number of fastest laps than his nearest pace-setting rival Max Verstappen.
Now that a point is handed out for this achievement, it has become more valuable and five other drivers also claimed the spoils, with Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris getting two each and Sainz and Russell one.
3 Q3 regulars
Only Mercedes pair Hamilton and Bottas and Red Bull’s Verstappen made it into the top-10 shoot-out every time this season, although Hamilton missed it once when he was absent after contracting Covid-19.
Latifi, meanwhile, had the most Q1 eliminations with 16, only making it through to the second round of qualifying once all season. Notably, that compared to his team-mate Russell’s seven Q1 eliminations and nine visits to Q2.
2 first-time winners
There were fresh tears of joy on the top of the podium twice this season, and it is hard to pick which of the two debut victories was the most emotional, most rewarding or most deserving.
Pierre Gasly winning at Monza, where he held off a late challenge from Sainz in a crazy race to win for AlphaTauri, brought cheer for the underdog as he completed a jaw-dropping turnaround a year after being dropped from Red Bull’s senior team.
But if ever there were rewards for commitment and dedication, it was Perez’s victory in Sakhir, as the Mexican had raced all season knowing he would be dropped by his Racing Point team for 2021, but never once gave less than 100 per cent.
Three drivers, meanwhile, also achieved their first podium finishes, with Norris taking third for McLaren at the season-opening race in Austria, Alex Albon third for Red Bull in Tuscany and Esteban Ocon second for Renault in Sakhir.
5 unfamiliar tracks
The Covid-19 pandemic decimated the original calendar but the hastily put together new one included welcome debuts for Mugello and Portimão as well as the return of Imola, the Nürburgring and Istanbul after many years away.
28 seconds to live
One of the most shocking scenes of the season was Grosjean’s fiery crash on the first lap of the race in Bahrain, and although it seemed to take him an age to emerge from the flames his extraction was miraculously quick.
The Halo device around the cockpit not only saved his neck [literally], it also kept him conscious and enabled him to unclip, climb out and step away from the wreck with only minor burns to his hands.
Oh, what a season to forget for Ferrari. Sixth place was the team’s worst finishing position in the championship since 1980, with a points haul that was its lowest since the introduction of the latest [higher] scoring system.
Had Vettel performed to the level of Leclerc, who managed 98 points himself, it might have been a different story as a similar score from the second car would have at least put the team into the back of the fight for third.
And finally...3 positive tests
Despite intense testing processes from the FIA and the teams, three drivers still tested positive for Covid-19. Perez missed the two Silverstone races, Lance Stroll withdrew at the Nürburgring and Hamilton missed the second race in Bahrain.
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