Leclerc Breaks the Curse: Ferrari Star Wins Monaco Grand Prix

With a perfect lights-to-flag victory on Sunday, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc won the Monaco Grand Prix and, for the first time in his career, took home one of the most prized Formula 1 trophies.

It was a heartfelt victory for Leclerc, who was raised in Monaco and has experienced so much misfortune and error in his home race that Formula One analysts had coined the term “curse” for him.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Leclerc grabbed the checkered flag and yelled to his teammates. “F—ing finally!”

After Leclerc came Oscar Piastri of McLaren in second, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari in third, and Lando Norris of McLaren in fourth.

For the majority of the weekend, Leclerc outran his competitors in terms of speed, and on Saturday, he qualified on pole position ahead of a street race in which overtaking is infamously tough. Sunday, he set the pace, and the lead was never really contested during the Grand Prix.

Leclerc said to his crew over the radio, “I’ll just bring it home,” as he had gained a lead and could taste victory with less than five laps remaining.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull, the reigning triple world champion, qualified sixth but struggled with his car’s handling the entire weekend. He ultimately finished sixth.

With several races left in the 2024 season, Leclerc has closed the gap to 138 points, but Verstappen still holds the lead with 169 points.

It was Leclerc’s first Formula One race triumph since the Austrian Grand Prix in 2022, which occurred almost two years prior.

Lewis Hamilton, a Mercedes driver, will be joining the Monegasque driver for the upcoming season after he inked a contract extension with Ferrari earlier this year.

The now-broken Leclerc home “curse” included two past Monaco F1 pole positions that he failed to convert into victories: one in 2022 when a Ferrari strategy error sent him plunging down the order, and one in 2021 when a gearbox failure following a qualifying crash prevented him from starting the race.

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The Monaco Grand Prix was the third straight race in which Verstappen’s hegemony was questioned. He was defeated by Norris in the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month, but he managed to hold off the charging Norris to win the Italian race by less than a second.

After a chaotic start to the race that included a three-car collision on the first lap, which eliminated Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg of Haas and eliminated Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, the race was originally red flagged.

Officials cleared the track of debris before it restarted, and the second time around there were no accidents.

Esteban Ocon of Alpine also made contact with Pierre Gasly during the opening lap, damaging his vehicle and forcing him to retire. Gasly later chastised Ocon for the touch on team radio.

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