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‘We’re just too far away’ says downbeat Leclerc after P6 finish in home race

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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was again left to rue what might have been on home soil in Monaco after taking a three-place grid penalty and recording a distant sixth-place finish on race day.

The Monegasque has a woeful record at his home event thanks to mechanical problems, crashes and strategic blunders – and coming into this year's race he'd only ever seen the chequered flag once on the streets where he grew up, after he finished fourth last season.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Alonso to Monaco GP victory despite rain causing late drama

He was keen to put that right this time out, but a typically strong qualifying run to third was undone by a grid drop for impeding McLaren rival Lando Norris and, despite the mixture of dry and wet conditions during the race, he ultimately finished where he started in P6.

Asked if the damage was done by his post-qualifying penalty, Leclerc said: “Yeah, exactly. After [qualifying], the three grid places penalty, starting sixth there wasn’t much more [I could do].

Race Highlights: 2023 Monaco Grand Prix

“The pace wasn’t great today. I mean, it was actually quite good on the hard [tyres]. On the slicks it was good, but there is nothing to do here. It was basically a waiting game and then, when we started to push, the tyres had gone away a little bit.”

While that penalty worked against him, with Monte Carlo’s tight and twisty streets offering few opportunities to make up lost ground, Leclerc also gave a downbeat assessment of Ferrari’s current level of performance.

READ MORE: ‘It’s super nice to win like this’ – Verstappen explains how he survived rain and more en route to Monaco victory

“We are not happy with where we are,” said Leclerc, as team mate Carlos Sainz followed him home in eighth. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to recover performance, because for now we’re just too far away.”

Ferrari leave Monaco sitting fourth in the constructors’ standings, behind Mercedes, Aston Martin and Red Bull, while Sainz and Leclerc hold sixth and seventh respectively in the drivers’ battle.

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