SEE | The 'magnificent nine' Formula 1 drivers who led a lap in 2020

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• 9/20 full-time F1 drivers led a race-lap in 2020.

• No Ferrari-powered driver was near the front of the field last year.

• Lewis Hamilton led the most number of laps in 2020: 613 laps.

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While we wait patiently on the 2021 Formula 1 season to start turning its wheels, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the past season and what it brought to the table. The biggest news coming from 2020 is Lewis Hamilton matching Michael Schumacher by winning a seventh F1 Drivers' championship, and breaking - and setting new - records along the way.

Throughout the season, the 17 races raced counted for a total of 1037 laps. That's a decent amount, but it could have been far more had the season not been affected by Covid-19. It would be fair to assume that Hamilton, his team mate Valtteri Bottas, and Max Verstappen would be the drivers to dominate the list of drivers who led the most number of laps, but the real surprise is the drivers who make up the remainder of the list.

Of the 20 drivers that competed in last year's championship - 23, if you include Nico Hulkenberg, Jack Aitken, and Pietro Fittipaldi - only nine managed to lead a race at some point. And interestingly, not one of these drivers were powered by a Ferrari engine.

lewis hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

The magnificent nine

Hamilton has had an immensely successful 2020 campaign and duly impressed en route to a seventh championship. Despite missing the Sakhir Grand Prix after testing positive for Covid-19, Hamilton led the most number of laps last year. On 613 laps, he has been at the front of the grid three times more than his Mercedes-AMG team mate, Bottas; who 'only' managed 188 laps. Not taking anything away from the Finnish driver, but he should have been far closer to Hamilton's number than a measly 188.

Red Bull Racing's Verstappen led the third-highest number of laps on 87, followed by George Russell on 59. Russell stood in for Hamilton at the Sakhir GP. After qualifying second behind Bottas, Russell got the jump on the Fin at the start of the race and led impeccably until a stuff up in the pits prevented him from registering his first win.

Lance Stroll (Racing Point) led 32 laps, while his team mate, Sergio Perez, was at the front for 26 laps. Perez won the Sakhir GP - his first in F1. He will race for Red Bull in 2021 and partner Verstappen.

The other three drivers to have led a lap in 2020 are Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri, 26 laps), Carlos Sainz Jr (McLaren, 5 laps), and Alex Albon (Red Bull, 1 lap).

See the gallery of images below. Click on the white arrows to scroll through the pictures.

Lewis Hamilton,f1,formula 1,mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) led 613 laps in 2020
valtteri bottas,f1,formula 1,mercedes
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-AMG) led 188 laps in 2020
formula 1,f1,max verstappen,red bull
Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) led 87 laps in 2020
George Russell,f1,formula 1,williams
Williams driver George Russell led 59 laps as substitute for Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
lance stroll, racing point
Lance Stroll (Racing Point) led 32 laps in 2020
sergio perez
Sergio Perez (Racing Point) led 26 laps in 2020
Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) led 26 laps in 2020
carlos sainz,f1,formula 1,mclaren
Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren) led 5 laps in 2020
alex albon
Alex Albon (Red Bull Racing) led one lap in 2020
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