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F1: 2024 Monaco Grand Prix In Review

Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the 16 Scuderia Ferrari SF-24 Ferrari during Gp Monaco Formula 1 at Circuit de Monaco
Montecarlo, Monaco. 24 May, 2024. Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF-24 Ferrari, during Gp Monaco, Formula 1, at Circuit de Monaco. Credit: Alessio Morgese / Emage / Alamy live news | 2X9FKEC

Despite being far from the most exciting race, the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix was historic for a number of reasons, most notably because the race was won by a Monegasque for the first time in the World Championship era.

Charles Leclerc, who heading into his home race had never stood on the Monte Carlo podium in either F2 or F1, broke his run of disappointments in the Principality with a lights-to-flag victory, scoring his first win since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix almost two years ago.

The event began with some rare hope for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton topping FP1 and setting a lap time just 0.177 seconds off of Friday’s fastest, which was set by Leclerc. Leclerc also topped FP3 and was looking like the clear favourite heading into Saturday’s all-important qualifying session, with Red Bull and Max Verstappen struggling over the street circuit’s bumps and kerbs.

Q1 saw Red Bull’s Sergio Perez eliminated in the first part of qualifying at Monaco for the second year in a row, with the Mexican driver only managing to outqualify both Saubers, which were clearly the slowest cars all weekend.

Verstappen easily made it through to Q3 but could only secure sixth place on the grid, ending his run of eight consecutive poles that stretched back to the penultimate round of last season and equalled Aryton Senna’s record.

George Russell joined the World Champion on the third row, with Max also being outqualified by both the Ferrari and McLaren driver duos, with Leclerc picking up his third Monaco pole and Oscar Piastri securing only his second F1 front row start.

Haas drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, who both made it through to Q2 and qualified in 12th and 15th respectively, were disqualified from the session due to a DRS issue, causing them to start at the rear of the field.

An already bad weekend for Perez and Haas got even worse on the first lap of the Grand Prix, as Magnussen made contact with the Red Bull driver, resulting in a heavy crash that also took out Hülkenberg, causing all three drivers involved to have to retire and bringing out the red flag.

The first lap, which saw Perez pick up millions of dollars of damage, also saw Esteban Ocon optimistically attempt to overtake his Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly through Portier, resulting in contact that forced Ocon to retire.

Alpine team principal Bruno Famin said that Ocon would face “appropriate consequences” after the race, and it has since been confirmed that he will be leaving the team following the conclusion of this season.

The early red flag allowed the remaining 16 drivers to change their tyres, which 12 of them remained on for the rest of the race. The predictably processional Grand Prix, which only featured four overtakes, saw the top 10 on the grid finish in the same order for the first time in F1 history, with Leclerc winning to cut Verstappen’s Drivers’ Championship lead to just 31 points.

Piastri finished in second, picking up McLaren’s best result in Monaco since Lewis Hamilton won the race in 2008, while Carlos Sainz picked up his third podium on the famous streets of Monte Carlo.

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