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Victory in Monaco – Leclerc’s dream, one race closer

Written by Mina Jigau, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

 

Cursed no more – Charles Leclerc’s victory breaks the wretched curse that has followed him for years.


Photo Credits: Formula One via X

Endless podiums, polite smiles and disguised defeats seemed to make up Charles Leclerc’s modus operandi when it came to the most glamorous race of the season. Since his debut in Formula 1 back in 2018, he never quite made it to the finish line with a winning streak on his track record, sometimes never making it at all. 


All the heartbreak and disappointments the Monaco Grand Prix brought began to earn Leclerc a reputation for being ‘cursed’. There had been too many instances where a small strategy misstep or engine failure steered his win straight into the ditch, leaving fans devastated in the wake of his bad fortune. 

 

Driving past the chequered flag, ahead of 15 other drivers, Leclerc made history, becoming the first Monegasque driver to win his home race. The 2024 Monaco GP saw the end of the so-called ‘curse’ and Leclerc’s first win since the 2022 Austrian GP, and in the midst of celebrations, we have to wonder – what’s next for Leclerc?

 

Naturally, winning the Monaco GP not only catapults Leclerc’s points, situating him just behind Max Verstappen, but also puts the limelight on his potential. Is this reason enough to believe the Ferrari driver could achieve his lifelong dream of crossing that finish line in a red car in the near future? 

 

There could be a good possibility, considering Ferrari has been one of the three teams to have its drivers in victory lane in the 2024 season. Though not quite the dominant team just yet, with Fred Vasseur increasing the team’s racing status, and Lewis Hamilton switching over to the red uniform next season, Ferrari is rapidly becoming the ‘it’ team. 


This could mean a lot more pressure and attention on Leclerc, but pushing past limits and racing alongside a more experienced teammate might just act as the trigger for the free fall into the ‘World Champion’ title. 

 

The real threat to Leclerc and Ferrari has been Red Bull’s supremacy throughout 2023 and the early races of 2024. However, in the most recent races, the team hasn’t been having the smoothest of times, and it seems that McLaren and Ferrari are now fighting for the edge that seems to have slipped from Red Bull’s grip. 


Even with the failures Leclerc has faced in previous seasons, he was so very close to Verstappen’s number. Now, with the added practice, the unceasing poles and the ‘no-holding-back’ approach he has been taking this season, it wouldn’t exactly be the most surprising turn of events if this year’s champion is not Verstappen.

 

The flip side of the coin is the annihilator of hope, though; Monaco is a strange phenomenon. A race unlike any other, with tighter corners and less space for overtaking, increasing the chances of race-ending crashes with walls that Leclerc is all too familiar with. Just because Red Bull didn’t have either driver on pole does not mean they’ve been ripped to pieces just yet. 


They’re a powerful team that, although disintegrating internally, is still ahead of the competition. They still have the edge, and we can’t be dazed by Leclerc’s one win, so much to believe he could overtake Verstappen’s current position so easily, in a race that is usually an anomaly. Redemptive victory is sweet, but not concrete. 

 

So, the questions still remain – what will Leclerc’s future look like? Can he still make up for the discrepancy between him and Verstappen before the season ends? Although improvement is unmistakable in Leclerc’s driving as of lately, it’s not looking very likely that he will overtake Verstappen, at least not in points, this year. The difference between the two drivers is 31 points, following the race in the Principality. 


With 16 races to go before the season is over, hope has surreptitiously made its way in the hearts of Ferrari fans, but is it too early? Though Leclerc is second in the standings and the most likely competitor for Verstappen, the Dutchman is not going to let the title out of his grip without a treacherous fight. 


Leclerc’s future is bright and dazzling, with flourishing progress that drives him one step closer to achieving ‘the dream’, regardless of if he wins this year.


It is pretty well known that his goal is to win the championship with Ferrari, in honour of his father, Herve Leclerc, and his godfather, Jules Bianchi, both of them having died before they could do so. 


The dream fell upon Leclerc’s heart, and he is not only driving for himself, but for the legacy he inherited, for the family he lost and the dreams they couldn’t drive to the finish line. Winning his home race is more than enough motivation to attain the title he’s insatiable for. 

 

"It means a lot, obviously. It's the race which made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day. Fifteen laps to the end you're hoping nothing happens and the emotions are coming. My dad has given everything for me to be here and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and win here, so it's unbelievable." - The words of our latest victor of his home race. 


Image Credits: Song Haiyuan/MB Media

1 comment

1 Comment


Guest
May 27

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him in the future too!

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