Charles Leclerc: “We have to try and extract the positives”

Charles Leclerc retired from both races in Monaco but keeps the lead in the championship - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Charles Leclerc endured a tough weekend in Monaco, failing to finish either the Feature or Sprint races, although he does keep the lead in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

Racing in front of his home crowd for the first time in his career, the Prema Racing driver secured his third pole position in as many rounds in Monte Carlo, and was leading until the safety car was deployed, with the timing of it allowing Oliver Rowland, Artem Markelov and Nobuharu Matsushita to jump him.

He was set to restart in fourth but pulled into the pits with a suspension issue just as the green flags flew again and was back in the pits a lap later to retire.

The Sprint race saw him start towards the back of the field, and after a collision with Norman Nato, he bent his suspension, and although he kept going for a little longer, he again pulled into the pits to retire, ending his Monaco traumas.

“We have to try and extract the positives out of a weekend that had lots of negatives,” said Leclerc. “I think the pace was amazing from the start to the end.

“In race 1 we have been extremely unlucky for the safety car that made me lose the lead of the race before facing a mechanical problem. Then we didn’t expect anything from the second race and there were no miracles.

“It has been a very hard race, we were quite fast at the beginning then I touched with another car and bent the front left wishbone. We continued but after six laps that tire was degrading so much and I was all over the place.”

Despite the lack of results, Leclerc felt the pace at Monaco was extremely good, and remains on top of the championship heading into the next round in Azerbaijan next month.

“It hasn’t been great in terms of points yet Monaco turned out to be really, really good for the performance,” said Leclerc. “We are still leading the championship despite a weekend with no points.

“There are a lot of positives we can count on for the rest of the season and we will keep working to remain in front.”