Leclerc secures the top spot on the starting grid at Monaco.

For the third time, Charles Leclerc begins his home race at Monaco Grand Prix with a pole position. He wants to achieve his first victory in this event.

May 27, 2024
2 min read
NewsStarting positionCarlos SainzFormula 1Formula 1 raceMotorsportMonacoSKYInternationalCharles LeclercMonegasquesSergio PérezOscar PiastriFerrariNico HülkenbergCarMax VerstappenMonaco Grand PrixStars
Secured pole position in his home town of Monaco: Charles Leclerc.
Secured pole position in his home town of Monaco: Charles Leclerc.


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Grand Prix Racing: Formula 1 - Leclerc secures the top spot on the starting grid at Monaco.

Charles Leclerc was momentarily elated by the raucous applause from his hometown fans following his impressive lap. However, he swiftly refocused on achieving one of his greatest sporting ambitions at the F1 event in Monaco. "Winning is my primary objective," he declared.

In the qualifying rounds at the Principality, the Ferrari star managed to clinch the first spot on the starting grid with aplomb, even overtaking world champion Max Verstappen who found himself languishing in sixth place. "Regardless of what happens, we must strive to triumph," Leclerc emphasized even while wearing his race attire.

Verstappen, meanwhile, was left perplexed by the lackluster performance of his car. "It felt like a go-kart, which certainly isn't favorable," he remarked candidly on Sky. The three-time world champion had already opined in practice on Friday that his vehicle was acting erratically and he couldn't get it under control. From sixth position in the race, "not much" could be accomplished, "but I'll try," he added.

Leclerc has claimed his third pole position in Monaco, the city where he was born. However, he hasn't managed to convert these leadups into victories. Regardless, the 2022 second-place finisher remains winless and without a podium appearance on one of the most time-honored tracks on the racing calendar. Bad luck and his team's difficulties have thwarted better outcomes in previous races.

Leclerc commented, "The emotions here are far more potent than anywhere else. I'm exceptionally pleased, but I know that qualifying alone isn't all that matters. Everything has to fall into place during the race, and we haven't achieved that in recent times."

Leclerc registered the fasted lap in 1:10.270 minutes, snatching the lead spot ahead of Oscar Piastri in the McLaren. Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari rounded out the podium. "I need a solid start," said Leclerc, also supporting his teammate Sainz: "If we make it to the first corner in first and second place, we can manage the race as a team."

The importance of securing the front position in Monaco, given the challenging aspect of overtaking, cannot be overstated. Eight races into the season and set to conclude on Sunday (3pm, Sky), Verstappen reigns at the top of the championship standings with 161 points, followed by Leclerc (113) and Sergio Pérez (107) of the second Red Bull team. Verstappen previously won both the 2021 and 2022 races on the demanding street circuit.

Regrettably for Verstappen, he fell short of making history by securing first place on the grid for the ninth straight time. The most recent time he achieved such a feat was in Imola, when he almost caught up with Ayrton Senna's eight consecutive pole positions in 1988-1989.

Pérez, Leclerc's teammate, had a dismal qualifying experience, ending in 18th place. He exhibited visible exasperation during the session. Fernando Alonso, the two-time world champion, likewise failed to impress, coming in 16th place in the Aston Martin.

Nico Hülkenberg, Germany's sole representative in the field, scored a modest 12th place. But his day took a turn for the worse when he and his Haas teammate were ejected from the results list due to an illegal rear wing on his vehicle. He and Magnussen were allowed to start the race anyway, but from the pit lane.

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