Charles Leclerc’s bullish ‘Monaco curse’ response after earning landmark home victory

Henry Valantine
Charles Leclerc celebrates victory in Monaco.

With a Monaco win eluding him for his career, Charles Leclerc said he 'never believed' a curse existed.

Charles Leclerc has finally lifted the so-called ‘curse’ of the Monaco Grand Prix after taking an emotional victory around the streets of his home nation on Sunday, but he said after the race he had never believed there was one.

Having had a particular run of bad luck at his home event stretching back to a double DNF in his GP2 days, to a DNS after taking pole in 2021 and a strategy issue foiling his chances a year later, he was heading into the weekend in search of his first podium at his home race, let alone a win.

Charles Leclerc: ‘I never believed in the curse’ at the Monaco Grand Prix

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Leclerc was the fastest driver for much of the weekend at Monaco this year, looking fast all the way through practice, taking pole position and leading the race to the chequered flag.

He admitted he had been holding back tears in the final laps as he thought of his late father, Hervé, in what was an emotional moment for himself and his team.

While luck had eluded him at Monaco before, Leclerc admitted he is not a believer in luck, and when it was put to him after the race that the ‘curse’ at his home Grand Prix had finally been lifted, he politely gave the idea fairly short shrift.

“I never believed in the curse,” Leclerc responded to media including

“However, it always felt very difficult in the two occasions I had to win here. One [2021] I couldn’t even start the race. The second one, [2022] we didn’t make the right choice, I think, so it was very, very frustrating to lose those wins.

“And the thing is that, as a driver, you never really know when will be the next opportunity to win, especially when it’s your home race and even more so when your home race is Monaco, that is such a special track, such a difficult track and such a difficult weekend to master and to do everything perfectly. Which we did.

“So I knew that today was another opportunity. I knew how it felt the last two times I was in this position, but I obviously really wanted to get that victory today and so there was a bit of tension.

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“But as I’ve said, as soon as I put the helmet and then as soon as I get into the car, I don’t feel anything anymore, and then it’s all about trying to maximise the car that you have, thinking about the tyres and thinking about all this stuff that I had to think of to manage this race the best way possible.

“So it’s more the moments before the race and before putting the helmet on.”

When asked if he had changed anything going into the weekend, barring eating his favourite pizza for dinner late on Saturday night as he had left it too late to cook, the Ferrari driver said there was nothing he had done differently compared to his other attempts at winning in Monaco.

“No, not at all,” Leclerc said.

“I think the perception from the outside sometimes can change but at the end, what I try to do is to try and keep the things as stable as possible.

“Whenever I go in a weekend you just try and do exactly the same thing as what you’ve done in the previous weekend, learning from mistakes, obviously always striving to improve and get better.

“But it’s always fine tuning and very little changes in the approach that you have – and I think it’s not specific to Monaco compared to others.

“I mean, there’s a different approach in free practice, but just because it’s a street track, but yeah, I don’t feel like I’ve done anything very differently compared to the past.”

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