Leclerc's Narrow Escape at Monaco

Leclerc Dodges Monaco Misfortune


Charles Leclerc narrowly escaped another Monaco curse this year, securing pole position despite a late engine issue, and hopes it’s the last hurdle of the season.

Charles Leclerc revealed that he narrowly avoided another curse at Monaco this year and hopes it will be the last of the season.

The Monegasque has never won his home race or even stood on the podium in front of his home crowd.

He could have started from the back of the grid today, as he confirmed a late engine issue during the final moments of Free Practice 3.

“Securing pole here feels as good as the first time. I think in Monaco, the emotions and tension you feel before getting in the car are much higher than anywhere else on the calendar. So yes, once you’ve finished the lap and hear you’re on pole, it’s always a very special feeling.”

“However, maybe in the past, the emotions lasted longer, but now, having started on pole twice and not won, which is ultimately what matters most, my focus is on making it happen this time.”

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. The weekend was incredible until after FP3 when there was an issue with my engine, and an engine change had to be done at the very last minute, which was quite tricky.”

“But fortunately for me, there were no consequences on my weekend.”

On the radio, he also complained about an issue with the pedals.

“Yeah, I felt something strange, but after that, the feeling was good.”

“It was difficult in Q1, especially with the sponsor banner on my front wing. Luckily for me, it passed. Then in Q2, we struggled a bit more with the car’s balance. I couldn’t find the right feeling. But in Q3, we made some adjustments, particularly with the front wing, buttons on the steering wheel, and my driving, and I found the rhythm again, so I was a bit happier in Q3. However, for some reason, the sensations were a bit better during Free Practice 2 and 3.”

Is this the best Ferrari he’s driven on these streets?

“I think it was in 2022. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the lap in Q3, the second lap in Q3, because there was a red flag for Checo. I think it would have been a bit better, and I believe the car was in an even better position then, as the qualifying session went very well.”

“Everything depends on preparation at Monaco, and maybe during these qualifying sessions, we didn’t have the smoothest preparation, but that doesn’t mean I’m not satisfied with the lap. I’m extremely satisfied with the lap. I’m very, very happy with the car, and it’s been a great weekend so far. But as I said, we mustn’t get carried away by pole position.”

So, how will he approach the race?

“As always, we just try to approach every race the same way. Obviously, knowing that this is Monaco, track position is very important, and we will try to maximize our race and win. Yes, everything I’ve said is very obvious, but we just try to approach it like a normal race, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Is it easy to protect pole position on the way to Sainte Dévote?

“Well, I haven’t often seen people lose the benefit of their pole into turn 1; it’s a very short run to turn 1. But you can never say never. Obviously, we will focus on the start and see what happens.”

This will be the third time he’s starting on pole. Does he feel extra pressure given the past misfortune and that this might finally be the time to break it?

“No, not at all. I think the peak tension of the whole season, I would say, is during qualifying at Monaco. Then, for the race, it’s not like you’re more relaxed, but well, yes, actually, you are more relaxed just because in the race, you have to focus on the start, you have to focus on the pit stop, as obviously the laps around the pit stop are extremely important. But yes, qualifying in Monaco is a big part of the job. It’s true that in the past we haven’t had the success we wanted, but I don’t want to think about that anymore. And I’m pretty sure it will be a good weekend.”

Leclerc's Narrow Escape at Monaco

Leclerc’s Narrow Escape at Monaco. Leclerc’s Narrow Escape at Monaco

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