All-Leclerc ‘family’ tussle could be decided by ‘jealous’ Carlos Sainz in Monaco

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc speaking with 'Oscar Jack Piastri-Leclerc'

Charles Leclerc speaking with his newest family member in Monaco

Lining up ahead of his ‘adopted’ son Oscar Piastri, Charles Leclerc has offered to adopt Carlos Sainz too with the Spaniard potentially the prince-maker in Monaco.

Piastri and Charles Leclerc have had a running joke over the past few days after the McLaren driver sought his Monaco roots but without success, prompting Leclerc to offer to adopt him.

Charles Leclerc v Oscar Jack Piastri-Leclerc into Turn 1 in Monaco

Calling himself “Oscar Jack Piastri-Leclerc”, it was all-family front row in qualifying on the street of the Principality as Leclerc clinched pole position by 0.154s ahead of Piastri-Leclerc.

The Monegasque native’s team-mate Sainz qualified in third place.

Ahead of a Grand Prix that has the potential to finish as it starts given how difficult it is to overtake in Monaco, Leclerc, the real Leclerc that is, believes a good launch could set him up for the victory.

“I need a good launch. I need a good launch off the grid. And then once we do that, then hopefully Carlos can have a great start and follow me into Turn 1 and be 1-2,” he said.

“And if we are 1-2, then we can manage that as a team. That would be the perfect scenario. But whatever happens, we just need to bring that victory home.”

Sainz is determined to do what he can to help his team-mate break his Monaco curse.

“The focus will be to see what we can do with the two cars to win the race with Charles, that he’s in the best possible position to do so,” said the Spaniard. “Then obviously Monaco, you never know, all sorts of things can happen.

“But if I win it’s probably because something weird has happened with Charles with strategy or with Safety Cars that I hope don’t get in a way.

“Obviously, we all want to win, but at the same time, I feel like Charles deserves to win in Monaco after his unlucky run.

“He’s been extremely strong all weekend, and here in the past, so it’s a day to kind of wish that nothing happens and see if we can win with Charles.”

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The first order of business will be to ensure Leclerc’s ‘adopted’ family member Piastri doesn’t get a look-in.

“I mean we are family,” Leclerc joked in the post-qualifying press conference before threatening mum’s involvement.

“So starting on the front row both of us will have a meeting with my mum tonight and I’m sure she will calm us down and hopefully I can get through Turn 1 in the first position and Oscar in the second place. But yeah, let’s see.”

Turning to Sainz, he added: “Do you want me to adopt you as well? Don’t be jealous, Carlos.”

Sainz replied: “You know, I need a haircut from your mom here. I need to find a new hairdresser in Monaco.”

Leclerc: “Whenever you want. Whenever you want. I think she has availability. And she will find some for you, for sure.

“So, yeah, I think that we just need to focus on ourselves. We can only control what we can do best, and that starts with a good start. If we have a good start, I have little doubt that we’ll keep that position into Turn 1. And we’ve had good starts recently, so I’m not too worried.”

As for the younger Leclerc, he doesn’t believe the Grand Prix will be won or lost at Turn 1. But he’s willing to hedge his bets, however he has to do it.

“I mean, it’s a short run compared to everyone else,” he said. “I might try and bribe your mum to let me go through!

“I don’t know, it’s a short run, obviously, and, it is Monaco still, but the race isn’t all won and lost at Turn 1. There’s still some things you can do. You can put pressure on and make the right strategy calls, and it can still get you through.

“So, yeah, it’s not the be-all and end-all, but it would certainly make life a bit easier.”

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