Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Charles Leclerc’s Monaco Curse In Detail

2017 and 2018: First home race, first home Grand Prix and damage

Charles Leclerc has had a bad history with Monaco for years. His first competitive appearance at his home race was back in 2017 when he was competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. In that first race, he started on pole but would retire on lap 1 of the Feature race with suspension issues. He also retired from the Sprint race on lap 20 with electrical issues.

When he moved to Formula 1 in 2018 after winning the F2 title on his first try, his bad luck at Monaco continued. The Monagasque had qualified P14 in his Sauber. With only 8 laps to go on his first home Grand Prix, his left front brake disc failed just before the Nouvelle Chicane. He crashed into the back of Brendon Hartley, causing both drivers to retire from the race with damage.

2019: Team and driver error

In 2019, this time driving for Ferrari, team error was just the start of his bad luck. During Q1, after Leclerc had produced the sixth fastest laps he went into the pits. However, Ferrari decided not to send him out again to save tyres which led to him tumbling down the order and being knocked out of Q1. He started the race in P15. But yet again, he was unable to finish his home race.

Leclerc had made up a few positions but spun after touching the wall while trying to overtake Nico Hülkenberg. He had a right-rear tyre puncture which caused significant damage to his floor. On his out-lap after pitting for a change of tyres, Ferrari called him back to the pits to retire from the race.

2021: Pole position, but no green light

F1 didn’t race in Monaco in 2020 due to Covid-19. The sport however returned to the glamorous and iconic streets of Monte Carlo in 2021. For 2021, Charles Leclerc had provisional pole before crashing in the final minutes of Q3. Set to start the race in P1, while Leclerc took his car to the grid during the reconnaissance lap, a problem was detected. Ferrari later discovered that the left driveshaft failure was caused by a cracked left-rear driveshaft hub. As a result of the failure, he was unable to start his home race.

Embed from Getty Images

2022: First home race finish, but Ferrari blunder

In 2022, Leclerc got pole position in Monaco yet again. The drivers were on wet tyres for the start of the race, which only meant that team strategy would matter more than ever. On lap 21, his teammate Carlos Sainz who hadn’t yet pitted was leading the race when called into the pits. Leclerc who was in third was also called into the pits. However, after Leclerc had already started making his way into the pits, his race engineer told him to “stay out.”

As it was an unintentional double stack, Leclerc’s pit stop was delayed. This affected his track position, which is fatal in Monaco. Ideally, Leclerc should have come out ahead of Max Verstappen, but instead came out behind the Red Bull. Leclerc went on to finish the race in P4. For the first time in his career, Leclerc finished his home race. However, a win, or at the very least a podium finish was taken away from him by poor strategy from Ferrari.

2023: A penalty

After struggling with the car, the Monagasque qualified in P4. To his further demise, he was dropped to sixth after the stewards investigated him for impeding the McLaren of Lando Norris in Q3. Leclerc went on to finish the race where he started it, in P6.

2024: The curse is lifted

Charles Leclerc topped the timing sheets in Free Practice 2 and 3. And on Saturday afternoon that weekend, for the third time in his Formula 1 career, Charles Leclerc got pole position in Monaco.

Fingers were crossed and prayers were said for the home hero. A good home race for Leclerc was a desperate need hanging in the air. On lap 1, Sainz and McLaren driver Oscar Piastri made contact which led to the Spaniard picking up a puncture. Leclerc was safely ahead of the two behind him and was therefore left unscathed to the relief of many.

A nasty collision between Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and the Haas’ of Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen brought out the red flag on lap 1. Another lap 1 incident followed shortly before the red flag was shown. Thankfully, all drivers from the lap 1 incidents were unharmed. And once again, luck finally on his side, Leclerc was not involved. It was the Alpines of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.

After changing tyres during the red flag, Leclerc did not pit for the rest of the race. He maintained his lead following the restart. The rest of the race was dull, something Ferrari and Leclerc fans must have been grateful for. In what was a tyre management race, the top 10 stayed unchanged for the first time in F1’s history race.

Embed from Getty Images

In the aftermath of an uneventful race – bar the first lap – was the birth of a love story finally fulfilled. For the first time in his F1 career, Charles Leclerc became the winner of his home race, the Monaco Grand Prix. After once stating his love for Monaco and how he hoped it would love him back, Monaco gave their prince a crown. Monaco finally loved him back.

Share:

More Posts

Esteban Ocon’s Career At Alpine

Following a collision between Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, the team have decided to let go of their long-time serving driver Ocon. Yesterday,

Send Us A Message