F1: Charles Leclerc brings home the win at the Monaco Grand Prix

charles leclerc monaco grand prix

The Principality’s very own Charles Leclerc has won the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, fulfilling the dreams of the Ferrari driver and of Monaco. 

Qualifying on Saturday 25th May gave the Scuderia Ferrari driver his third start from the P1 grid slot in Monaco. It also moved him ahead of Niki Lauda in the list of Ferrari pole sitters in the team’s history; 26-year-old Leclerc is now second only to the legendary Michael Schumacher. 

“I’m very happy. We were fast right from the beginning of the weekend and I really think the whole team deserves this pole position. We know how important track position is here and having the possibility to start in front of everyone gives us the best chances,” he later said. “Now we have to complete the job, and we will do our best to bring home this victory.” 

Race Day on Sunday 26th May brought sunshine to the streets of Monaco, and thousands of Formula 1 fans poured into the Principality, with the grandstands near full capacity along every sector of the iconic circuit. 

See more: Interview with Charles Leclerc: “Monaco is the most exciting qualifying of the year”

The on-track drama began almost as soon as the lights went out; before Lap 1 was done, four drivers and their cars had retired from the race.  

A collision just after the Sainte Dévote turn involving Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez put both drivers, as well as Magnussen’s teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, out of the running. Damage to the barriers forced a 44-minute delay to the standing restart.  

Meanwhile, the two Alpine drivers, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, were also involved in a separate incident. The damage to Ocon’s car was deemed sufficient enough for him to withdraw from the race. He was handed a 10-second penalty, which will be carried over to the Canadian Grand Prix in June, and the Team Principal warned that “serious consequences” would be coming for the driver in the future. 

Charles Leclerc: P1 to win

Once the race had resumed, Monaco’s golden boy, Charles Leclerc, was quick off the line and secured his status at the front of the grid.  

By Lap 41, the race leader had lapped Stake KICK Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz and the fourth-placed Lando Norris, for McLaren, quickly following suit.

Ultimately, it was a pitstop-less race for the Top 5, which also featured Mercedes’ George Russell.  

Leclerc delivered a faultless performance, maintaining his position up front and elegantly managing the gap between himself and Piastri behind, slowing the pace when needed and picking up the speed when he felt pressure from the Australian driver.  

As the chequered flag was waved at the end of Lap 78, the Monegasque driver sailed through with a lead of more than eight seconds on the second-placed Piastri and Sainz in third. It marked success at last on his home track, the win he has always dreamed of. 

The emotion in his voice over the radio was clear for all to hear as commentators joked, “The son of a hairdresser is a cut above the rest.” 

Prince Albert II congratulates Charles Leclerc

Prince Albert II of Monaco and members of his extended family were seen celebrating the Monegasque’s victory as the driver punched the air and proclaimed, “Tonight is going to be a big night!” 

The sovereign looked down on the celebrations in the paddock, with Princess Charlene alongside him, as the horns of the yachts moored in Port Hercule blared out.  

“No words can explain [the feeling],” said Leclerc, grinning from ear to ear, to reporters post-race. “Winning a race that I always dreamed of winning one day… The emotions were coming, I was thinking of my dad… He [gave] everything for me to be here, we always dreamed of winning here.” 

Charles Leclerc’s victory at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix makes him the second-ever Monegasque. after Louis Chiron in 1931, to win a home race in the Principality. Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre

As Leclerc made his way to the podium, a visibly moved Prince Albert stepped forward to hug the driver. The two appeared to share some close words as they embraced again atop the podium before the Monegasque national anthem was played.

On top of the full points, which will see Leclerc catch up significantly on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Standings, the Monegasque was also voted Driver of the Day by F1 fans watching on worldwide.

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Interview with Charles Leclerc: “Monaco is the most exciting qualifying of the year”

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Photo credits: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre