Charles Leclerc couldn’t see on final laps of Monaco GP due to ‘tears in my eyes’

Charles Leclerc reveals he was overcome with emotion during his victory drive in Monaco.

Race winner Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari celebrates on the podium. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix,
Race winner Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari celebrates on the podium…

Charles Leclerc says he was struggling to see during the final two laps of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix because he had “tears in my eyes”.

The Ferrari driver held his nerve after a huge opening-lap pile up which led to Sunday’s race being red-flagged to finally claim a long-awaited first victory in Monaco, having led every one of the 78 laps ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

Afterwards, Leclerc admitted he was overwhelmed with emotion during the closing stages of a race where victory had previously eluded him throughout his career.

“I think where I struggled the most to contain my emotions was during the last 10 laps of the race, more than on the podium,” the Monegasque explained.

“I realised actually two laps to the end that I was struggling to see out of the tunnel just because I had tears in my eyes, and I was like ‘fuck Charles, you cannot do that now, you still have two laps to finish,’ especially on a track like Monaco, you have to be on it all the way to the end.

"It was very difficult to contain those emotions, those thoughts again of the people that have helped me get to where I am today. It’s only a win. The season is still very, very long. It’s 25 points like any other win.

“However, emotionally, this one means so much. And I think the fact as well that we’ve started twice from pole position in the past and that we couldn’t manage to get the win for one reason or another, that we couldn’t really control, not in our control, makes this one even more so special.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Race
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8,…

Asked if it is the sweetest win of his career, Leclerc replied: “I think so. Obviously Monza in 2019 was extremely special, but Monaco is the grand prix that made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver.

“I remember being so young and watching the race with my friends. Obviously with my father, that has done absolutely everything for me to get to where I am today. And I feel like I didn’t only accomplish a dream of mine today, but also one of his.

“It’s just such a special weekend overall. It’s a street track, it’s such a difficult track to put everything together from FP1 to qualifying, to all the laps that you have to do in the race.

“To finally make it in front of my whole family, my friends that were watching all over the track is a very, very, very special thing.”

Leclerc revealed that memories of watching past Monaco Grands Prix with his late father Herve, who passed away in 2017, came flooding back to him during the race.

“It was very much in my mind,” he said. “I think in every race I have done, there has not been one single race where I was thinking about this kind of personal stuff inside the car, because you’ve got to stay on it.

“Maybe Baku in 2017, obviously everything was still very fresh for me, so it was difficult to manage mentally. However it’s probably the first time in my career that it happened again while driving, when you’ve got these flashbacks of all these moments that we have spent together, all the sacrifices that he has done for me to get to where I am.

“As I said earlier, it’s not only my dream, but it was both of our dreams to get there. Obviously my whole family was supporting and obviously dreaming of that moment, which makes it even more special. That was again as I said earlier probably the moment that makes it the most difficult to manage today.”

Read More