Formula 1 Racing

Leclerc was thinking of late father on way to emotional home win · F1 · RaceFans

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2024

Charles Leclerc was thinking of his late father as ticked through the closing laps of the Monaco Grand Prix on his way to an emotional victory.

The Ferrari driver became the first Monegasque driver to win his home race in the world championship era after leading the entire race from pole.

Leclerc was born and raised in Monaco, along with younger brother Arthur, who races in the European Le Mans Series. Their father, Herve, was a racing driver at Formula 3 level but died in 2017 while his son was racing in Formula 2.

Leclerc’s victory was his first in Monte Carlo, despite having taken pole position for the race twice before. It ended a win drought dating back to the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix. Leclerc said that “no words” could explain the feeling of finally winning his home race.

“It’s such a difficult race,” he said. “I think the fact that twice I’ve started on pole position and we couldn’t quite make it, makes it even better in a way.

“It means a lot, obviously. It’s the race that made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day.

“It was a difficult race emotionally, because already 15 laps to the end, you’re just hoping that nothing happens. Already the emotions were coming.

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“I have to say that I was thinking of my dad a lot more than what I thought while driving. Obviously, he’s given everything for me to be here and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and and to win. So it’s unbelievable.”

Leclerc started on the medium tyre compound but switched to hards after the opening lap red flag. He ran 77 laps on the tyres to win after managing his tyres through the rest of the race.

“We had quite a lot of margin, but we knew there were 78 laps to do on the same tyres, which was very, very difficult,” he explained. “But we did great management on the tyres.

“There was a big part of the race where we had to manage the gap with George [Russell] and then in the last 10 laps I could push a bit more and the car felt amazing. So I just want to thank the team for having done such incredible work over the last few months. Giving me the opportunity to finally win this race is, again, a very special feeling.”

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