Formula 1 Racing

Leclerc ‘never believed in Monaco Grand Prix curse’ · F1 · RaceFans

Leclerc 'never believed in Monaco Grand Prix curse' · F1 · RaceFans

Charles Leclerc said he never feared he was cursed not to win his home race after finally scoring his first Monaco Grand Prix victory.

The Ferrari driver endured several misfortunes during his first appearances in the race. He took pole position for it on two occasions before this weekend without winning, but finally delivered his longed-for win yesterday.

“I never believed in the curse,” said Leclerc after his win. “However, it always felt very difficult in the two occasions I had to win here.

“One, I couldn’t even start the race. The second one, we didn’t make the right choice, I think. So it was very, very frustrating to lose those wins.”

Leclerc didn’t start from his pole position in 2021 due to a technical problem before the race began. The following year he led the opening stages but a poorly-timed pit stop left him fourth at the end.

Those missed chances were part of a pattern of misfortune broken by yesterday’s victory. Leclerc retired from his first Monaco Grand Prix with a brake failure in 2018 and Ferrari blundered in qualifying the year after. Even in his dominant Formula 2 campaign success at home eluded Leclerc.

While Leclerc admitted he felt some tension over his poor record at home, he put that from his mind in order to seize his opportunity yesterday.

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“The thing is that as a driver you never really know when will be the next opportunity to win and especially when it’s your home race – and even more so when your home race is Monaco, that is such a special track, such a difficult track and such a difficult weekend to master and to do everything perfectly which we did.

“So I knew that today was another opportunity. I knew how it felt the last two times I was in this position. I obviously really wanted to get that victory today, so there’s a bit of tension.

“But as I’ve said, as soon as I put the helmet on and as soon as I get into the car I don’t feel anything anymore. Then it’s all about trying to maximise the car that you have thinking about the tyres and thinking about all the stuff that I had to think of to manage this race the best way possible.”

He faced an unusual challenge in the race, as he and almost every other driver made their mandatory tyre changes after the race was red-flagged on the first lap and did not need to pit again. Leclerc was called on by his team to limit his pace and prevent those behind having the opportunity to make pit…

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