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Charles Leclerc

Can Leclerc overcome Monaco Grand Prix curse?

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has failed to finish on the podium at his home race with a number of nightmarish results along the way.

Leclerc Monaco
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Charles Leclerc will arrive at his home race at the Monaco Grand Prix aiming to finally reach the podium.

His F1 record on the streets of the Principality makes for painful reading, with his fourth-place finish last year his best result.

But with Red Bull so dominant and Aston Martin fancying their chances of a strong result, is Leclerc's curse set to continue?

Form provides grim reading

As aforementioned, Leclerc has failed to reach the podium in Monaco in F1. His record is so poor that he has only finished two of the races since joining the grid in 2018.

His P18 result in his rookie season can be attributed to being part of a back-of-the-grid Sauber outfit, but since then he has had little room for making excuses with Ferrari.

A horror story ensued in 2019, when Leclerc failed to make Q2 in qualifying as Ferrari left him in the garage, certain he was safe from elimination before the track evolved late in the opening session.

As part of a bold effort to recover positions in the race, the Monegasque clipped the wall with his right-rear tyre at La Rascasse and would ultimately retire from the race. Then the Covid pandemic ensured no race would be held in 2020, though Ferrari's challenger that year would have been unlikely to have provided a podium opportunity.

Leclerc was on course to make up for his 2019 struggles with pole position in 2021, but a crash at the end of qualifying would lead to issues carrying over into Sunday, meaning he would not start the race.

Another pole position followed last year, this time with Leclerc able to take the start. Rain made his task more complicated but, having led in the opening stages of the race, a strategic mix-up on the Ferrari pit wall saw Red Bull capitalise.

Sergio Perez took the lead through the switch from wet to dry tyres, with Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz holding second and Max Verstappen promoted to third.

Leclerc's fortunes were no brighter in his dominant F2 season, retiring from the 2017 Feature race before finishing 18th in the Sprint.

Leclerc's Monaco results in F1

Year Position Team
2018 18th Sauber
2019 DNF Ferrari
2020 No race No race
2021 DNS Ferrari
2022 4th Ferrari

Rivals to present obstacles

Whilst Leclerc has provided the most promise for Ferrari with pole position and a podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a win is almost certainly off the cards given Red Bull's dominance across the opening five races of the season.

But even hopes of a podium look slim given Aston Martin's targeting of the event for their own moment of triumph, with the high downforce, low-speed configuration thought to suit the AMR23.

Then there's Mercedes and the Silver Arrows' upgrade package. The Brackley-based outfit will enter the weekend as an unknown.

Given his trials and tribulations in the past, there are few who would begrudge Leclerc standing on the podium overlooking the start-finish line at his home race. Those hopes, however, may need to be saved until 2024.

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to ask if Mattia Binotto could really join Alpine, what Pirelli's new tyres are about and the latest on the Red Bull-Ford partnership!

F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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