Formula 1 drivers are often plagued with failure on their home tracks – the pressure is high and the desire to excel is greater than at other stages. However, the case of Charles Leclerc is unique: during six years of performances in Monte Carlo, he has five retirements and only one finish. Yes, and he did not bring much joy.
On the eve of the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, we suggest recalling all Leclerc’s failures at home races.
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2017 season: two games per weekend
In Monaco, Charles first appeared in 2017, in Formula 2. Leclerc won qualifying and confidently led until half the distance, but then the safety car came out and in an urgent pit stop, the Prema mechanics They had trouble fixing the left front wheel. Instead of restarting, the Monegasque had to go to the pits a second time, to twist the puck, but this did not help: 13 laps before the finish line, Charles returned to pit lane and retired from the race.
Leclerc in F2 Monaco 2017
In a short race – it was held on Sunday at that time – Leclerc started 17th, got stuck in traffic and even missed Vishoy and Nicholas Latifi who were standing on the grid. On lap 21, due to electrical problems, Charles retired for the second time in a row. However, despite this setback, the future leader of the ‘Ferrari’ will take the title of F-2 champion in the penultimate stage.
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2018 season: collision after brake failure
The next time Leclerc arrived at his home track he was already a Formula 1 driver. In qualifying, Charles was 14th, ahead of Sauber (now Alfa Romeo) teammate Marcus Eriksson by 0.44sec. At the same time, the Monegasque, we note, lost to Sergei Sirotkin in Williams, who “brought” Lance Stroll even further – 0.62 seconds.
Collision between Leclerc and Hartley
In the early part of the race, Leclerc got stuck behind Stoffel Vandorn, and after a pit stop, he ended up behind Brandon Hartley – the New Zealander stopped early and took the lead. The Toro Rosso and the Sauber followed one another almost until the end of the race and, with eight laps to go, they occupied 11th and 12th places, until Leclerc failed his brakes at the tunnel exit and crashed into his rival. .
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Season 2019: the failure of the tacticians and the relentless Hulk
In 2019, Leclerc’s problems already started in qualifying. Charles now played for Ferrari, and in the first segment, the Scuderia strategists decided to save a set of tires and not leave for a new attempt, believing that the first one was enough. But with each lap, the track got faster and faster, and as a result, the main character in the stands fell back to line 15, missing out on Q2. In the race, Leclerc charged through furiously, passing Lando Norris and Romain Grosjean and working his way up to 12th by lap seven.
Leclair’s backhand in the fight against Hulkenberg
Photo: video frame
But then the less accommodating Nico Hulkenberg took the lead, leaving a minimum of space when, at the end of lap eight, Charles desperately attacked Raskass. As a result, the right side of the Ferrari hit the bump, the left side of the wing hit the Renault and stopped on the other side of the track. Monegasque continued, but the right rear wheel blew out, the suspension buckled and on lap 17 the race was over for him completely.
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2021 season: accident and lost pole position
F-1 returned to Monaco two years later; in 2020 the race did not take place due to covid. Leclerc this time went to the second and even the third segment, and in the first attempt in Q3 he even edged Verstappen by 0.2 seconds. But on the second attempt, Charles, at the exit from the “Pool”, put his “Ferrari” on the stop. The accident occurred in the last minute of qualifying, Max did not have time to finish the last attempt and Leclerc ended up on pole.
Leclerc’s car after the accident in the “Pool”
Photo: Sebastien Nogier/Getty Images
Now the main problem was Charles’ damaged gearbox. The car’s body kit could be repaired without penalty, but if you change the transmission, the driver will roll out of pit lane due to a fine. The mechanics decided that everything was in order, but the car began to fail already on the warm-up lap. Due to a failed drive, Leclerc was unable to start at all.
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2022 season: “miracles” of Ferrari strategy
In the first phase of the 2022 season, the Scuderia really battled Red Bull for the championship, Leclerc trailing just six points behind Verstappen after six stages, and in Monaco he won his third straight and fifth pole position of the season. Max was left alone in third place, also losing to Sainz. Could something have gone wrong?
Leclerc after winning the classification in 2022
Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Before the start of the race in Monte Carlo loaded with rain. The start of the race was postponed, then the safety car rolled the field on the tarmac for several laps, the rain stopped and the track began to dry rapidly. Many went to the pits for “intermediate” tyres, but Ferrari did not want to lose track position and hesitated. Finally, on lap 18, the last of all, Charles was called to the pits and put into “intermediate”.
But the track continued to dry out, and those who did not change their “rain” tires at all immediately switched to slicks; already on lap 19, Riccardo became “hard”. The drivers went one by one to the pits, including Sainz, who also made the transition to “intermediate”, and Leclerc, who visited the pit lane twice in three laps.
The transition to “intermediate” was too late
Photo: Eric Alonso/Getty Images
In the end, Pérez, who was one of the first to switch to “intermediate”, won, Sainz became the second, and Max Verstappen was satisfied with the third position, against the background of only fourth place for Leclerc, the leader of the The Dutchman grew to nine points. For Charles, it was the first end of his life at a home race, but it brought little joy and relief to the Monegasque.
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