Ferarri’s Charles Leclerc wins Formula One Monaco Grand Prix 2024

Charles Leclerc achieved a childhood dream on Sunday, becoming the first Monegasque driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix since Louis Chiron in 1931. The Ferrari driver’s victory, his first since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, came after a chaotic race that saw two standing starts and several first-lap collisions.

“It means a lot,” said Leclerc, who screamed with joy over the radio as he took the checkered flag waved by French soccer star Kylian Mbappe. The crowd erupted in celebration as Prince Albert, Monaco’s sovereign, gave a royal thumbs-up from the stands. “It’s the race that made me dream of becoming a Formula One driver one day.”

The 26-year-old driver, who had previously failed to secure a podium finish in six previous attempts at the iconic race, started from pole position and controlled the race from the outset.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished second, 7.1 seconds behind after a race that saw little overtaking on the narrow street circuit. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz secured third place.

Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen, who won the race last year, finished sixth, marking only the third time this season that the triple world champion has been beaten. McLaren’s Lando Norris finished fourth, while George Russell took fifth for Mercedes.

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton finished seventh, claiming a bonus point for fastest lap, and Yuki Tsunoda finished eighth for Red Bull-owned RB.

Williams scored their first points of the season with Alex Albon finishing ninth, and Pierre Gasly took the final point for Alpine despite a first-lap collision with teammate Esteban Ocon, whose race ended immediately.

Leclerc’s victory trimmed Verstappen’s championship lead to 31 points from 48, while Ferrari are now only 24 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

The Monaco Grand Prix, with its tight corners and unforgiving barriers, has always held a special place in Leclerc’s heart. He had previously started from pole in Monaco in both 2021 and 2022 but failed to convert his advantage into a top-three finish.

“Tonight is going to be a big night,” he told his team on the cooling-down lap.

“No words can explain that,” he added later, before Prince Albert joined in the podium celebrations with his own celebratory bottle of champagne. “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.”

The race was interrupted by a red flag after a huge crash involving Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, and Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. This allowed teams to change tyres and also gave Sainz a chance to recover.

The Spaniard, who had run wide and stopped in Casino Square after a collision with Piastri, was able to rejoin the race in his original starting position of third.

“It was a tight one and a very bad feeling in lap one, which very quickly turned into a really good feeling after getting reinstated in P3,” said Sainz. “I’m incredibly happy to see Charles win on his home Grand Prix. To be able to share this podium with him in P3 is great for the whole team, and it feels like we’re getting stronger and stronger.”

Leclerc’s strategic driving, including slowing the field after the restart to save his tyres, helped him secure a historic victory in front of his home crowd.

 

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