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Charles Leclerc

How a major Leclerc difference left Sainz shot of confidence

Charles Leclerc secured an emotional victory in the Monaco Grand Prix, as team-mate Carlos Sainz felt he could not his team-mate.

Leclerc Prince Albert Podium Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has revealed how the aggressive approach Charles Leclerc took into the Monaco Grand Prix destroyed his own confidence.

Leclerc was the form driver in the Principality, topping FP2, FP3 and Q3 across the weekend as he converted a third home pole into a victory he has long craved. 

He comfortably was the better Ferrari driver across the Monegasque weekend, with Sainz, who finished third, detailing how Leclerc's immediate burst of pace on Friday left him unable to match his team-mate.

"From my side, I've seen the same Charles that I've seen any other year in Monaco, and obviously it is your home race, so he is a very busy man," Sainz told media including RacingNews365.

"He is a guy who has always been super quick around Monaco, he has performed exceptionally well and the only thing I saw that was different was that he seemed to be in Q3 run two already in FP1 - Q3 run two mode.

"I had my moments of trying to get to that level of pushing and then I lost confidence.

"We are normally within half-a-tenth of each other, but in those two or three moments I had in FP1 and FP2, it just put me a step behind in confidence and I couldn't quite get close enough in qualifying.

Leclerc's victory celebrations were joined in by HRH Prince Albert on the podium, including the Head of State also spraying champagne over the first home driver to win the grand prix in its history.

Prince Albert has been ruler of Monaco since the death of his father Rainier III in 2005, and has seen Leclerc develop from F2 protege to F1 winner - something the Ferrari driver elaborated on.

"The Prince was very emotional, and we've known each other for a very long time," Leclerc said.

"I remember when I was 12 or 13 years old, we got to the palace for the first time with my father to try and get some support with my career, and since then he has always kept an eye on my career.

"He has always supported me, always had nice words in good moments but also in moments that were much more difficult - and I think the fact that he has seen me growing up and with all the support he has given me over the years, it made it quite emotional for me and also for him."


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