Leclerc looking forward to moving on from ‘weekend to forget’
After his shock Q1 exit from qualifying, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc promised to give it everything in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. “I’ll have to take a lot of risks I think, even risking to crash,” he said – and he was as good as his word.
In an exhilarating opening to the race, the home favourite – who started P15 – moved up to 14th on the first lap after taking avoiding action at Turn 1. The following lap he then completed a clean dive up the inside of McLaren’s Lando Norris into the hairpin to take P13.
The race seemed to be coming to the 21-year-old as he made an extremely well judged pass on Romain Grosjean’s Haas into Rascasse on lap 8 for 12th – but a similar move on Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg just one lap later ended with contact and left Leclerc nursing a puncture.
In his haste to get back to the pits, the carcass of his right-rear tyre worked loose, shredding the floor on his Ferrari, and though he tried to carry on with the damage, on lap 16 Leclerc called it quits.
“It was very difficult,” mused Leclerc afterwards. “As I said before the race - I had to take a lot of risks, which we did.
“It was fun at the beginning, unfortunately it ended in disaster. That's a bit Monaco and unfortunately when we are starting 15th, which is not our real pace, it was difficult to come back today.
“I’ll try to bounce back at the next race. The performance was quite good in FP3 but other than that it was a weekend to forget.”
Leclerc’s retirement is his first in Ferrari colours, and whilst he remains fifth in the drivers’ standings, he’s now 21 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and 25 adrift of team mate Sebastian Vettel, who finished second.