Charles Leclerc claims emotional Monaco GP win after tense Oscar Piastri battle

The Monegasque finally banished his bad luck in Monaco to claim his maiden win at his home race.

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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has finally claimed his maiden victory at his home race after taking the checkered flag at the Formula 1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

The Monegasque had raced seven times around the streets of Monte Carlo without winning, despite taking pole position in 2021 and 2022. But after going quickest in FP2, FP3 and qualifying, there was only one man likely to win this time.

And at the third attempt from pole position, Leclerc brought home maximum points and he looked visibly emotional after the race as he celebrated with his team.

Keen to shake off the ‘Monaco curse’, the 26-year-old kept his composure at the front, holding off the challenge from McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and leading every one of the 78 laps around the streets of Monaco.

His Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz joined him on the podium after managing to keep Lando Norris at bay to make it Ferrari P1 and P3, with McLaren P2 and P4, just like in qualifying.

Charles Leclerc in action at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari
Charles Leclerc in action at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

George Russell managed to go an incredible 77 laps on the medium tyre and kept Max Verstappen behind him, despite the Red Bull star’s best efforts to put pressure on him in the final stages. Lewis Hamilton took seventh and the fastest lap to add seven points to his tally for the season.

Yuki Tsunoda was a whole lap down on Hamilton alone, but the RB driver crucially picked up four precious points for his team, while Alex Albon got Williams off the mark in ninth and Pierre Gasly scored his first point of the season.

Horrifying crash brings out red flag

The race came to a grinding halt just four corners due to the red flag being shown, after the start following a horrifying crash between Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, with all three drivers fortunately walking away.

Sainz suffered a puncture when colliding with Piastri, but fixed the damage after the red flag was brought out. Esteban Ocon suffered terminal damage following his opportunistic move on Gasly, which left Alpine boss Bruno Famin fuming with the former.

Sergio Perez’s Red Bull car in pieces after opening lap 2024 Monaco GP crash | Formula 1

From there, it was all about pit stop strategies and pace advantages. But the race fizzled out after it emerged none of the top four would pit, and the top 10 all finished as they had qualified, leaving many to wonder if Monaco needs to change to offer more excitement in the future.

But for Leclerc, his demons in Monaco have finally been banished – and as Ferrari close the gap on Red Bull, the fight for the title is well and truly on.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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