Formula One: Is Charles Leclerc the unluckiest driver on the grid?

Charles Leclerc at the Belgian Grand Prix

Is Charles Leclerc the unluckiest driver on the Formula One grid? The stats would seem to suggest so…

While the grid currently enjoys a summer break in what is the most stacked Formula One calendar ever, AceOdds have crunched the numbers from the first 12 races of the season, and they don’t make for pleasant reading for Leclerc.

No driver has lost more grid places so far this season, and that’s no fault of his own. Scuderia Ferrari have been dogged by reliability issues throughout the season so far, and Leclerc’s retirement from the first race of the season in Bahrain was a sign of things to come.

Leclerc is guilty of six infringements so far this season. Nico Hulkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant are all guilty of more, but no one has lost as many grid positions due to these penalties as the Ferrari driver.

A disequilibrium within the Ferrari garage

So far this season, Leclerc has lost 51 grid positions, easily the most on the grid. Hulkenberg ranks second with 23 positions lost due to infringements. Despite the 51 positions lost, Leclerc has incurred no fines, and this due to the fact that the Monegasque’s penalties don’t issue from sloppy driving on-track, but due to improper parts and maintenance on his vehicle. Reliability really has been the Achilles heel of Leclerc’s season so far.

Across the garage, the same can’t be said for Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard has lost 15 seconds on track due to infringements and only three grid positions overall so far this season. He has incurred two penalty points as opposed to Leclerc’s 0. However, Sainz’s car hasn’t been plagued by the same reliability issues as Leclerc’s.

Unsurprisingly, despite the disequilibrium within the Ferrari garage, no team has lost more grid positions than the Italian manufacturer’s 54 this season. Haas are the next closest with 26.

The figures suggest therefore that, should Ferrari resolve their reliability issues, they could be in for a much more fruitful second half to the season. Leclerc, and the rest of the Ferrari team, will be hoping for just that.


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Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Football: Carlos Aviña appointed Monaco’s new technical director

AS Monaco technical director Carlos Aviña

Carlos Aviña has been confirmed as AS Monaco’s new technical director. The Mexican arrives from satellite club Cercle Brugge and will work alongside new sporting director Thiago Scuro.

The post has been left vacant since Laurence Stewart’s departure to Chelsea in January. Aviña has been the sporting director at Cercle Brugge since 2020 and has a strong working relationship with Paul Mitchell, who was one of many advocates for his arrival. The Englishman continues to aid Scuro in a consultancy capacity as the Brazilian finds his feet at the Principality club.

Aviña arrives at Monaco with his reputation enhanced after Cercle Brugge reached the Belgian play-offs last season, a historic feat for a club on the rise.

Addressing the fans of the Belgian club, Aviña said, “[It is] difficult to explain with words what Cercle Brugge means to me. Thank you to all the supporters, players, staff and employees for your support throughout these amazing three years! [I] will always have the Groen-Zwart in my heart, [and] will never forget you.”

Thiago Scuro: “He’ll add a lot of value to the plans we have”

Aviña has already arrived at the club, having announced his departure from Cercle Brugge in a press conference on Friday. He was at the Gabriel Montpied Stadium as Monaco beat Clermont Foot in their first match of the Ligue 1 season on Sunday, and was shown celebrating the victory with the squad and the backroom staff on the club’s media channels.

Addressing Aviña’s arrival, Scuro believes that the Mexican will have a positive impact on the club.

“I am very happy to have Carlos’ knowledge and support. We have had very good interactions since the beginning of my journey here. I am sure that he’ll add a lot of value to the plans we have for the future,” said the Brazilian sporting director.



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Photo source: AS Monaco

Water restrictions tightened in parts of Alpes-Maritimes

water alpes maritimes

Officials in the Alpes-Maritimes have announced new restrictions on water use in parts of the department. Here’s what you need to know.    

It was a particularly dry July in the Alpes-Maritimes, with a rain deficient of 95% increasing water woes that have dogged the region for much of the year. Snow melt from the winter being down 60% this year and temperatures that have largely remained above monthly averages have also added to a worsening situation.  

Now the Prefecture for the Alpes-Maritimes has announced that it is implementing stricter measures concerning water use in the parts of the department considered to be “critically” parched. This means a revision of previous classifications of towns and cities in the area. 

Communes close to the Cagne, Loup, Estéron and Paillon rivers now find themselves subject to crisis alert restrictions, which means a total ban on car washing and watering gardens and green spaces, with the exception of vegetable gardens benefiting from a drip irrigation system for which the ban on watering applies from 8am to 8pm, and a complete ban on watering in gravity irrigation or by sprinkler. Private swimming pools cannot be topped up or filled. Additionally, companies who wash cars and boats must reduce water use by 60% or close altogether. 

These communes include Valbonne, Opio, Le Rouret, Roquefort les Pins, Tourrettes sur Loup, Vence and Saint Paul de Vence.  

Many coastal destinations, including Cap d’Ail, Eze, Beaulieu sur Mer, Villefranche sur Mer, La Turbie, Roquebrune Cap Martin, Mention and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, are subject to lower level restrictions, being placed in the “alert” category, but moderation should be employed.  

A complete list of the communes and their status can be found here, as well as a breakdown of restrictions. For more information on the situation as a whole, please click here.  


Read more:

Can I water my garden during the drought?

Can I fill up my swimming pool during the drought?


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Photo source: Harry Grout, Unsplash

King Charles expected to visit France in September 

king charles september

Although no official comment has been made on either side of the Channel, rumours of a visit to France by Britain’s King Charles III this September have begun to swirl. 

After a visit marketed as a chance for the UK and France to renew ties following years of tension in the run-up to, and wake of, Brexit was cancelled in March due to the particularly hostile pension reform protests engulfing France at the time, the Palais de l’Élysée released a statement saying that King Charles’ trip to France would be rescheduled “as soon as possible” and “in conditions that correspond our friendly relations”.   

Now it appears that a date has been set, and it’s just around the corner. 

According to the French newspaper Sud-Ouest, ministerial sources in France have leaked the news that Britain’s freshly crowned monarch will be making his way to France in September for a two-part visit to Paris and Bordeaux, as was originally planned. 

Queen Consort Camilla is also expected to join her husband on the visit, which will reportedly take place in the penultimate week of the month and include a dinner at the Palace of Versailles.  

It will be a particularly busy time for France and official engagements, with Pope Francis due to visit Marseille between 22nd and 23rd September. According to the Vatican’s official schedule, he will be met there by French President Emmanuel Macron.  

King Charles’ scrapped trip in March would have made France the first country to host him since he succeeded his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, as regent. Instead, that honour went to Germany after Macron decided to postpone the visit amid the rising national tensions related to his reforms to the pensions system.  


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Photo source: Mathais Reding, Unsplash 

Travelling art3f event heading for Monaco later this month 

art3f monaco

Come the end of August, over 200 artists will unite under one roof at the Big Top in Fontvieille for the art3f fair.  

From 25th to 27th August at the Chapiteau de Fontvieille, the art3f event will highlight the “human and warm side” of the art world.   


Monaco is one of 21 cities around Europe that hosts the travelling and intentionally unpretentious event, which is targeted at people who love art and the artists who love making it, with many pieces advertised and sold for refreshingly affordable prices.  

Artists from Monaco, France, Europe and many other parts of the world will together exhibit more than 3,500 of their paintings, sculptures and photographs, lining the walls of the venue and filling the space to capacity.  


Last year’s edition saw 16,00 visitors cross the threshold and 714 works of contemporary art purchased, many of which were from young up-and-coming talent. This show offers a rare opportunity to meet the stars of tomorrow as many of the artists are expected to be present.  

In addition to the exhibitions, a central bar and restaurant will be set up and there will even be live music at the official opening event on Friday 25th August from 6pm.  

The launch night is open to all visitors, though those without invitations will be asked to pay the entry fee.  

Tickets are going for €7 during pre-sales and €10 at the door. For more information, please visit the art3f website here.


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Photo source: art3f

France asks for public opinion on low-emission vehicle ratings system 

low-emission france

Financial aid for the purchase of low-emission vehicles looks set to change in France as the government calls on the public to share their opinion on a scorecard concept. 

The French government is proposing a change to the “bonus écologique” criteria used to evaluate a low-emission vehicle – one powered by electric, hydrogen or a combination of both – in the context of its subsidy scheme. The idea is to introduce a type of scorecard that vehicles will need to pass in order for them to be considered for part-financing.  

At the moment, the only aspect of the vehicle that matters is its emissions. Under the new plans, the government will also look at the production and delivery methods used by manufacturers to determine the eco-credentials of a vehicle before it even touches down on the road.  

According to the European Environment Agency, “Emissions are usually higher in the production phase [of an electric vehicle], but these are more than offset by lower emissions in the use phase over time. Greenhouse gas emissions of electric vehicles [are] about 17 to 30% lower than the emissions of petrol and diesel cars.” 

As much as €7,000 is available to prospective “clean” car owners in France under a scheme that hopes to accelerate the uptake of low-emission vehicles by the public. The current EU goal for a complete transition away from traditional fossil fuel powered vehicles is 2035. In 2022, the purchase of low-emission vehicles represented 23% of all new European registrations. 

A public consultation on the matter, which is open until 25th August, can be found here. 


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Photo source: Eren Goldman, Unsplash