F1: Leclerc triumphs and Sainz 3rd, Ferrari party in Monte Carlo – F1

At the third attempt, Charles Leclerc managed to beat the curse of Monte Carlo, taking his first victory in his home race after the disappointments suffered in the other two times, in 2021 and 2022, in which he started from pole position with Ferrari and then left empty-handed. And his joy, and emotion in the memory of his father Hervè, were shared on the podium by Prince Albert II, who was able to reward the first Monegasque winner in Monte Carlo, and by the entire Ferrari team, while the anthems of the Principality and Italian sung resounded from everyone in chorus.

The triumph, together with Carlos Sainz’s third place, confirms the growth of the SF-24 and can turn the season around, while the previously dominant Red Bull did not go beyond sixth place with Max Verstappen.

At the end of a race that began with the shock of a spectacular accident on the first lap and a red flag, the Maranello team was able to celebrate their tenth success in the Principality and a return to the victory that had been missing since the Australian GP, ​​with Sainz. The Spaniard attempted to grab second position today, but was unable to overtake Oscar Piastri’s McLaren on a track where overtaking is almost impossible, while Leclerc, solitary leader for the entire race, never took any risks.

++ F1: Leclerc triumphs in Monaco, Sainz third ++

Once he crossed the finish line, the pilot let off steam with a “yeesss” scream and a few tears, telling the radio team “I finally made it”. “Impossible to describe”, Leclerc then defined the joy he felt for the victory: “There are no words. This is such a difficult race…, as proven by the fact that I had tried twice and failed to win – he said – This is the race that made me dream of becoming a driver. In the last 15 laps I wasn’t thinking about driving, but only about my dad (who passed away in 2017, ed.), because this was our dream.”

“I drove a careful race but in the last laps I was able to push a little, because the Ferrari was perfect – added the Ferrari driver – I have to thank the team who gave me a fantastic car and the public who always supported me”.

++ F1: accident on the 1st lap in Monaco, immediately red flag ++

The long race, 78 laps, provided strong emotions at the end, but fireworks in the first lap. Sainz, starting from the second row, immediately tried to overtake Piastri but due to a small collision he got a puncture and ended up wide in one of the first corners. The inevitable retirement, with Leclerc who would have been forced to defend himself from the McLaren Piastri-Norris pair, was however canceled out by the carambola which shortly afterwards involved the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and the two Haas.

The Mexican was rammed by Kevin Magnussen in an impossible overtaking attempt and Nico Hulkenberg, although innocent, was in turn thrown into the barriers: single-seaters destroyed, debris everywhere and guard rails damaged, but drivers unharmed. The race was stopped by the red flag, with a restart set for 45 minutes later and Sainz readmitted to his place on the grid. Esteban Ocon also had to give up the new start due to damage to his Alpine after a collision with teammate Pierre Gasly.

The second start, given the precedents, induced everyone to avoid risks, so all the starting positions were respected up to the first pit stops and for the first ten up to the finish line, for a classification almost identical to the grid. The McLarens confirmed their competitiveness, with Lando Norris fourth still close to Sainz, while Verstappen always remained in the grip of the Mercedes of George Russell, fifth, and Lewis Hamilton, seventh. Ferrari restarts from the Principality with a load of results, emotions and confidence which, at a third of the championship, just ask to be capitalized and the gap between leader Verstappen and Leclerc is now reduced to 31 points.

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