Charles Leclerc admits home podium ‘not much’ in search of ending Monaco blues

Henry Valantine
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in Monaco.

Charles Leclerc has not had the best of luck at his home race over the years, which he hopes to rectify this weekend.

Charles Leclerc has admitted the prospect of a home podium anywhere other than the top step “is not really something that excites me”, as he looks to end a significant run of bad luck at Monaco.

The Ferrari driver’s issues at his home circuit stretch all the way back to his GP2 [now F2] days, and while he is already the most successful Monégasque driver in Formula 1 history, a podium at the most historic race of them all eludes him.

Charles Leclerc: Monaco win ‘is what we need to target’ at Ferrari

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

From a double retirement in GP2 to suffering a DNS after qualifying on pole in 2021, Leclerc and his fans have been put through the ringer in various ways at his home event to a degree where the ‘Monaco curse’ has become a term associated with his toils on social media.

While he is yet to finish above fourth place around the streets where he grew up, that has not dampened his spirits – especially considering how competitive he has often been around Monaco in previous years.

With that, he heads into the weekend full of hope that this year can be his year.

“I’m feeling good,” Leclerc told media including in Monte Carlo.

“Obviously it’s always a very special feeling, the Monaco week. I think it is for all the drivers, but for me specifically having grown up here it’s extra special, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“We’ve always been competitive here, so hopefully it will be just the same this weekend. However, the finality of the weekends haven’t ever been the one I wanted, which we have worked [on] a lot.

“We’ve done our preparation in the best possible way, and I hope that this weekend will be the good one.”

Where has the ‘Monaco curse’ for Charles Leclerc originated?

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When asked what getting on the podium at home for the first time in his seventh attempt would mean to him, he replied: “Not much. Not much.

“I mean, second or third is not really something that excites me, so the win is what we need to target.

“We’ve seen in the last few races that Red Bull, McLaren and ourselves are pretty close in qualifying and we know how important qualifying is here, so we’ll have to put everything together and, if we are on pole, then that will give us good chances to get what we want – which is a win.

“I feel like in Monaco you always start a little bit from scratch. As much as what we’ve seen in the last few races, I think it won’t be too different.

“There still can be some surprises. We’ve seen it in 2021 I think with us, where we were nowhere but then we got to Monaco and our car was was working very well.

“So we’ll have to see after Friday where we are compared to the others, but I would be surprised if we are not in the mix for pole at least.”

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