Charles Leclerc ends Monaco GP ‘curse’ with redemptive victory

Charles Leclerc finally takes a long-awaited maiden victory on the streets of Monaco.

Charles Leclerc celebrates his first win at home
Charles Leclerc celebrates his first win at home

Home hero Charles Leclerc finally claimed a long-awaited first victory at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver controlled proceedings from start-to-finish to secure an emotional first win around the streets he grew up on and calls his home, beating McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and teammate Carlos Sainz.

At times, Leclerc drove 10 seconds slower than his pole position time in a race that became a sluggish procession with drivers managing their tyres to the end after an early red flag for a huge multi-car incident enabled them to switch compounds, meaning pit stops were no longer mandatory.

The race had to be suspended on the first lap after Sergio Perez was tipped into the barriers by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen on the run up the hill through Beau Rivage, while Nico Hulkenberg was unfortunate to get caught up in the dramatic incident which eliminated all three drivers on the spot.

The Red Bull Racing RB20 of Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing is craned from the circuit after the race stopping start
The Red Bull Racing RB20 of Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing is craned…

Following a lengthy red flag period to clear the stricken cars and repair the damage caused to the barriers, Leclerc once again held his nerve at a standing restart to maintain his lead over Piastri.

The result never looked in doubt for Leclerc, who set the pace all weekend and converted pole position at Monaco into the win at the third attempt to seal his sixth grand prix triumph and with it, the victory that had eluded him throughout his career.

"No words can explain that," Leclerc said. "It's such a difficult race, I think the fact twice I've been starting on pole position and we couldn't quite make it makes it even better in a way.

"It means a lot, obviously. It's the race which made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day. Fifteen laps to the end you're hoping nothing happens and the emotions are coming.

"My dad has given everything for me to be here and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and win here, so it's unbelievable."

McLaren’s Lando Norris finished fourth ahead of George Russell’s Mercedes, while reigning world champion Max Verstappen endured a frustrating run to sixth.

Lewis Hamilton took seventh in the other Mercedes, ahead of RB’s Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon’s Williams and Pierre Gasly, who completed the points-scoring positions in 10th place for Alpine. 

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