Monaco Grand Prix | Charles Leclerc: “It was our dream to drive here and win this race”

Zig-zag in the last meters before receiving the checkered flag as winner, for the first time during the Albert course. A shout of joy from his new race engineer, Bryan Bonzi – “We won it, finally!!!” – and a long “Yeesss! Ahhhhh!” in response. Charles Leclerc became Charles 1st of Monaco on Sunday in the Principality. At the end of a stubborn curse, which had always denied him the honors of prophet in his country. Since joining Formula 1 in 2018, and even before, in Formula 2.

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

For 78 laps, the driver of the No. 16 Ferrari SF24, starting from pole position, managed the presence in his mirrors of the Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren), qualified second, without ever panicking. He endured the tension of a new start following the crash of Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull, even on this shortest run on the calendar where the slightest hesitation would inevitably have sent him back to his heavy failures, the doubts about his ability to reign at home one day.

“Emotions are running high”

He freed himself from this burden with a leap of happiness over the human barrier of the marshals, into the arena of stand companions, into the parc ferme. This was also for this Red Army weaned from victory on the Rock since Michael Schumacher’s success in 2001.

“No words can express what I feelreacted the 2022 world vice-champion, to Jenson Button’s microphone, upon arrival. It’s such a tough race. the fact of having had pole position twice without transforming it into victory makes this success even better. It means a lot to me. I dreamed of one day becoming a Formula 1 driver, and it was an emotionally difficult journey. With 15 laps to go, I hoped nothing would happen. Emotions rose… I thought of my father (editor’s note: died in 2017), much more than I would have thought, while driving. He gave everything for me to be here today. It was our dream to drive here and win this race.”

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Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

Red Bull off topic, McLaren controlled

At the end of this eighth round of the World Cup devoid of suspense, he returned to his feelings on board. “First, we had a lot of margin but there were 78 laps but we managed the tires very well, he said. During a large part of the race, we had to manage the gap with George ( editor’s note: Russell, so as not to get stuck behind the Mercedes), and there was another part where the car was excellent. Thanks to the whole team for doing this incredible job over the last few months.

In his lap of honor, “Charles”, 37th driver to win his national event in the History of Formula 1, promised a big celebration to his colleagues at the Scuderia, advising them to stay in the Principality. Ferrari regularly beat Red Bull by KO. technical (Max Verstappen 6th) and put McLaren in its place (Carlos Sainz finished third ahead of Lando Norris) and that means a lot for Frédéric Vasseur’s men.

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