After a series of “unlucky” races in the Principality, Formula One driver Charles Leclerc is hoping the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix will deliver the hometown podium finish that he has always dreamed of.
The rising Formula One star gave a virtual press conference on Tuesday and, when questioned by Monaco Life about the prospect of winning his first top three position at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, responded: “It will mean the world to me to finally have such a great result in front of my home crowd, in front of my family and friends, and my teachers who are watching the GP and will maybe now understand why I was missing so much school when I was younger. But it means a lot. More than anywhere else.”
It will be the perfect evolution of a dream for the 23-year-old Monegasque, which began many years before in the Principality.
“My first memories were when I was four or five years old and I was watching Formula One from the balcony of my best friend’s house, and I remember dreaming of being one of those drivers. Now I finally have the opportunity (…) to realise my dream as part of the Scuderia Ferrari team.”
And he has every chance of turning the dream of a Monaco podium finish into reality this year with Ferrari’s new SF21, together with new team mate Carlos Sainz whom Leclerc says he has already bonded well with.
“I don’t think I have spent as much time with any other team mate as I have with Carlos,” said Leclerc. “We have spent a lot of time in Maranello since the beginning of the season trying to understand where we can improve and what areas we need to push in… so it has been very interesting. But apart from that, we also get on very well. We have similar ages, similar interests, and we’ve had a lot of good laughs already.”
While early tests in the SF21 have proven positive, Leclerc says only time will tell if the car manages to turn the team’s fortunes around after a disastrous 2020 season which pushed Ferrari to sixth in the championship – their worst finish since 1980.
“The car felt good in Bahrain, but again a car that feels good doesn’t mean it is necessarily fast. So, I will wait before making any further judgements.
“But the first test went well, we did all the kilometres that we wanted to do, which was the most important thing for us, gathering as much data as possible before the first race. Now I am just really looking forward to the first race to finally see where we are compared to the others.”
Photo @Scuderia Ferrari