Revealed: The biggest winners and losers after first five F1 2024 races

Henry Valantine
F1 2024 winners and losers.

Some drivers have had significant performance swings in the first five races of F1 2024 so far.

The first five races of the F1 2024 season are under our belts, so we have taken a look at the comparative points tallies from now and this time last season to see the biggest movers from this time last year.

While McLaren have hit the ground running this time around, there are some surprises in there – so let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers in terms of points from the first five races of the season…

Winners

Lando Norris (up 48)

Lando Norris has had the biggest points swing of any driver on the grid from this time last year.

If you compare Norris’ results from the first races of last season to now, they are stark. 2023 started with a P6, a P9 and three P17 placings, but this time around, the McLaren driver has already been on the podium twice and taken a Sprint pole in China.

Things are looking up for Norris and McLaren – and he is hopeful that his first win in Formula 1 can come this season if the right weekend comes together.

Charles Leclerc (up 42)

Two retirements in the first three races of 2023 set Charles Leclerc off on the back foot, coupled with a Ferrari that had appeared off the pace compared to Aston Martin.

This time, the Scuderia seem to have a clear step as the second-quickest car on the grid, and both Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz have been making the most of what is underneath them so far this year.

Leclerc hasn’t finished below fourth place yet this year, with two podiums to boot.

Oscar Piastri (up 34)

Like team-mate Norris, Oscar Piastri has been the beneficiary of a much more competitive McLaren package from the off as well as having had a year of experience at the top level to help him.

Strong P4 finishes in Saudi Arabia and his home race in Melbourne have been supplemented by P8 placings at the other three rounds this season, though he will have been disappointed to have been hit in the aftermath of Lance Stroll’s crash into Daniel Ricciardo at Shanghai.

Carlos Sainz (up 23)

Still up 23 points on his post-Miami total from 2023 despite having missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix altogether, Carlos Sainz has been one of the standout drivers of the F1 2024 season so far.

His win in Australia just a fortnight after an appendectomy is a remarkable achievement, and he is still assessing his options as he tries to secure a seat for the 2025 grid.

Honourable mention: Max Verstappen (down 9)

While he isn’t one of the gainers from this time last season (that was almost mathematically impossible anyway), the fact Max Verstappen has finished first every time he has crossed the line this season cannot be ignored.

What is perhaps scarier for the rest of the field, however, is that he only has nine fewer points than at the same stage last season, despite having retired from the Australian Grand Prix – and he currently holds a lead in the World Championship that’s 16 points larger than after Miami 2023.

Gulp.

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Losers

Fernando Alonso (down 44)

Perhaps a victim of his own success from the start of 2023 in this regard, Fernando Alonso has had the biggest drop-off of any driver compared to this time last season.

He finished third in four of the opening five races last season (and P4 in the other one), and with Aston Martin in a more congested fight behind Red Bull and Ferrari this time around, they are fighting for the more minor placings so far this season.

They still have time for things to turn and go their way – and you would suspect that Alonso would quite happily keep hold of all those trophies from the start of last year at a cost of being slightly less competitive this time around.

Lewis Hamilton (down 37)

Lewis Hamilton has admitted himself that the start of this season has been the worst of his career in a mathematical sense, and his underwhelming beginning to the year has not been helped by a retirement in Australia, with multiple P9 finishes also coming his way.

A sterling lap in a wet Sprint qualifying in China was followed up by a P2 finish in the Sprint as potential green shoots of recovery are there with Mercedes, but having just reached 50 races without a win for the first time in his career, he and his team will look to end that run if they can.

Sergio Perez (down 20)

It’s absolutely a harsh label to put Sergio Perez in the binary ‘losers’ category here, given how he has started the season with four podiums – three of which in one-two finishes behind Verstappen – but the fact he had taken two race victories in the early stages of 2023 counts against his comparative F1 2024 points tally.

There’s hardly a person out there who is arguing Perez has done an outright bad job so far this season, as Verstappen has simply been too dominant on the other side of the Red Bull garage.

He’ll perhaps only see Australia as a missed opportunity, having earned a three-place grid drop for impeding and taking P5 come the chequered flag while Verstappen had retired.

Lance Stroll (down 18)

Like Alonso, Stroll has endured some of the brunt of Aston Martin’s drop-off in relative competitiveness compared to their early-season form in 2023 – but given Alonso’s flying start, his points base was not as high to go off for this season.

Nonetheless, his tally of nine points after five races is a third of what it was compared to this time last year, with his crash in China at the weekend not having helped his cause.

Still plenty of time for things to change however, with Aston Martin looking to bring an upgrade schedule that will challenge their rivals in the F1 2024 season.

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