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Where a key Leclerc strength is obscuring the true nature of F1 2022 – Motorsport.com

Motorsport has long been a dreamland for those with a statistics penchant. They’re everywhere, in every category. And right now, in Formula 1 2022, there’s a stat that can offer Charles Leclerc a crumb of comfort after he lost a victory shot through no fault of his own for the third race in succession at last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
It was his least likely chance to prevail over the Red Bull pair after F1 left the tight confines of Barcelona and Monaco to race on Baku’s long blasts. But Leclerc, even before his aggressive virtual safety car stop had set up an intriguing strategy battle that was ruined by his retirement, had already secured an unlikely success on what was expected to be happy hunting ground for the slippery RB18s.
Alex Kalinauckas is Autosport’s Grand Prix Editor, covering every Formula 1 race since the start of 2020. After completing a master’s degree in journalism at Goldsmiths College University of London in 2014, he worked for a range of motorsport and technology publications while covering national racing as an Autosport freelancer.  
A lifelong motorsport fan – no one in his family can explain quite how or why such a development first occurred – Alex joined the Autosport staff in April 2017 as the magazine’s Assistant Editor covering Formula 2 and GP3, before being made Formula E correspondent and Autosport.com’s Plus Editor in March 2018. He lives in north-east London and is constantly frustrated by the Central Line.
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Where a key Leclerc strength is obscuring the true nature of F1 2022
OPINION: After clinching pole in Baku, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ended the first third of Formula 1 2022 with six poles to one each for his Red Bull rivals. But this doesn’t reflect important traits differentiating the season’s leading cars – here’s why.
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Charles Leclerc’s second engine problem in three races meant Max Verstappen had a free run to claim his fifth win of the 2022 Formula 1 season. Whether Leclerc would have been able to repel the Red Bull driver’s charge on much older tyres is a question we’ll never know the answer to. However, there are some clues from the in-race data that we can infer from
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Formula 1 has never had a repeat winner at Baku, and that trend continued this year as Max Verstappen avenged his 2021 tyre blowout to lead a Red Bull 1-2. Here’s Motorsport.com’s take on the weekend’s best performers
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Ferrari wasn’t expected to be capable of challenging Red Bull on the streets of Baku, but Charles Leclerc took pole for the second year in a row and had assumed the lead when his engine expired. That left Max Verstappen and Red Bull doubly grateful as not only were its blushes spared, but it came away with a 1-2 and extended advantages in both championship standings
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