Charles Leclerc triumphs at the Monaco GP, his return to victory after almost two years. Sainz third, Verstappen sixth – The photos

Charles Leclerc triumphs at the Monaco GP, his return to victory after almost two years. Sainz third, Verstappen sixth – The photos
Charles Leclerc triumphs at the Monaco GP, his return to victory after almost two years. Sainz third, Verstappen sixth – The photos

Charles Leclerc triumphs in front of his fans in the Monaco GP, for the first time in his career, after a start marred by accidents and after leading the race from start to finish without too many worries. The Monegasque driver had not won since 10 July 2022, when he won the Austrian GP, ​​the third and last of his season. Then in 2023 5 pole positions and another 3 – so far – in 2024, but no final first position. Ferrari’s latest successes are both by Carlos Sainz: in Singapore in 2023 and in Australia this season. Behind him the battle heated up at the end but the positions remained frozen: Piastri’s McLaren second, Sainz third ahead of Norris. Verstappen sixth behind Russell. Leclerc was moved at the finish line, having started from pole twice before here in Monaco without managing to finish the race. «I was so excited that on the last lap I could hardly see, I kept thinking about my father», he confessed to his teammate before the awards ceremony. An emotion also shared by Prince Albert II because it is an unprecedented event in the history of Formula 1: for the first time, a Monegasque wins in Monaco. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Yuki Tsunoda (RB), Alex Albon (Williams) and Pierre Gasly (Alpine) also scored points.

Accidents on the first lap

After taking pole position in yesterday’s qualifying, Charles Leclerc hoped for a linear race without any bumps, therefore aiming for a good start and management of a track, that of the Monaco GP, which makes overtaking difficult. And instead, off we go, on the first lap an accident with three drivers involved imposes the red flag and the suspension of the race, while the other Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz is forced to stop due to a contact with Oscar Piastri which tears his front tire left. Leclerc had started well and held first position, but a few corners later at the back of the group the Haas of Magnussen and Hulkenberg collided with the Red Bull of Perez. His car is in the worst shape, the race is interrupted and security men enter the track to clean the track. From the images of the accident, it appears that Magnussen’s Haas attempted to overtake Perez, who started from the rear after a disappointing qualification, but where there was no space. The Mexican’s Red Bull was thus violently thrown towards the barriers, also involving Nico Huelkenberg’s Haas. Attention then shifts to the monitors, to decide what the restart order will be, while repair work begins on the track. It takes more than twenty minutes to deliver the judges’ decision to the teams, which is the standing start and who smiles at Ferraris. Leclerc restarts at 3.44pm from first position, then Piastri and Sainz, despite the stop due to the tire problem. Behind Norris, Russell and Verstappen. The replays also reveal a clash “at home” between the two Alpine teams of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly into which the judges have opened an investigation. The race could now be decided by the decisions of the team technicians whether to replace the tires already or continue with those put on at the start: Leclerc has chosen the hard way to not do any more pit stops. Perez, Ocon, Magnussen and Hulkenberg remained out of the race.

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