Charles Leclerc has not been fortunate at his home Grand Prix in the last few years since he did not score a single point there but wants to end this unlucky streak.
In 2018 Leclerc only managed to qualify in P14, but his race ended after the exit of the tunnel when his brakes failed, and he hit Brendon Hartley from behind. The crash forced the Monegasque driver to retire from the race. The following year, Charles did not get through Q1, and, while trying to recover on Sunday, he damaged the floor of his Ferrari, which brought to his retirement.
Therefore, Leclerc’s goal this weekend is to gain access to Q3 for the first time since he joined F1.
“It’s one of my favorite tracks, and it is also very special because I’m born here, I’ve grown up here, so I’m just very excited to be here,” he said. Unfortunately, I’ve been quite unlucky here in the past, and I hope this luck will turn a little bit around for this year.
“2018 wasn’t too bad actually,” Leclerc added, referring to his lack of a Q3 appearance in Monaco, “I didn’t reach Q3, but I was with Alfa [then Sauber], and I think it was quite a reasonable result for us here, but not the race though.
“And then qualifying in 2019, I remember very well what happened, we did a bad strategy choice, and it happens. In the end, it’s like this. These two times I haven’t made it to Q3, but… we’ll do everything this year to reach it.”
Leclerc also spoke about his unlucky record at his home race: I’ve had a bit of a tough time at this track in the last three years, apart from last year where we didn’t race, but I love this track, I love city tracks in general. And here, I think it’s a special feeling for all drivers to be racing here.
“It’s very, very technical, we’ve got the high-speed part with the swimming pool, and you just need to be on it, and I love this challenge of trying to push the car to its limits, and never going over it otherwise you pay the price for it.”
Speaking about the performance of the car, Leclerc said that the good pace shown in the last sector in Spain does not mean that the SF21 will be fast around the narrow streets of Monaco.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think it means anything for here,” said Leclerc. “Just because in Barcelona, there were also other factors that were playing into our competitiveness in Sector 3, which is that probably we were better on tires compared to the others in Sectors 1 and 2, which made us arrive in better shape tire-wise for Sector 3. So I don’t think that we can benefit from that here, but let’s wait and see.
“But, realistically, I think the objective is still to be ahead of the midfield like we’ve been in Barcelona, and we shouldn’t dream too much about fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull, because realistically we are not at that level yet.”