Charles Leclerc beat McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in Monaco to end his winless F1 streak

May 27, 2024

Charles Leclerc beat McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in Monaco to end his winless F1 streak; Leclerc converted pole position into a victory on home soil as Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz took third from Lando Norris

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There was a big crash between Sergio Perez and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen at the start of the Monaco Grand Prix, which also took out the car of Nico Hulkenberg

Charles Leclerc won his first Monaco Grand Prix with a lights-to-flag victory on home soil after a huge crash on the opening lap which saw the race stopped.

Leclerc held off an early challenge from McLaren’s Oscar Piastri to take his first win since July 2022 as his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz took third and Lando Norris was fourth.

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Max Verstappen had to settle for sixth, in between the Mercedes of George Russell in fifth and Lewis Hamilton in seventh, and sees his championship lead over Leclerc reduced to 31 points.

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Ferrari’s double podium means they are only 24 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings after eight rounds.

The race was red-flagged on the first lap due to a big crash between Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg after Turn One, with all three drivers unhurt despite the high-speed collision.

RB’s Yuki Tsunoda scored points for a third consecutive race with eighth place, ahead of Alex Albon, who gave Williams their first points of the season, and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly in 10th.

Monaco GP result: Top 10

1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

2) Oscar Piastri, McLaren

3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

4) Lando Norris, McLaren

5) George Russell, Mercedes

6) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

7) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

8) Yuki Tsunoda, RB

9) Alex Albon, Williams

10) Pierre Gasly, Alpine

Leclerc ends Monaco curse

Leclerc had claimed pole twice in Monaco before this weekend but hadn’t finished on the podium due to previous misfortune or team mistakes.

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The 26-year-old knew he had another big chance when he took pole on Saturday with a stunning lap and got a good launch on the first start, before the red flag was called due to the big accident behind between Perez and the Haas drivers.

Sainz got a big slice of luck because he suffered a puncture after making contact with Piastri and stopped at Turn Four on the first start, before crawling back to the pit lane, but was restored to his starting place of third for the restart.

Anthony Davidson and Jenson Button analyse Carlos Sainz’s clash with Oscar Piastri to cause his puncture

Due to the race being suspended, everyone changed tyres to clear the regulation of using two different tyre compounds in the race.

The Ferraris and McLarens switched from mediums to hards, while Russell, Verstappen and Hamilton went from hards to mediums.

This time, the restart was clean and the top 10 stayed in the same order, which remained the case for the rest of the 78 laps around Monaco.

Charles Leclerc lifts the curse of winning in his home town of Monaco

Leclerc initially drove relatively slowly to save his tyres and keep the field together, in order to stop Piastri, or Norris in fourth, from trying an undercut.

Piastri got very close during the opening 20 laps and had one small look at Portier, which was as close as he got to taking the lead.

As the race went on, Piastri couldn’t put as much pressure on the Ferrari driver, who cruised away in the closing stages to win by 7.1 seconds.

Sainz faced pressure from Norris throughout the race in the battle for third but managed to hold off the British driver and secure his fourth podium of the year.

Leclerc runs to celebrate his first home win in Monaco with the Ferrari team

Mayhem and huge crash causes red flag

The race was stopped on the opening lap due after Kevin Magnussen made contact with Sergio Perez on the run up the hill towards Turn Two.

Magnussen was halfway up alongside Perez when the pair collided, spun around and also collected Nico Hulkenberg in a high-speed collision that saw debris scattered everywhere.

“From my point of view, I had a good part of my front on Perez’s rear and when he went to the wall I got pushed to the wall and made contact with him,” said Magnussen.

“I trusted he was going to leave space for me since I was there. It’s not a corner where you’re braking into it, it’s a bend on the straight so you have to have a car otherwise you leave the other guy no option.”

Jenson Button analyses the crash between Perez and Magnussen at the start of the Monaco Grand Prix should have been avoided

Later on in the lap, Esteban Ocon dived down the inside of Alpine team-mate Gasly at Turn Eight [Portier] and they also collided, which saw Ocon’s car lift up into the air.

Both drivers were able to carry on but Gasly fumed at Ocon, asking “what was he doing!” on the team radio.

Ocon’s car had too much damage and he retired but Gasly took to the restart and scored his first point of the season in 10th.

Esteban Ocon goes down the inside of Pierre Gasly in Monaco and the Alpine pair bang wheels, with Ocon being lifted high in the air

Damage limitation for Verstappen

Verstappen followed Russell for the majority of the race in sixth and never came under any pressure from Hamilton, who seemingly questioned his team’s decision to start the race on the hard tyres when he said “I told you so” on the radio during the red flag.

Hamilton pitted with 27 laps to go for hard tyres, so Red Bull reacted by pitting Verstappen a lap later.

Mercedes kept Russell out there so Verstappen chased him down but couldn’t find a way to get by.

“We just finished where we started. The strategy got ruined in the red flag,” said Verstappen.

“From Lap One on the restart it was driving four seconds off the pace and chill. No work out whatsoever. Just really, really boring.”

Max Verstappen says Red Bull’s strategy got ruined after the red flag and turned into a ‘boring’ Monaco GP.

What the top three said

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 1st:

“No words can explain that. It’s such a difficult race, I think the fact twice I’ve been starting on pole position and we couldn’t quite make it makes it even better in a way.

“It means a lot, obviously. It’s the race which made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day.

“Fifteen laps to the end you’re hoping nothing happens and the emotions are coming.

“My dad has given everything for me to be here and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and win here, so it’s unbelievable.”

It was an emotional win for Leclerc in Monaco as the Ferrari driver was victorious in his home race for the first time

Oscar Piastri, McLaren – 2nd:

“Tricky race. The pace at the beginning was incredibly slow. I had one little half look before the tunnel but didn’t have a small enough car to fit into the gap!

“Thanks to the team. It’s been a great weekend all round. Nice to put a result on the board. I’ve been strong the last few weekends but didn’t have the result to show for it. Nice to have a podium.

“Charles has been mega all weekend. They have been quick from the very first lap.

“I’m happy with P2. A good result for the team. Very, very happy.”

Image:Piastri pushed Leclerc hard for the win early on in Monaco but had to settle for second

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari – 3rd:

“It was a tight one and a very bad feeling in lap one which very quickly turned into a really good feeling after getting reinstated in P3.

“From thereon really, the race pace was good as we expect, it’s just impossible to get past on the streets of Monaco.

“But I’m incredibly happy to see Charles win on his home Grand Prix.

“To be able to share this podium with him in P3 is great for the whole team, and it feels like we’re getting stronger and stronger.”

Monaco GP Result

DriverTeamTime1) Charles LeclercFerrari2:23:15.5542) Oscar PiastriMcLaren+7.1523) Carlos SainzFerrari+7.5854) Lando NorrisMcLaren+8.6505) George RussellMercedes+13.3096) Max VerstappenRed Bull+13.8537) Lewis HamiltonMercedes+14.9088) Yuki TsunodaRB+1 lap9) Alex AlbonWilliams+1 lap10) Pierre GaslyAlpine+1 lap11) Fernando AlonsoAston Martin+2 laps12) Daniel RicciardoRB+2 laps13) Valtteri BottasSauber+2 laps14) Lance StrollAston Martin+2 laps15) Logan SargeantWilliams+2 laps16) Zhou GuanyuSauber+2 laps17) Esteban OconAlpineDNF18) Nico HulkenbergHaasDNF19) Sergio PerezRed BullDNF20) Kevin MagnussenHaasDNF

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