Charles Leclerc Completes His Monaco Masterpiece

Scuderia Ferrari, team celebration, LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, portrait, victory during the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2024, 8th round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from May 23 to 26, 2024 on the Circuit de Monaco, in Monaco - Photo Eric Alonso / DPPI
Scuderia Ferrari, team celebration, LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, portrait, victory during the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2024, 8th round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from May 23 to 26, 2024 on the Circuit de Monaco, in Monaco - Photo Eric Alonso / DPPI

Charles Leclerc has finally shaken off his Monaco taboo, winning his home race at his sixth attempt. It was an extremely tactical race, which the team executed perfectly, with Charles leading from start to finish. Completing a memorable day, as Scuderia Ferrari HP took its tenth win on the streets of the Principality, was a third place for Carlos Sainz, which now puts the team 24 points behind Red Bull, the leaders in the Constructors’ classification. Charles has also closed the gap to Drivers’ leader Max Verstappen to 31 points. He is the 37th driver to win on the streets of Monaco. He is also the first Monegasque to do so since the start of the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship in 1950, although Louis Chiron, also a Monegasque won here 93 years ago, well before the creation of the World Championship. Leclerc is also the seventh Ferrari driver to win here.

First start. Today’s race was even more tactical than usual because of the red flag on the opening lap. Charles and Carlos lined up on Medium tyres and the Spaniard got away well enough to come alongside Oscar Piastri at the first corner. However, they touched and Sainz ended up with a puncture that dropped him down the order. At the same time, there was a huge crash in the midfield, fortunately without injury, involving the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. With the track blocked, the race was red flagged and because that happened before the end of the opening lap, it meant that Sainz was able to restart from his original grid position. It also meant that there would be no need for the obligatory pit stop if drivers took the second start on a different compound to the first one. Thus the team put both drivers on the Hard tyre with the aim of then going all the way to the chequered flag.

Second start. There were no surprises at the restart with Charles leading from Piastri, Carlos and Lando Norris in the other McLaren. From then on, it was a race without the need for pit stops, with Charles and Carlos looking after their tyres and preventing Norris, at the back of this group running Hard tyres, from building up enough of a lead over the fifth placed driver that he would be able to make a pit stop without losing track position. Charles and Carlos were therefore constantly given target times to hit and the race became a long countdown without any surprises all the way to the flag, with Leclerc the winner and Sainz third. After the race, the team rushed to hug the drivers near the podium to the accompaniment of the klaxons from the yachts in the harbour. The party is likely to go on all night in Monaco!

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Charles Leclerc – 1st

‘I can’t really explain how I feel. The race seemed to go on forever, but maybe that made it even nicer. Winning here means so much to me, because it’s the race that made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver when I was little. So I want to thank the people of Monaco, on the lap of honour I saw so many people on the balconies and I thank all of them for their incredible support. Over the last few laps it was difficult because you start to pray nothing’s going to happen and I could feel the emotion growing in me and I realised I was almost losing concentration on my driving. I was thinking a lot about my father, about everything he did to ensure that I was here today and I was also thinking of Jules. Winning this race was a dream we all had and I dedicate the win to them. We had to do a lot of tyre management, also managing the gap to George (Russell) to make sure the McLarens couldn’t get a free pit stop, so mentally it was quite draining. I have to thank the team for doing an exceptional job over the past few months and for helping me to win this race. I can’t wait to celebrate with all of them and the rest of the team as soon as I get to Maranello.’

Oscar Piastri – 2nd

“That was a tricky race. The pace at the beginning was incredibly slow. I had half a look before the tunnel but didn’t have a car small enough to fit through the gap. Thanks to the whole team who have worked so hard. It’s been a great weekend all around, and what better place to get a result like that than Monaco. It’s special to achieve a podium in Senna’s colours, too, given his incredible record around these streets.”

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38, 2nd position, celebrates with his team and trophy after the race

Carlos Sainz – 3rd

‘It was a very tactical race. I had a very good first start off the line, to the point that I was side by side with Oscar (Piastri) into turn 1 and I went for the inside gap. We touched, I got a puncture and I thought that was it. Fortunately for me, the big accident behind meant I could restart from P3 and thankfully everyone was OK. For the restart we had new Hard tyres and it was just a matter of managing the pace until the end and making sure Lando didn’t have a window to pit. Once this was achieved, I tried to overtake Oscar during the last laps but it’s simply too difficult if you are on the same strategy as the car ahead. I’m very happy for Charles! Winning your home race is something every driver dreams of and it was good to be able to celebrate with him on the podium!’

Fred Vasseur – Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari HP

‘It was the perfect weekend and one to remember for Charles, having had a couple of tough races in the past here in Monaco. He was flying from lap 1 in FP1 and he did the perfect job. The race itself was a bit strange because after the red flag, we had to manage 77 laps on the same set of tyres. He was always in control of the situation and a couple of times, he asked us if he could push more, but we couldn’t give him green light. Carlos also drove a very solid race and played an important part in this win, helping us control the gaps behind, doing a fantastic job for the team.At the moment, we are all pushing very hard, there is a very good dynamic in the whole team with everyone working in the right direction. We mustn’t get carried away, we have to stay focused, but this win is a huge motivation for everyone, at the track and also of course at the factory where everyone has done a great job.This was a very special day, you could see the emotion from all the team members around the podium. Now we must already think about doing a good job again, a better one even, in Canada.’

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