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MONACO GP: THE PRINCIPALITY IS FINALLY CHARLES' DOMAIN



Winning on the streets of the city where one grew up is a unique experience for a Formula 1 driver, and Charles Leclerc experienced this thrill in Monte Carlo. Behind the wheel of a dominant Ferrari from qualifying onwards, the Monegasque driver had no rivals. Born and raised in the Principality of Monaco 26 years ago, Leclerc had already attempted the feat in 2021 and 2022, securing pole position on both occasions, but bad luck thwarted his efforts.


This time, however, everything went perfectly. Starting from pole, Leclerc maintained the lead for all 78 laps of the race. The race was marked by a major incident on the first lap, triggered by Kevin Magnussen and involving Sergio Perez (whose Red Bull was destroyed) and Nico Hulkenberg. The two Haas cars and the Mexican's Red Bull were immediately out of contention, causing the race to be halted. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz had to stop due to a puncture caused by a light contact with Oscar Piastri at the first corner, Sainte-Devote.


With the race stopped, all drivers returned to the pits, and Ferrari mechanics worked to get Sainz's SF-24 back on track, which he re-entered in third position thanks to the regulation that restores the positions of the previous lap before the red flag. At the second start, Leclerc maintained his lead, followed by Piastri, Sainz, and Lando Norris. The Ferraris and McLarens pulled away from George Russell in fifth and Max Verstappen in sixth.


The top four, who started on medium tires, switched to hard tires during the stop, aiming to finish the race without additional pit stops. Despite needing to manage the tires carefully, the race was monotonous, typical of the Monaco circuit. Piastri never had a chance to surprise Leclerc, Sainz couldn't attack the Australian, and Norris watched without being able to change the situation. Thus, as they started the second lap, they reached the checkered flag. Russell finished fifth, while a disappointed Verstappen found himself out of the top five, marking a significant collapse for Red Bull.


This result reopens the championship, with Verstappen seeing his lead shrink to just 31 points over Leclerc. Ferrari has sent a strong message to Red Bull, closing in dangerously in the constructors' standings, with 276 points against 252. In Monaco, Ferrari scored 40 points compared to Red Bull's 8. Additionally, Hamilton set the fastest lap, earning an extra point.


Among other results, Yuki Tsunoda continued his good season with another top 10 finish, while Daniel Ricciardo once again failed to score points. Finally, Williams secured their first points of the season thanks to Alexander Albon, while Alpine collected one point with Pierre Gasly after Esteban Ocon was forced to retire due to a collision with his teammate.


Out of the points was Aston Martin-Mercedes, with Fernando Alonso in eleventh. Lance Stroll hit the barriers, resulting in a puncture, marking the first time this year that Aston Martin failed to score points. Sauber-Ferrari remained out of the spotlight.


A final note concerns Kevin Magnussen, who made a dangerous move on the first lap. His attempt to pass between the rail and Perez on the climb to the Casino was reckless and senseless. Surprisingly, the FIA has not taken action against the Dane, at least for now. As McLaren's team principal Andrea Stella said, Magnussen needs to be stopped. Nico Hulkenberg, unfortunately involved in the incident, commented on his teammate's action with a simple "it was not necessary."




© Cavalieri Garage & Co.

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