F1: Steady Charles Leclerc takes P3 in Imola to the cheers of the tifosi

leclerc imola

What a difference a year can make. Cancelled last year due to widespread flooding in the region, the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix took place on the famous Imola Circuit under a near cloudless sky and in glorious sunshine.

Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc initially qualified in P4, but due to a three-place grid penalty for McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who had taken P2, the Monegasque was able to advance one place to start in P3 on the second row alongside his teammate, Carlos Sainz, who began the race in P4. 

See more: Charles Leclerc auction raises nearly €430,000 for Italy’s flood victims

Leclerc’s race was relatively smooth and steady, despite his attempts to chase down McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. 

The race was ultimately all about these two drivers. The latter stages saw Norris free himself of Leclerc and increase his pursuit of Verstappen, who won his third consecutive Emilia Romagna Grand Prix by just 0.725 seconds.  

The biggest cheers from the local crowds that had gathered to watch the racing at the Imola Circuit, officially known as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, were reserved for fan favourite Leclerc, who made sure to thank the tifosi in a gracious post-race speech – in Italian.  

“Today’s race went well and we got even closer to our rivals,” he later told reporters. “If we had qualified higher up, we could have presented our fans with an even better result. Overall, there are plenty of positives to take away from this race: the upgrades worked as expected and we are more competitive. We must continue to work to close the gap, which although small, still separates us from the race winner. Obviously, we dedicate this result and our performance to the tifosi who are the best fans in the world and they always support us come what may. I’m sure we’ll soon be able to pay them back with a win.”

Leclerc will now have just one thing on his mind: the imminent Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday 26th May. Not only is it the biggest event of the year in the Principality, but Leclerc has never won on his home track. He will no doubt be hoping that will all change at the 81st edition of the Monaco Grand Prix, and he will have all the support of the Principality behind him.  

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Video: The Monaco Grand Prix through the eyes of Charles Leclerc


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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre

€40,000 raised for Monaco Disease Power at Histoires d’Ours auction

A heartwarming story of charity played out at the Salle Empire of the Hôtel de Paris last week as dozens of friends and supporters of the Monaco Disease Power association gathered for the second Histoires d’Ours auction of teddy bears. 

The special event, which took place on 14th May, was co-created by Karelle and Marco Traverso, who have dedicated themselves to the cause championed by Monaco Disease Power. The local association works tirelessly to support individuals and families affected by a range of disabilities. 

21 teddy bears were lined up for the auction, which was presided over by Swiss auctioneer Simon de Pury, who was dressed for the occasion in a fluffy bear costume much to the amusement of the bidders.  

Auctioneer Simon de Pury really got into the spirit of the event and dressed up as a teddy bear for the sale. Photo supplied

Various Monaco-based businesses got involved by sponsoring a bear. One particularly popular bear was the teddy backed by Prince Albert II himself; it bore the name Fideon in honour of the Carabiniers du Prince’s motto: Honneur, Fidélité et Dévouement. It fetched the highest bid of the event.  

In all, nearly €40,000 was raised for the charity association, doubling the total funds generated at the inaugural auction in 2023. Donations are still open and can be made via the Monaco Disease Power website.  

Read related:

Hôtel de Paris to host teddy bear auction in aid of Monaco Disease Power


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